In addition to the beautiful native plant gardens that surround the school buildings and grounds, there are several sites for raised organic garden beds across the Nature’s Way campus. Child-size garden beds occupy the yards adjacent to the Early Childhood communities, where children plant a variety of seasonal flowers and vegetables to be used in the classroom. Children have grown everything from heirloom popcorn and blue potatoes to sweet peas and carrots. In addition to observing plant growth, the gardens provide magical opportunities for children to discover the wonders of plant and animal interactions.
Adolescents grow food every fall and spring in the larger raised beds on campus. They have been known to set up markets in front of the school to sell school-grown herbs and veggies to raise money for the AC microeconomy. AC students also oversee the whole-school compost operation. All NWMS classrooms contribute daily food scraps and unbleached brown paper towels to the compost operation, which AC students layer, turn, and sift to produce rich, worm-filled compost that is used in the gardens. The waste from the chicken coops goes a long way in contributing to the nutrient cycle of our gardens as well.