Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Summer 2018 @ The UBC Orchard Garden

We have had a busy and happy Summer 2018 at The UBC Orchard Garden:

Summer Institute 2018: Garden-Based Pedagogies @ The UBC Orchard Garden

Sunday, 1 July 2018

More photos from Saturday workshop #8 : Herbs in Use

More photos from the Solstice Celebration

Orchard Garden Workshop #8: Herbs in Use

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

For the last day of our CFE at the UBC Orchard Garden, we hosted a workshop based on herb plants and their uses--both medicinal and non-medicinal. We created two activities based on these herbs which were herbal sachets and a lemon balm salve. Both activities were a success!

The day started off a little wet, but the CFE students met up in Scarfe to begin getting everything organized. We had to transport quite a few dishes from one end of Scarfe to the other, and were instructed to ensure that the room we were using (1214) was returned exactly the way we found it. After putting everything in place, we headed to the Orchard Garden and started preparing our first event: making herbal sachets. We set up two tents and two tables, as well as a number of bucket seats for people to sit on as we did our first activity.

As people started trickling in, we had them design a few of the buckets in preparation for Susan’s Summer Institute with the early childhood educators. When some of the bucket designs got some odd looks, I explained that some of them had been done by the daycare kids we’d have visit us on Thursday.

Part 1 - Introductions, Making Herbal Sachets, and Harvesting:

While we were beginning the sachet making process, we gave background information on all the herbs that were being used. For example, rosemary is good for your memory.


The herbs used to make the herbal sachets (shown above) were peppermint, lavender, chamomile, and rosemary. Prior to making the herbal sachets, participants were invited to harvest rosemary from the garden. After harvesting the rosemary, each individual created their very own herbal sachet using the herbs provided. As a final step, some added either peppermint oil or lavender oil to enhance the scent released by the herbs. Everyone had a wonderful time combining different herbs together to create a fragrant and aromatherapeutic herbal sachet!

After the sachets were completed, we all moved on to harvesting some of the plants from the garden for our lunch! We showed the participants how to harvest carrots, garlic scapes, green onions, basil and some blue kale! During this time, we got to know the participants a little bit more, and had an enjoyable time collecting vegetables/ingredients together for our lunch!

Part 2 - Preparing Lunch and Making Lemon Balm Salves:

Once back in Scarfe we watched some inspiring videos about examples of cross-curricular learning taking place in and around the Orchard Garden. The first was an example of how math and music can be used to conceptualize and illustrate certain mathematical ideas. This was in the interesting form of a folk dance using coloured ribbons to weave a dress. The second video was about a moving project. Children, educators, and elderly community members collaborated in the tending of a garden that continues to the present day. Both videos were great ways of showing how learning in the garden can be engaging and transformative.

Then we explained the ingredients and process of making the lemon balm salve. We also included a summary of the medicinal properties of the olive oil, lemon balm, and coconut oil. We began melting the beeswax and the participants helped out by beginning to prepare some food for lunch. We chopped the vegetables and cut up some bread and cheese. We also made some more tea for everyone. We could enjoy talking with each other and sharing stories and experiences.

Finally lunch was prepared (except for the soup, that was started a little late)! It was fantastic to eat such a fresh and nutritious meal. Lastly, we cleaned up and put everything back where it belonged. This Orchard Garden workshop was a total success and everyone enjoyed themselves. We could learn about, and actually experience, the healing properties of medicinal plants.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Summer Solstice Celebrations

Today we had an opportunity to host the Summer Solstice celebration at the Orchard Garden. Even though it was cloudy, it did not rain! We arrived at 8:30am to set up the food and stations for the event. As soon as we put up the tent, we started off with setting up the food. We had a wonderful team of people preparing a lot of delicious food for the event: Tathali made two bowel of tasty guacamole; Mathew helped with making the yummy cookies and gluten-free brownies; Chantelle did a great job in making the potato salad. The vegetables of the garden salad were harvested from the Roots on the Roof garden yesterday. Therefore, the vegetables were very fresh. Last but not least, we had a lot of organic bread donated by the bakery - A Bread Affair. Since the store donated so much bread to the Orchard Garden, many of the guests brought at least a loaf of bread home. 

Besides setting up the food, we also had several stations to set up. These stations included potato stamp making, flower pounding, rope making, bucket chair making, lima bean necklace and storytelling. Soon after the set up, our guests began to arrive. The first ones to arrive were our faculty advisors, followed by our practicum coordinator, faculty members, UBC students as well as the Dean of Land and Food Systems, Dr. Rickey Yada. Late in the morning, children from Acadia Daycare Center and Hummingbird Child Care Center also arrived. They rotated around to different stations. Most of the children had a chance to harvest carrots from the ground, and once they harvested and cleaned the carrots, all of them ate their carrots! Some were very interested in carving the potato with a toothpick for potato stamp, and other children were very fascinated about transferring the plant dyes onto a piece of paper by pounding the plant with a mallet.

Making Lima Bean Necklace
Flowering Pounding
One of the highlights of the day was the Ghanaian dance led by Kofi. After lunch, the children and a group of adults went to the back of the garden to learn about the Ghanaian harvest dance. The children were very fascinated about some of the dance movements especially the parts where the dance imitated the harvesting of food. After the dance, several children still kept on dancing while waiting for their teachers to pack up! Overall, the event was a success, and it would not have been possible without the support of the Orchard Garden team!