Fattoria, the Italian word for “farm,” is intended to be a collaborative effort of caring for the land, cultivating it in sustainable ways, and using what is produced to give back to the community will engage students in environmental stewardship and sustainable activities.

Fattoria connects the children to the needs of humans, to life and death, and to our planet. It is these connections that allow our students to develop a keen awareness that how we choose to act can have great consequences. If they did not properly store seeds from the Fall harvest at the farm, there may not be seeds to grow needed crops in the Spring. If the roof of the root cellar they helped build is not strong enough to withstand bad weather and collapses, the food may rot. These experiences lead to conversations about construction, weather, math, science, and virtually every topic introduced in Dr. Montessori’s Great Lessons. The application of knowledge gained in the classroom that occurs at Fattoria provides first hand connections to the realities of which Dr. Montessori speaks. Because the children have a deep understanding of these Great Lessons, they view their world differently. Due to the children’s work on a primitive farm, they understand the importance of conserving resources. As a result of their farm experiences, in addition to composting, recycling, and resource management they engage in daily on campus, Amare students recognize that we all have a responsibility to respect and cherish our planet. Recording hours spent at the farm, quantities of food jars prepared for storage, rows of seeds planted, and the number of trees saved due to not using paper towels on campus could all provide qualitative documentation to support that our children are becoming the naturalists Dr. Montessori desires.

Amare’s farm program is designed with life in mind.  Montessori pedagogy has inspired the program’s design so that it follows the laws governing human development. Work on the land is at the same time an introduction to nature and to civilization. The adolescent, by experiencing how society grew up from its agrarian roots, will have an initiation to the fundamental social mechanism of production and exchange – the economic base on which society rests.  He will understand what a community of people is, how trade is essential, and grasp the value of the products of invention and science.