The New School Montessori’s farming teacher Alexa Abner (through Skool Aid) led the elementary children in a week of removing invasive bush honeysuckle from their pollinator forest garden. The newly cleared area of the forest has plenty of useful trees and plants which no longer compete for sunlight and other resources. They may add a few new fruit trees in the eradicated areas.
TNSM farmers each found their niche, whether it was removing the growth, breaking larger branches down to create more surface area for the composting process, or adding the broken-down material into their first “terrace.” The terrace is a permaculture design concept which creates a berm (raised bed of organic matter) and swale (the ditch created behind the raised bed). The berm runs horizontally, on contour with the hillside, to naturally irrigate the raised bed after rain events. Instead of letting water travel straight down the hill, washing away nutrients and causing erosion, the rainwater saturates the berm, keeping plants watered at the root zone.
Click below to see the video of students interviewing each other about their work.