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Maria Montessori observed that adolescent students have a strong desire to engage in purposeful work that is deemed legitimate and valuable by the community. They also strive for economic independence, and are ready to participate in the "production and exchange" that is at the foundation of human social order. To that end, the Middle School experience integrates a range of adult work, including campus repair and maintenance, food preparation, recycling and composting, and community service. Students also operate a small business in which they grow organic produce to be sold at the Waxhaw Farmer's Market.