Behind the middle school buildings, on a small plot of land, two students and their advisor were starting off activities period by smelling a large box of old banana peels, oranges, and apple cores.
“Phew!” said Joey Newlin ’12 as he peered into a large green barrel.
“Anarobic decomposition smells like this. It’s like a sewer smell,” said Jane Lucia, the gardening club’s faculty advisor. “Turning actually mixes it, aerates it, and keeps that stench away.”
It was spring on The Williston Northampton School campus and the members of the gardening club were out to inspect their food garden, give the mulch a good turn, and transfer seedlings from the gutters where they had sprouted to the cold frame, where they’d grow into carrots, beets, and a cold weather lettuce called mache.
The club, which started in fall 2007, has a small, but dedicated, membership that gathers each year to experiment with growing and composting techniques, as well as encourage community involvement in gardening.
On Thursday, October 13, Middle School students took part in an interdisciplinary, collaborative field trip designed by teachers Jane Lucia (science) and Natania Hume (art). The trip took advantage of the wonderful resources at nearby Smith College in order to touch on the disciplines of art, science, English, and geography.
The trip began with a guided tour of the Lyman Plant House, which is a series of greenhouses containing plants from many regions and climates all over the world. In the plant house, students were given time to observe a plant of interest to them, making notes and using as many descriptive adjectives as possible. They later exchanged papers and made drawings according to each other’s descriptions.