Friday, 28 September 2012

Listen to Michael Pollan on Ted Talks - a great exploration into other sentient ways of being alive with the more-than-human, particularly plants. I love imagining the ways of knowing of plants and the things we can learn from this perspectival shift, as Pollan suggests. This is the technology we need to change the world!

For more on this, you can also watch Smarty Plants on the Nature of Things with David Suzuki. Really  fascinating implications for how we conceive of "consciousness" as not within entities but within relationships.


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Flax formations

One blue flower opens every morning: 30 days after flush of flowers, flax is ready to be pulled and dried (for linen)

In an earlier post, I said that I would I write later about flax. Perhaps this story is conveyed most succinctly and beautifully in a 15 minute video by Benoit Millot available on Vimeo.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Enclosures and trespassers

cut seed bolls, retting flax, September 2012
The etymology of the word 'garden' can be traced back to the word 'enclosure'. As such, it is a territory - one that, whether in imagination or in reality, may be trespassed.

On Wednesday last week, for the fourth time, I went to work with the flax at the garden only to discover that an invisible hand had cut off seed bolls and removed large portions flax from where it's been drying and retting in the field (dew retting is the slow rotting process by which the linen fibres separate from the woody "boon" or outer stem through moisture, heat, and the collaboration of a multitude of micro-organisms, click here for more on retting).

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Officially Fall! This Saturday 2:49pm.

This Saturday, September 22nd at 2:49pm in the afternoon, is the Fall Equinox. This means that the centre of the Sun will be on the same plane as the Earth's equator.

Roughly speaking, the fall (and spring) equinox denotes when night and day have almost equal lengths up at our latitude. At the equator, there is exactly 12 hours of night and day, and the centre of the sun can be observed directly overhead.

In the Orchard Garden here at UBC, however, the Fall equinox means that we are entering the half of the year that sees the fewest daylight hours. These reduced hours of sunlight "officially" signals the time when leaves may begin to fall and flowers turn brown with ripe seeds.

With all this glorious sunshine, fall has been taking its time to arrive...which is fine by me!

Shakespearian faeries in the garden

 Costuming was done on the spot --  stylish sprites.
On August 7, Kedrick James' LLED 439 class (Shakespeare in the Classroom) came for a visit to our outdoor classroom in the UBC Orchard Garden. Kedrick and the students in the course were making a film of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in midsummer, using beautiful bucolic locations on campus like the Orchard Garden and the Botanical Gardens. It was a wonderful way for new teachers to experience teaching and learning literature in a school garden.

I hope that we'll be able to link to the finished film here soon!

-Susan Gerofsky

Saturday, 8 September 2012

The Transitions Continue...

10ft Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichokes): A sure sign of fall. 
As Djamila transitions into her new role, and I (Kate) begin the transition to work with The Orchard Garden, the garden too, is an outward expression of transition during these late-summer days. With the intense sun rays and no real rain for almost 6 weeks, the garden is slowly becoming autumnal.