By Justin Holt

Building a culture of inquiry-based, outdoor learning at the schools we serve is a primary goal of the Foundation. At Verner, we are working with staff to bolster the growth of this culture.
In October, TRF staff planned a weeklong immersion in Project Based Learning for Warren Wilson College students, asking them to explore the driving question “how can we use Project Based Learning (PBL) to create enriching experiences in the garden for Verner classes?” After an introduction to the concepts, the process, the garden, and Verner, the students organized into teams to develop a specific project plan for a particular early learning age group, ranging from 6 months to 5 years old. The Verner teachers were very engaged in this process, sharing insights, feedback, and ideas. Thank you to Polly Bolding of Asheville Preschool for sharing successes and challenges they have had developing a garden and garden-based curriculum for preschool students.

Creative Learning with Students

Over the past few months, students have: expanded the strawberry planting into a new bed; learned about and hunted mushroom; sewed cover crop, felt the dew drops on the winter rye, and observed its very fast growth; harvested daikon radishes, peppers, cowpeas for the Rainbow in my Tummy kitchen; tasted sage, mint and French sorrel; and planted wildflowers.

On the Horizon

  • New rainwater cisterns will catch water off the NC Outward Bound roof to feed our garden.
  • We are developing nutrition/cooking unit for the preschool classes.

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