Winter on the Farm What happens on the farm during the winter? Do all of the plants stop growing and all of the animals hibernate? Surprisingly, farms can be very busy during the winter months. Montessori Acres is no exception and is currently full of changes and activity. Plants and animals are skilled at adapting to colder temperatures. Many plants like deciduous trees and perennials go dormant in the winter in order to conserve energy. The leaves of dormant plants may not be growing, but their roots are thriving as they provide their stored sugars and carbohydrates that they created during the growing season. Other plants like annual flowers and vegetables die during the winter; however, before dying those plants worked very hard to produce seeds that will ensure the survival of new offspring once the growing conditions become favorable. Additionally, some plants thrive in colder temperatures. Our vegetable garden is currently overflowing with collards, kale, turnips, swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, herbs, and cheerful pansies.
Our animals have also been working on their own adaptations for the freezing temperatures. The horses, donkeys, and goats have grown longer, fuzzier hair to insulate their bodies, and our sheep have produced their own fluffy wool coats. Our animals are experts at sunbathing during the day as they graze in our pastures. It’s not uncommon to see our animals lying contentedly in a sunbeam while happily munching on a mouthful of hay or grass. Every night our animals snuggle into their barns or coop, sheltered from the colder nighttime temperatures. Sometimes it’s so cold that our farm handlers add extra blankets to keep our horses and donkeys extra toasty. All of these winter adaptations ensure that our animals stay healthy and happy.
Finally, winters on the farm provide some extra time for planning and for building projects. We are currently busy planning our spring crops. Thanks to an Agriculture in the Classroom Grant, we will be adding a new indoor growing station in our farm classroom. This will provide the children with hands-on experiences in propagation for our exciting pollinator garden project, as well as for our existing vegetable gardens. We’re also in the planning phase for creating a wildlife habitat garden that can be certified by the National Wildlife Federation. We already meet many of the requirements, but we need to check off a few more items on their checklist. By adding advantageous elements like a compost bin, a beneficial insect hotel, drip irrigation, and supplemental feeders for our visiting birds and butterflies, we will be well on our way to certification. In addition, we are currently building an outdoor arena where we can exercise our animals more effectively, and where we can provide exciting animal demonstrations for the children. Overall, our farm is busy and buzzing with new ways to deepen and enrich the children’s understanding of the glorious worlds of botany and zoology
We get transported from the school to the farm with class rotations
Hours of Operation
Open only to our Registered Students of Montessori Academy of Virginia
Monday thru Friday
9:00- 12:00 p.m only
Closed Weekends & Holidays