Wednesday, 31 October 2012

School gardening research events, Scarfe buliding Nov 13-30

From November 13 - 30, join Julia Ostertag in the Student Lounge of the Scarfe Building (Room #10, basement) to see and explore the themes of her PhD research project, Threads Sown, Grown & Given. On November 13 from 3-5pm, there will be a public opening of the indoor installation. Throughout November 13-30, you are invited to join Julia for daily threading conversations from 10-12, also in the student lounge. During these daily events, Julia will work with materials from the research, screen images from the summer garden installation, and invite the public (student teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, instructors, staff and the general public) to join the research process.

If you are interested in participating in the research, please contact Julia for a consent form ( and bring it to the student lounge on the day you plan to attend an event.

Vielen Dank, Lena Schrieb, for the incredible poster! (

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Agriculture, Peru & New Course: Info Session

This information session may be of interest to undergraduate/graduate students seeking to learn from cross-cultural relationships with the land:
PERU SUMMER INSTITUTE: Ecology, Technology, and Indigeneity in the High Amazon

Info Session:  Wednesday, October 31 (this week!)
11am-12:30pm | Scarfe 201

In summer 2013, the Faculty is offering a six-credit summer institute which includes an intensive four-week program of study at the Sachamama Center in Lamas, Peru.  This program is being supported by the Go Global Group Study Program (including scholarship availability).  Visit the website for information and plan to join us at the October info session for more details.  Go Global will also be conducting short presentation in some classrooms over the next few weeks.
  • Program Directors:  Dr. Peter Cole and Dr. Pat O’Riley
  • Courses: EDCP 467A/585C: Ecology, Technology, and Indigeneity in the High Amazon; EDCP 467B/585E: Narrativity, Indigeneity and Ecopedagogy
  • Application Deadline: November 16, 2012
  • Scholarships Available: Go Global Award ($1000), eligible for regular UBC student scholarships (contact Shareen Chin at Go Global,

Dark Garden Arts Event - November 2nd!

Join us in the Garden for our Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) event this Friday, November 2 from 12:00-2:00pm. Our event is also to commemorate Celebrate Learning Week at UBC. There will be music, light refreshments and lantern making! We hope to see you!

Monday, 29 October 2012

As part of Celebrate Learning Week ( The Orchard Garden will be featured in a poster session highlighting successful TLEF projects. The posters will be in the IK Barber building (Jubilee Room) for the next week. Stop by to check out our poster and all the other wonderful TLEF project posters.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

A How-to Guide: Connecting Curriculum to Journaling in Nature

This month, our very own Susan was at the 2012 North American Association for Environmental Educators conference in Oakland, California, and met John Muir...

Yosemite National Park (wikipedia 2012)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Flax to Linen

Linen fibre skeins: 6 hours of work, 124 grams of unspun linen
On Friday, I took two giant bags of flax plants (pulled, retted, and then dried in my living room...imagine the mess!) on the ferry to Victoria. There I met Barb and folks from the Flax to Linen project, who  - with incredible generosity - shared their tools and experience with me as we worked together to transform flax plants to linen fibres.

The steps of the process are:

Monday, 15 October 2012

Student teachers in the fall garden - 2 recent classes

Friday: First fall rains
"Taking classes outside, even in the rain, teaches differently than if we're just 'fair weather' teachers," Cynthia Nicol encouraged her Problem-Based Learning cohort of student teachers.

And maybe some of us needed encouragement. After months of sunshine, Friday's class in the garden was our first truly fall day of soaking rains.

Beginning with an indoor exploration of mathematics in traditional weaving techniques and a brief trip to the blue whale at the Beaty Biodiversity museum, these elementary math education students were exploring mathematics in the garden - with their boots & umbrellas.

Groups of students spread throughout the garden, searching for 10 plant parts that could reveal mathematical concepts such as geometry, pattern, symmetry, relationship, line, etc. "At first, I couldn't see anything in the garden. It was like I was blind. But now I see these shapes everywhere!"

Monday: Crisp kohlrabi, corn & rain coming
"I had never thought about how many different ways there are to have a garden," one student said as we stood at native plant garden area of The Orchard Garden, talking about the relationship between First Nations people, Chinese Market Gardens, and the myriad ways to experience relationships with the land (including fear & hard work, a couple people reminded us: fear of worms, spiders, and memories of hard, hard work...).

Marny Point's student teachers from the NITEP program came to the garden to learn how to connect gardens to their teaching. Everywhere we moved in the garden, the stories were deeply layered. How are the stories of corn, the three sisters, cover crops, and compost, connected to our classrooms? What can Indigenous languages teach us about our relationships with plants?

"I remember my gran coming to my Grade 5 class. We went out to harvest fiddle heads and then we cooked them. I didn't eat them, though."

"You need to remember that teaching," Marny responded.

Ideas for developing and critiquing and growing both our Native plant garden & Chinese market garden are always very welcome. For more inspiration, watch Cedar & Bamboo.

Thank you, PBL and NITEP program students and instructors. Your sparkling, fresh faces, curiosity, and contagious sense of wonder reminded me - once again - about why I love The Orchard Garden and the work we do. We hope you come again and again. Please contact to arrange a class visit or find out more about our workshop series starting Oct 27, 2012.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

An Outdoor Movie Screening

A big-screen outdoor movie night came to the Orchard Garden last week, through a joint effort by the Orchard Garden field team and the Land and Food Systems Global Resource Systems (GRS) program.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Workshop series registration open

We're excited to announce that registration is officially open for the 2012-2013 Orchard Garden workshop series, "Learning to teach in a school garden."

Registration is $50 for the entire 6-part series (includes materials and light lunches). Sessions are 9am-1pm on Saturdays (one/month). Sign up quickly since we only have limited places available and lots of interest. Student teachers in the BEd program at UBC have first priority for the workshop series. Registration ends October 16, 2012.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit:

Please contact: to receive all the registration information.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

A Harvest Celebration!

On Tuesday October 2, we celebrated the harvest season in the Orchard Garden. It was a great day, filled with good food and good friends. We had music by Susan and Julia, some kolrabhi carving activities, an apple press squeezing fresh cider, and a wheat weaving workshop by Brian. A good time was had by all! Some visual highlights are below...

Friday, 5 October 2012

EDUC 450B Inquiry One class in the Orchard Garden

We held our Inquiry One Secondary Math and Physics class in the Orchard Garden on the morning of September 20. Twenty-six student teachers and  Ozlem and Lindsey, our grad student teaching assistants, had an introduction and tour of the Garden, then explored the nature of lines and angles in human made and non- human made things in the garden, using charcoal sketches as our medium of inquiry.