The Waverly School, a progressive school in Pasadena, spanning young kindergarten through 12th grade, is utilizing a unique method originated in France, a “fruit wall” to plant 27 apple trees at its farm. While a yearlong working farm, this is the largest single planting effort for The Waverly Organic Farm in its 15 years of existence.
“The farm exemplifies our interdisciplinary and experiential approach to learning. Our students engage in scientific observation and experimentation, create works of art, write poems, and plant the foods of other cultures at the farm,” said Waverly Head of School, Heidi Johnson. “In addition, they have opportunities to taste freshly picked produce and play in nature.”
This project will be integrated into the curriculum for students and the planting effort is being overseen by the Waverly parent and Organic Farm coordinator Barbara Ayers. At a recent fundraiser sponsored by Whole Foods Market’s Arroyo location, monies were raised for a cider press which will be used for apple harvesting. The apples are coming from a grower in Riverside County, Kevin Hauser of Kuffel Creek Nursery.
The Waverly Organic Farm apple hedge is going to be made up of about half Fujis, and then a mix of more unusual varieties: “Sierra Beauty,” “Stump,” and “Molly’s Delicious” in addition to a selection of crab apples (“Etter Crab,” “Wickson Crab,” and more) to add tang to the school’s apple cider.
The Waverly Farm is an outdoor classroom for teachers to take their classes for writing, observations of wildlife and to conduct science experiments. The Farm allows for curriculum related projects, such as:
- Math: calculate crop yields, make planting charts and graphs;
- Science: garden ecology and plant biology; the effect of climate on crop cultivation and human survival;
- Language Arts: write comparative essays on colonial life and students’ own lives in regard to food production and consumption; creative writing related to observations in nature;
- Nutrition and Health: compare a colonial diet with today’s diet;
- Creative Arts: create artwork based on natural observations, design and build farm implements, create harvest songs and recreate harvest festivals; and
- Physical Education: engage in activities like capture the flag, run around the track and swinging from the tire swing.
In the existing brown space children and their adult companions can run, climb, dig, poke, closely observe and actively explore a variety of existing environments. They can dream up different imaginative games in this space. The essence of the space is that it is complex, protected, unformed and natural which is valuable in and of itself, and raises multiple possibilities, each worthy of pursuit. – Source: The Waverly School News Release
For more information, visit, The Waverly School