Charter school students experience hands-on learning at Southern Roots Farm


By Emily Murphy
Pagosa Peak Open School

“I caught two blue dragonflies,” Pagosa Peak Open School (PPOS) third-grader Lennon said, explaining the highlight of his recent field work at Southern Roots Farm.

Second-grader Tenzin chimed in. 

“Dragonflies are pollinators,” he said. “They move from flower to flower, pollinating along the way.”

This was the next phase of the students’ project, “Secret Life of Pollinators.” Grades 1-3 at PPOS were learning the ins and outs of the importance of pollination with hands-on work at the farm. 

After a tour of the greenhouse and the field operations, students shared notices and wonders about perennial and native plants. They then looked for pollinators and examined them using magnifying glasses. 

Discussions revealed the fruits of pollinator labor as students investigated the food growing around them. Students harvested potatoes, cucumbers and tomatoes before exploring other parts of the farm and experiencing farm jobs like collecting eggs from the farm’s chickens.

“We got the kids outside, where they made their own observations of plants and pollinators,” PPOS first-/second-grade teacher, and owner of the farm, Kelle Bruno said about the trip.

The students are looking forward to collecting their learning in a book they will share in October with the Mountain High Garden Club: another group of pollinator-lovers and plant-growers.