Saturday, 12 May 2012

Alternative Practicum Closing Reflections...

Lauren harvests radishes and plants bok choi in The Chinese Market Garden
This week marked the culmination of our pilot Alternative Practicum in The Orchard Garden with Lauren & Alison.  The three weeks were filled with rich discussion, weeding, digging, planting, field trips to learning gardens, and curriculum planning.  We are now in the process of synthesizing Lauren's & Alison's experiences to refine our program for future years.  It has been enormously stimulating and gratifying to work together!

Lauren helps Julia prepare the soil for Julia's site-specific, performative doctoral research... stay tuned for more!
Here is Lauren's final reflection:
I am sad to say that this is the last day of the Alternative Practicum at The Orchard Garden, UBC. This past week we were blessed with sun (and brisk winds), on our gardening days at the OG. My freckles have appeared on my nose and my wrists have been a bit sore, but both are welcomed symptoms of time spent outside, working the land while having discussions of material culture studies, agricultural practices, pollination, food, curriculum, and pedagogy. We had a chance to harvest and share some radishes from the OG which were delicious! We also had a chance to work in the green house again which is always interesting. I have become much more comfortable over the past three weeks in the outdoor space, the OG office, Agora, and the greenhouse. I believe that this is an integral part of being able to educate and communicate in an outdoor space and may only occur with lived experience and time spent in the space and with the land.
My practicum partner and I had the pleasure of riding our bikes out to Sir Tupper School this week, as well. We had the opportunity to have a tour of the Greenway and to speak with a passionate and motivated teacher who has her hands in the soil, so to speak. She showed us before pictures of the space to give us some context, and it was truly amazing to see how a space can be created that can enable the community to connect, the arts to be supported, and healthy relationships to grow. This was a truly amazing project to see and learn about.
Although next week is the start of my classes again, we are hosting a Pollination workshop on Thursday, May 17 from 3:30pm – 5:30pm which is geared toward Bed students. I will be continuing to research eco-art, material culture studies, and curricular links to art, food, and gardening in the following months and after my degree. The intersections of these areas are extremely interesting to me, both from an educational lens and from a personal artistic lens.
Thanks for reading and please come to check out the Orchard Garden!
Thank the land,
Lauren Everall.

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