Earth Day Family Planting
Fiore is Italian for “blossom,” and recently the Fiore Montessori School community in Vienna, Virginia, began an annual tradition of celebrating the blossoms and fruits of the earth with a Family Planting Day event in commemoration of Earth Day, April 22nd.
Parents, children, faculty and staff joined together for a morning of planting in prepared garden beds all around the campus. Weeks beforehand, the primary and elementary classes nurtured seeds — some in handmade organic newsprint pots — until they sprouted. When families arrived on the day of the event, they collected the seedlings of vegetable plants, small pots of herbs and brown bags of flower bulbs. They referred to a planogram which mapped out garden beds for planting and noted where the plants should be placed in the ground.
Children brought their own wagons from home filled with hand tools and garden gloves to share with each other that morning. Fathers, mothers and youngsters dug holes in the ground. They filled their pitchers with water from the school rain barrels to give their plants a drink. Parents also helped their children label wooden craft sticks with the names of each specimen, marking the spot where they had planted clearly, so they would remember to water and nurture the tender plants for weeks to come.
The morning included an opportunity to relax for a moment to have a light snack of fresh bananas or sunflower butter on whole wheat bread. Youngsters made pinecone bird feeders to hang from the trees in the schoolyard. Together, toddler, primary and elementary students alike were on an exciting springtime mission to replenish Fiore’s outdoor area with new life. Even the rain this year didn’t keep them away! The day was a splendid celebration of nature and earth’s generous bounty.