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Welcome to Della Terra

DiAnn Service Della Terra is a part of our health education program which includes physical education and kitchen classroom. Della Terra is the part that presents children with opportunities to learn about gardening. Connecting the children to the land on which we live is a joy. Our grounds at school offer a wonderful classroom in which we can explore, investigate, and grow. Please let me know if you have any questions about your child's time in Della Terra.

January 17, 2019

In December and in January we worked on designing gardens. December involved designing our "dream gardens" with many varieties of fruits and vegetables growing alongside one another.

In January we are thinking about, "What do we want to plant in our school gardens this year?" In order to do this we reflect on what we grew last year, what went well, what didn't, and what do we want to include again this year. Some students really enjoy having a say in what we grow. So far some of the ideas include: carrots, cucumbers, giant pumpkins, a field of corn, peas, cabbage, white pumpkins, blueberries, raspberries, and peppers.

As we choose our vegetables we look at length of season (we have about 90 days of outdoor growing time before it gets dark and cold) and ask whether or not this plant needs to be started in the greenhouse.

Before we know it we will be starting seeds in the greenhouse!

November 8, 2018

November is a month of changing weather. We started the month with 50 degree temps and sunshine and move in and out of snow without much notice. This makes being outside either warm or cold without much in between.

This month we have observed how fall seeds travel. Here on campus we have quite a few "hitchhikers" this time of year. We also observed how a carrot goes to seed (Step 1: forget about some carrots in your garden over the winter...) and how much it looks like a Queen Anne's Lace. We also noticed that the carrot seeds seem to be hitchhikers, but they also fall easily. Maybe seeds move in more than one way?

We have also worked very hard on preparing the beds for spring. Some DT groups have shoveled and moved many wheelbarrows full of soil. This soil has been used to top off established beds and to fill up beds that need a little more soil.

All this hard work we are putting in this fall should help us be able to start planting our beds as soon as the soil is workable in the spring!

October 11, 2018

In the month of October we are watching our plants in the gardens wither and the leaves on the trees change color. This is a good time of year to talk about how seeds disperse themselves. There is a great chart that helps tell the story of some ways seeds move around. There is a picture of parachutes (milkweed and dandelions) and helicopters, another of a volcano exploding (lilies), a boat floating on the water (coconuts), and a car (burrs). You can also ask your child about what the airplane represents! We are talking about collecting seeds. There are many people who are saving seeds. Some of the reasons people save seeds are: cost, saving seeds is less expensive than purchasing seeds, being able to enjoy the plants that you like, and one important point is that saving seeds can help preserve the diversity in the types of food we have to eat.

At the end of October we will have a work bee to help ready the gardens for the winter. I hope to see you there

September 13, 2018

Della Terra is formatted a bit differently this year. One of my goals was to have the children see the different stages of the garden as the year progresses. This year everyone (elementary) will have Della Terra about once a month, or every 4 weeks.

September is the beginning of transition time in the garden. Many of the plants are still going strong, yet some are beginning to wane as we have less and less sunlight each day. This month in Della Terra we are reviewing expectations we have for one another as we spend time learning about the food we eat and how to grow it.

We are also beginning to think about what goals do we have for our gardens this year. Through garden tours we are exploring what worked this past year and what didn't. As we identify these problem areas, later this season we can brainstorm ways to do it better. Gardening is a never-ending series of trial and error, trying and failing, so we can try again. Every year is brand new. I look forward to seeing what this year will bring!

This page last updated on 1/16/2019.

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tch_icon.pngThe Children's House - An Independent Montessori School
5363 N Long Lake Rd. | Traverse City, MI | 49685 (p) 231.929.9325 | (f) 231.929.9384 | email: learn@traversechildrenshouse.org