The Garden as Teacher
Students are introduced to our three acre biodynamic garden as well as to the practice of gardening in a simple manner; they begin working the soil, building compost, and planting, as well as benefiting and participating in the harvest. The students further their involvement through food preparation and organizing a small market on campus.
By high school, the approach becomes more scientific through specific observations and investigations—all of which is strengthened by their prior experiences. Having this connection to the garden through their school years gives them insight into the essence of the plants and the need for responsibly caring for the earth over time.
Working in the biodynamic garden provides an opportunity to develop an innate, harmonious sense of being at home on this Earth. It gives the children living examples of many of their class studies; in the garden their lessons can become practical, daily experiences. Through their work, the children each feel the contribution they make to the garden as a link in a long chain of others’ contributions and work. They experience first- hand “that people always depend on the work of their fellow human beings” (Steiner). They learn to work for the love of work, for others and for the sake of the whole rather than for personal gain.
The DMS garden serves both the students and the community. While we are not a “farm school,” we have farm animals, chickens and bees as a part of our program, cared for by students and parents. At the present time, we do not offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program. We hope to be able to provide that in the future, as well as offering a Seed To Table Program.
Parents can work in the garden for the joy of it, but they can also fulfill the volunteer commitment expected from each family. The surrounding community is always welcome to be a part of the garden effort as well. There are Thursday evening family “Garden Dig-Ins” organized by class, as well as the monthly Second Saturday morning garden "Work-Days". Check the calendar for details.
DMS actively supports (and are supported by) interns from the ASU School of Sustainability. Step by step we are working to transform our school into what we feel the future requires of us. Sustainable practices currently in place include biodynamic agriculture, rainwater harvesting, alternative building systems, an alternative parking surface & extensive repurposing. We seek the active participation of interns to work with us as we learn & grown. Apply Here.
Composting is one of the most important aspects of biodynamic gardening. The compost that goes into our garden provides it with all the nutrients it needs to support a healthy soil. At DMS, everyone is involved in making compost, from the children, to the staff, to the apprentices & volunteers. All the organic material on our property is utilized in this process. Nothing is wasted or lost. All is turned back onto itself, to feed & renew, again & again.