At Good Shepherd Montessori School we believe our outdoor learning environments are just as important as our indoor learning environments. Students at every level spend time engaged in land-based learning, whether on our own sustainable urban farm or at local partner farms: Prairie Winds Farm and The Science Barn. Spending time on the farm or at our local St. Joseph River watershed offers students opportunities to explore biology, ecology, mathematics, local history, and much more. Students develop a love for nature, they learn practical skills – how to use different tools, how to care for farm animals, how to grow and harvest food – and they ponder the principles of permaculture and how living sustainably might contribute to the common good. You can read more details here about our land-based learning curriculum for each of our levels.
Our urban farm has the added benefit of giving us a wonderful crop of produce to use each week in our hot lunch program. The junior high students also delight us with their small farm business, which includes a farm cart stocked with produce throughout the growing season and a special holiday sale featuring pies, relishes, jams, and pickled vegetables made and preserved by the students.
Our land-based learning program also extends into the local community, especially during the summer months. From educational workshops and classes to our summer CSA and farm camps, there is always a lot happening on the GSMS farm. We even have a summer internship program for those wanting a more immersive educational experience.
We want our urban farm and land-based learning program to be a resource for children, families, educators, farmers, and anyone else from the local community who might be interested. Click the button below to discover much more about our urban farm and associated programing.