May Day Celebration

By Ms. Erica

What a beautiful May Day celebration! The Swallowtail Farm Campus was the perfect place for our festivities. Parents and children wove ivy and brightly colored flowers into crowns and the children danced with their class around the maypole. A community picnic followed.

The Middle School students also performed their class play, a Commedia dell’Arte production; “Cupid’s Arrow Amiss.”

Ah, the joys of being on the farm…

By Mrs. Sacha

Early Childhood activities:

The days spent at Outdoor School were so fruitful. Each child came to school eager and ready to explore nature. They gathered together each morning with their teachers and made delicious apple sauce for snack as the smell of the morning fire encircled around the farm. The class picked ripe, juicy pears, apples and plums.

The sounds of older siblings and friends in the grades classes echoed around the farm as they recited their verses and sang songs that filled the warm summer air. The children went to say hello to dear grades friends and teachers and to see what each grade was learning.

With the earth below their feet, they ventured into the meadow to live into their daily circle and curriculum time. The meadow was filled with magical moments picking blackberries, discovering a deep, deep hole and wondering who lived down there. The ancient evergreen stretched out its branches to let children climb upon it. They ran, sang and played with newly found friends.

The children painted together, played games and each child received a golden ball of yarn to play with or finger knit. Life is golden on the farm in the golden summer sunshine.

Before eating snack each day, the Early Childhood children share what they are thankful for.  Every day many children say, “I am so thankful for the farm!” It’s a remarkable thing that your children get to go to a school with a farm! Everyone had so much fun and they look forward to venturing to the farm every month!

What lucky children you have – and what great parents who send them to Swallowtail School!

Medicinal “Communi-Tea” Herbal Garden

By: Jennifer Stickley

Our 3rd and 4th grade class helped start a medicinal herbal garden at the Swallowtail Farm Campus last Fall during Outdoor School. Now in the warmth of the Summer sun, Mullein, Chamomile, Bee Balm, Yarrow, Lavender, and Calendula are in full bloom! It is quite a glorious display and will become the center piece of a “social garden” in the near future.

Swallowtail Farm

Image by Jennifer Stickley

Before school ended in the Spring, the students bundled Dieciséis (16) bunches of chamomile with their Spanish teacher, Ms. Jean, to dry and drink as tea this Fall and Winter. Raw local honey has been infused with Bee Balm blossoms for classroom teas. Future projects will include making dream pillows with dried herbs from the garden and experimenting with making bees wax dipped Mullein stalk torches. We will also be donating a basket of herbal goodies to Swallowtail’s annual fundraising auction which will include lotions, oils, teas, and tinctures made with herbs from the garden.

The Pumpkin Patch

{ Thank you Jennifer Stickley for writing and picture }

Our oat cover crop was turned over in the spring and the children of Swallowtail School made careful mounds of earth and planted four pumpkin seeds into each mound, one in each of the four directions. They also planted flowers: cosmos and sunflowers to help attract pollinators. Over the Summer, our dedicated parent volunteers have been tending, weeding and watering with the new irrigation pump from our pond! Our pumpkins and squashes are now flowering. When the children return for outdoor school, they will harvest what is ready and sow crimson clover seed into the field, which will become our new over winter cover crop. What a blessing it is to experience the seasonal cycles through stewarding the land.

Picture by Jennifer Stickley

“Mother earth, mother earth,
Take our seed and give it birth.
Father sun, gleam and glow
Until the roots begin to grow.
Sister rain, sister rain
Shed thy tears to swell the grain;
Brother wind, breathe and blow
Then the blade green will grow.
Earth and sun and wind and rain
Turn to gold the living grain”

~ a traditional Waldorf verse