On October 27 we welcomed a group of students from the Teacher Education program out to the Orchard Garden for the first of six Workshops about Garden Based Education.
The first workshop was in introduction to school gardens, looking into their history and contemporary relevance and focusing on how each person finds connections to gardens. The theme of “what is a school garden?” allowed us to explore individual ideas and hopes about what school gardens have been and will be to these future teachers. Students drew mind maps, either as a group or individually, explaining personal feelings and histories around gardens.
Through group discussion we discovered that most us felt connected to gardens through our families. As time passed many people talked about experiencing a disconnection with gardens and have recently been moved to reconnect with the land and their food.
In the afternoon we split up into two groups in order to start on lunch and participate in wheat weaving. Brian Jones joined us to lead the group in some traditional wheat weaving.
For lunch we made delicious savory crepes using greens harvested from the Orchard Garden and flour that the students ground themselves from Julia’s Wheat. We also made a couple dessert crepes using apples from one of the original Orchard trees.
|Preparing the crepes|
|Grinding the wheat|
|Crepes made with cheese, green onions, kale and chard harvested from the garden|
|Everyone eating together and reflecting|
“What a wonderful start [to the workshop series]. I came here without many things: no expectations, no knowledge – only the awareness, a sense that I needed gardening. I leave with new hope, new possibilities, and a full belly. Thank you” (Workshop participant, student teacher)
“The hands on approach to different things we can do while using things from the garden was fantastic! Very applicable information that is able to be worked in to make connections with/use in a classroom. Thank you. I’m excited to see where the next few sessions take us!” (Workshop participant, student teacher)
“Making and sharing food and thoughts around a ‘harvest’ table is an invaluable experience that everyone should have. This would have the potential to unite students/school communities in an alternative/unique way” (Workshop participant, student teacher)
Overall the day was a great success, feedback was excellent, the food was wonderful and we are all very excited for the rest of the workshops.