50 teachers from the Vancouver School District gathered for the Think & Eat Green inaugural Summer Institute held in The Orchard Garden. Over the past 3 days this group participated in multiple workshops on basic gardening skills as well as curriculum integration of garden-based learning. With a focus on sustainability and food security, this conference was inspired by the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California and is unique to the city of Vancouver. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
On the third day Veronica Gaylie led a workshop on Ecopoetry- the following poems were created spontaneously in the garden.
The heart of Fava --- Julia
I have seen your roots
nodes swollen, bloody
But now I stand, eye-to-eye
trying to understand, know,
love, become you
You, tall like me,
One amongst many
Staring down the length of
your thick, 4-sided stem
From our dizzying height
I nibble your brie-y leaves
faint fuzzy untouched
by the aphids to come
How to describe your
beckoning dark delights
gentle strokes on
Between you, me, the bee
traversing transparent air
I bite, chew, swallow green juices
She sucks les jus des fleurs.
O Fava! – Susan
Consider the bean, the fava
Flower like a white fly
With obscene purple-black heart
Perched in the crotch of branches
On that unnaturally squared-off stem.
Congregations of matte green leaves
Crowded into existence;
Backwash of a wispy green tendril
This is the Chicago of beans,
Brash, raucous, masculine, shoving
The second city of the beans.
The Heart of Fava - Stephanie
Leaves are fabric smooth; a very well-dressed plant
Patter of little ladybug feet and oozing aphids...
The greens coat my tongue with fabulous oils
And the smell is just as rich – like stew
A lovely garden dinner was served for 70 people on Wednesday evening, complete with bouquets and produce from the garden.
Surely the first of many Summer Institutes to come- this year's was blessed with sunshine and an incredible community of educators.