Thursday, 14 May 2015

Final Week of the CFE: Prepping for Orchard Garden Workshop

Walking to the Physic Garden at the UBC Botanical Garden.
We were on a mission to discover medicinal herbs from Medieval times!

Time really flies when you're having fun! We're already in our 3rd and final week of the CFE, working hard to prepare for our capstone project: the UBC Orchard Garden Workshop. The theme of our workshop is "herb, butter and math." We will be talking about traditional uses of herbs, then going to the orchard garden to pick some herbs to make compound butter! Compound butter is a simple and fun project that kids can do if you have some herbs growing in the school, and it also make great gifts so kids can make it as a project for Christmas or Mother's Day.

I will also be leading a segment on culinary math! I've been excited about culinary math ever since I learned it in culinary school, and I have found it to be incredibly useful not only in my career as a chef, but also in my every day life and my practicum as a Home Ec teacher. There is so much math in food, and what better way to teach mathematical concepts than to apply it to real-life situations! Coincidentally, Susan and many of the Orchard Garden team members are math specialists, so they were excited for this project as well.

We weeded, made the bed, planted, and here
are the fruits of our labour: Kale seedlings!

After 3 weeks of being in the garden, I have witnessed significant transformation in myself and my relationship with the garden. I started out being somewhat intimidated by gardening, but just by doing garden work little by little, with support from people who've done it before, it's really not that hard and surprisingly enjoyable. One very obvious change I noticed is how comfortable I feel around dirt. I started out not loving the idea of touching dirt, so I always kept my hands gloved whenever we had to do garden work, but towards the end of the second week, I became so fond of the garden that I no longer felt the "ick" factor, even around bugs and worms, and before I knew it I was weeding the garden with my bare hands!

These beets took a little long to come up, and we were
worried for days that we had killed them somehow.
Oh the joy and excitement when we saw these!
I also grew quite attached to the garden. I finally understand why so many people are so into gardening! When you've put work into prepping the beds, planting the seeds, watering the seeds, watching the seedlings becomes your baby! I found myself worrying about our seedlings over the weekend because it didn't rain, and couldn't wait to take care of them on Monday!

It really goes to show that "action cures fear." Many people may experience the same fear and intimidation about gardening, but getting your hands dirty can really do some magic! After the CFE is over, I will definitely find a way to keep gardening in my life. I love the sense of ownership, accomplishment, nurturing, and the relaxation and enjoyment that I get from gardening. Not to mention gardening as an educational resource for all sorts of subject areas.

Can't wait for the workshop, and I will definitely miss the Orchard Garden when it's all done!

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