YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Students at Our Montessori School recently visited Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown for a hands-on lesson on local agriculture, produce, and history.
With roots dating back to the 1600s, the working crop farm and environmental center says it operates on the principals of sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship, community education, and food for all.
And to show that it also walks the walk, Hilltop donates 10 percent of the vegetables it grows to local food pantries and holds numerous tours, lectures, classes.
Part of Hilltop's mission is passing on the passion for farming to youngsters, like the crop of Montessori students who spent the morning learning where eggs and milk come from, visiting with farm animals, examining seasonal produce, and even, ugh, getting up close and personal with creepy-crawlies.
The curious kids peppered volunteers with questions and were able to see composting in action and seedlings sprouting. They even got to sample freshly picked leafy greens.
Back at school, the students in Susan Grasso and Cheri Baron’s classes were so inspired by their visit that they set up their own compost “piles.”
The teachers ordered “red wigglers” -- a surface-feeding worm that recycles food waste into rich, dark soil perfect for growing.
Students made bins out of empty pretzel jars, which they filled with shredded newspapers (printed with soy-based ink) and then added the worms.
Now, after snack time, the students toss in their apple cores and banana peels and their new friends go to work.The soil will be used for plant-based experiments and “compost tea” for classroom plants.
For more information on Our Montessori School, click here .
For more information about Hilltop Hanover Farm, click here .