Greetings! As spring approaches you will see a lot of exciting new developments happening around our school. . . . First, we will be expanding the garden and adding a few more planting areas to allow all of our students the ability to get their hands in the earth and grow something beautiful (and/or tasty). The 1st graders have been actively helping the expansion process (as you can see in the photos below). We will also be setting up a small pop-up greenhouse within the next few days on the 2nd floor terrace (between the art and handwork rooms). This will allow us to have experiential lessons about the food cycle — from seed to table. Next fall, we will save our seeds in order to “close-the-loop” and make our garden more self-sufficient and teach our students that they don’t need to relay on a store for everything. An herb spiral will be this year’s most interesting new garden feature (but I’ll save that for another post). Beyond expanding our gardening efforts, we plan to get the earthoven cleaned up and re-coated with a few new layers of clay… our hope is that we’ll be making pizzas (with some of our early blooming garden crops) by the end of the school year.
Below you will find photos of our 1st graders who are always eager to work in the garden during recess. . . .
And here is what some students thought up to do with the sod we digging up. . . .
If you are in town during our Spring Break, please join our Ecoliteracy Coordinator, Michel Anderson, & WSB staff members for this exciting event taking place at Notre Dame of Maryland University on Tuesday, March 18th at 7 to 8:30pm. Admission is FREE.
Richard Louv is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. His newest book, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder, offers a new vision of the future in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology, resulting in better psychological, physical and spiritual health for people of all ages. His bestselling Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder has stimulated an international conversation about the relationship between children and nature. Click on the image above for more details.
The Waldorf School of Baltimore has been an officially recognized Maryland Green School of just about 4 years now. In late March, we will be submitting an updated application to maintain this important certification. Being recognized as a Maryland Green School is very important to us for a number of reasons…. It gives WSB state and national recognition for our green efforts and accomplishments; it communicates to our students and current/prospective parents that our community is serious about our responsibility to a healthy environment and sustainable future; it helps center our collective focus on current ecoliteracy trends in education; and, pragmatically, it even helps us reduce operational costs.
If you are part of the WSB community, please take 3 minutes to fill out a short survey (of nine multiple choice questions). The information you provide will help WSB generate an exemplary application. The survey can be reached by clicking HERE. Thank you for your time!
The Student Council has enhanced its partnership with TerraCycle to bring our community the ability to recycle single-use coffee/tea capsules. The rise of these machines is controversial because the capsules are not recyclable nor is the coffee always of the fair trade variety. Since 2010, the Zero Waste Box program by TerraCycle has been working to change some of that. Of course, further action is needed, such as demanding the manufactures of these machines & capsules take responsibility for their products from cradle-to-grave. (Hmm…perhaps a life-cycle analysis and letter-writing campaign project for our Middle School?)
But in the meantime, please bring in any brand of capsule — after we have collected 12 pounds of the them, the Student Council will mail them to TerraCycle for composting, recycling, and repurposing. (If you’re able to compost the coffee ground yourself at home we will be able to fit more capsules in our box. But if not, no worries, bring them in full.) If you’re place of work happens to use one of these machines, please consider starting your own collection campaign: Zero Waste Boxes
We are excited to announce that starting in 2014 all of our elementary students will receive a Birthday Egg. On their special day, students will come home with a permission slip for parents to sign and return to school. Then, upon parental approval, the student will receive a fresh egg from one of our lovely hens (Gumball, Richard, or Darwin). Please return the container to school the next day.
Above is a photo of our first student to receive a Birthday Egg. In truth, she was the impetus behind this grand idea — and I was very happy to oblige her. Below is a photo of Gumball enjoying some watermelon — yes, Birthday Eggs taste very, very good.
Along with our students, our chickens have grown so much over the last year. I’ll be posting a little slideshow soon that documents their presence at our school.
Oh… and worry not, if your child was born in the summer, we will make birthday eggs available to them in late spring before school lets out — just let Mr. Anderson know you would like your child to participate. Stay warm.
Yesterday, our school transformed into a winter wonderland of extraordinary proportions. During recess, our students (and teachers) were able to explore the mesmerizing metamorphosis that occurred during the night before. Some students let melting icicles drip into their mouths from the ice-encased branches, while others slid across thousands of frozen blades of grass.
Please enjoy these photos taken during lunch recess on February 5th, 2014:
The following information is for an exciting natural & biodynamic beekeeping workshop happening in Maryland. It’s coordinated by the Chesapeake BioDynamic Network in affiliation with the Biodynamic Farming & Gardening Association. Unfortunately I can not attend all of the workshops, but I will be making a noble attempt to attend some — care to join me?
FUTURE BEE: A Natural & Biodynamic Approach to Beekeeping
Led by Dan & Jeri Hemerlein, & Bill Castro
Join us in learning a reverence for the hive and how we can support healthy, chemical free honey bee colonies.
Dan & Jeri are MD beekeepers & graduates of Gunther Hauk’s “Sustainable Biodynamic Beekeeping Training” at Spikenard Farm. Bill is a long time urban & treatment free beekeeper, owner and steward of Bee Friendly Apiary based in Baltimore, MD.
WHERE: 4221 Metzerott Rd, College Park, MD 20740 (The Christian Community Social Room)
WHEN: SATURDAY’S February 1st, 8th, & 22nd; March 1st, 22nd; April 12th *Dates subject to change
TIME: 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM
HOW MUCH: $45 for 6 class series,(Single/Family) including a “package hiving demonstration” - $10 Drop In
TO REGISTER: Show up @ 8:00 AM!
Dan & Jeri Hemerlein: BeeHemerlein@gmail.com- (410) 808-9298
Michael Judge: Mjudge2000@gmail.com
Bill Castro: Billiam1969@BeeFriendlyApiary.com- (303) 877-4617