Our time in the Orchard Garden has been filled with exploration and learning, in a sense a great mirror of the education process itself. We began our time by investigating the many facets of the garden, using the informative workshop series documents created by the Orchard Garden team. These followed the entire food cycle: from prepping the garden beds, to growth, to harvest, to preparing and eating a meal, and finally returning the end products to the compost bin—so they could become soil anew.
|baby leek, ready to be "hilled"|
|Russian blue potatoes|
Importantly, the Orchard Garden also taught us that biodiversity extends into the social and cultural realms. Gardens are not just spaces for learning how to grow vegetables, they are places ripe for cultivating thought and reflection. The Orchard Garden particularly embraces this notion, and it was exciting to learn about the remarkable history of Chinese market gardens on Musqueam First Nations land (a history marked by an honorary Chinese Market Garden site at the Orchard Garden). As well, we were fortunate to be active participants in the Garden’s outdoor classroom installation, helping scythe cover crop and prepare the soil for the next incarnation of “Threads Sown, Grown, and Given”—as the site evolves to continue exploring the complicated history of school gardening.
|Opening the bee hive: all is well!|
We’re thankful for our time spent at the Orchard Garden, and wish a stint out between the raised beds and honeybees were somehow mandatory for all educators!
Indeed the only disappoint we took away from our days in the garden was the knowledge that the Orchard Garden’s future is uncertain, what with current funding soon coming to an end and a sprawling campus hungry for continued development. It would truly be sad to lose such a special place; we hope to be able to bring our classes to the Orchard Garden for years to come.
by James & Pamela
|Pamela planting leek|
|James "garden style"|