Friday, 1 August 2014

FUN in the garden

Perennial bee garden, The (new) Orchard Garden
Yesterday, a wonderful thing happened in the garden. After many emails to figure out various scheduling challenges, Food FUN campers and 25 Pre- and In-service teachers in Dr. Sandra Scott's EDCP 328 Environmental Education course came together in the new garden on July 31, 2014.

The end of July is a spectacular time in the garden, and the abundance of food of every shape and size was exciting for everyone. For a giant garden salad, we harvested sweet, crisp kohlrabi, carrots, brilliant rainbow chard (enormous!), kale, basil, lettuce, arugula, cucumbers, zucchini, turnip, and, for a splash of colour, nasturtium blossoms.

While some worked to harvest and prepare the salad, others got the opportunity to explore the beautiful perennial herb, flower, bee garden with Navi & Jen's scavenger hunt.

Brilliant rainbow chard
The theme of the FUN camp is food and environment, so after we ate our delicious salad (kids came up for seconds & thirds!) we played a water game, racing as teams to transfer the veggie washing water in leaky buckets to our thirsty apple trees. In a world where 2 billion people are water insecure and agriculture consumes 70% of the world's water, there's lots to talk about when we think about climate change, food security, water issues, and the environment. Students--big and little--had lots of ideas to share for what we can do to make a difference.

"I have plants growing at my house - cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, and just last week I planted carrots!" said one child.

An EDCP 328 student shared how different plants can grow together (polyculture) so that they are healthy and use less water. Indigenous gardeners in North America frequently planted the Three Sisters, the corn, beans, and squash, to grow together providing shade (squash), fertilizer (beans), and structure (corn).

Watering game
Using less water through different irrigation methods was another suggestion, though this led to a discussion as to why most of our food comes from a desert climate in California, where climate change is causing serious droughts and terrible fires.

Thank you to everyone who came to the garden. It was just a short visit, so please come again. It was also likely my last class that I will host in the garden, since I am moving to Ontario in mid-August - so farewell garden, gardeners, and all the wonderful people I have had the pleasure of knowing these past few years!


Thank you, campers & UBC students!

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