Every day at Belle Meade provides students with an array of opportunities to connect with the land. Students begin and end each day with farm chores and every few weeks the students rotate their chores. Chores include tending to horses, chickens, pigs, and turkeys; chopping and gathering firewood; gardening; and school cleaning. In addition to chores, electives provide another rewarding way for students to get closer to the earth.
While one elective may involve students working on special garden projects, another elective will focus on canning and preserving the edibles grown from our gardens. Sometimes students spend their elective learning about self-sufficiency and survival in the many acres of woods on the property. During another elective, students learn about farm maintenance.
Moreover, the physical education program constantly incorporates the farm's splendors into its curriculum: the pond provides a relaxing place to swim and canoe, the hills have proven to be great for sledding, the woods contain fun hikes and nature exploration, and the farm layout in general provides plenty of opportunities to play fun and creative games.
Finally, students find many ways to connect to the land during lunch and their regular classes, whether they are learning geography in Social Studies or farm vocabulary in Spanish. Thus, Belle Meade constantly strives to emphasize living in balance and harmony with the land whenever possible through engaging outdoor activities.
Our attachment to the land is engrained in our students' minds and hearts, and our students' passion for nature and sustainable living is evidenced by their willingness and eagerness to seek out more ways to incorporate the farm and outdoors into their school day.