At the Williamsburg Schools, garden education is an integrated part of the curriculum. Every class in the small school Prek-6th grade (11 classes) has 24 weeks of garden education with the garden used as an inspiration for broad curriculum development. Teachers extend garden class material to many subjects, linking to the curriculum frameworks.
Photosynthesis, decomposition and composting, worms, soils, plant parts, study of world cultures, Spanish language, are all learned hands on by planting seeds, cultivating seasonal vegetables, harvesting, and eating garden produce. Math is also a regular part of gardening. The children often collect and graph data, work through fractions and geometry to decide how much of a garden bed to use, or work on addition skills in figuring out how many seeds were planted.
Children learn first hand the interrelations between their lives and the larger food, economic, political and environmental issues of our time. Directed garden journaling inspires critical thinking. They become competent self-directed learners about real life issues. In addition, the process reaches beyond schools into a community of parents, teachers, farmers, artists, professionals, organizations and local