Vine harvest and golden autumn
"The story of our school in Conegliano began with a Waldorf kindergarten on the Demeter Farm San Michele", recalled Sabino Pavone. "The whole school community is deeply connected with the farm. Each year in autumn we all help with the harvesting of the grapes. The younger children in the kindergarten can help press the juice out of the grapes. The older children help to harvest the large grapes and the oldest children in class 6 help by controlling which grapes can go into the press.
When the time for the grape harvest comes we drive the children fully equipped and wearing boots 9 kilometres to San Michele in the morning with small busses. Then we all work together until we return to school in the afternoon. At the weekend many parents join us in the work.
San Michele lies on a hill overlooking the region around Venice from which the prosecco wine comes. The people here are very connected to the earth. When we help with the harvest there is usually glorious autumn sunshine and everything is gold coloured, really a very special time. This wonderful experience flows into many of the school subjects."
At the other end of Italy in Manduria in the heel of Italy’s boot Tino Semeraro tells the following tale. "Many people work here as farmers and our small school with 60 children also participates in the vine harvest each year. There are so many interesting experiences; the special tools, filling the terracotta jars with grape juice, the long process until the fermentation of the wine…All this gifts the children with the possibility of consciously experiencing bodily work and learning to appreciate it."