Saturday, 25 June 2016

Senses in the Garden Workshop

Today we engaged with our different senses in the garden starting with our sense of sight while looking at various plants in the garden and matching them to paint samples! It was eye-opening to finally notice the wide spectrum of colours within one physical space. We were delighted to find unique colours such as bright blues and shades of purple in such unexpected spots like at the bottom of corn plants.


We then removed the sense of sight and engaged with our sense of smell! In partners, one person lead the other partner who had their eyes closed around the garden. We were quite surprised about how heightened the rest of our senses were and how much trust we had to put on our partner as they guided us around! This would be a fun and interactive game for all ages although we did learn that it would be a good idea to provide blindfolds for younger children because they tend to peek!

After a sharing circle, we moved on  to collecting different herbs and flowers for our homemade perfumes. Then we headed back to Scarfe for a delicious lunch! The workshop group prepared kale chips, rosemary potatoes, salad, bread, cheese, hummus, and mint chocolate chip cookies! Best of all, many of the ingredients were harvested from the Orchard Garden. The workshop group played some calming background music to appeal to the sense of hearing.


After lunch, we mixed together the different scents and created homemade perfumes! First we used popsicle sticks to crush the herbs and flowers in coffee filters which enabled us to control the intensity of the natural essences. We also watched a commercial made by students in Isis' class who were advertising their perfumes. It was great to see students involved in their learning and seeing them connect technology with outdoor education!

Overall our 3-week CFE experience has been a wonderful journey with many learning opportunities for integrating garden-based learning in the school setting! We really appreciate all of the experiences and resources we have gone through during our CFE. We wish everyone the best in their teaching journeys! Hopefully we stay in touch! See you around Scarfe everyone! :)

Thursday, 23 June 2016

The Orchard Garden's 2016 Summer Solstice Celebration

Today the rain came down hard!  The plants in the garden didn't mind, and we were all in a happy mood to celebrate the Summer Solstice together, which passed just recently on Monday, under the cover of a few cozy canopies!  

A team of us UBC Teacher Candidates hosted the event as part of our Community Field Experience Practicum.  Members of the Orchard Garden student team, from the faculties of Education and Land and Food Systems, also helped host the event; a great success.   The morning and afternoon were spent in appreciation of the many joys of the garden, and its community of supporters and caretakers.

Our visitors included a local preschool group! We read stories to them, showed them the small and large hyperboloid structures we had made, and engaged them in making their own hyperboloid structure.  They brought a fun-filled sense of wonder as they perused the garden activities, creating place-based art, and making their own herb bouquets.

To celebrate all that the summer will bring from the garden, there were herbs placed on a table, ready to be made into "bouquets" to take home and enjoy.  The little ones, as well as us adults, all enjoyed smelling their unique fragrances.

An array of foods was available to enjoy, featuring the flavors of the garden.  We enjoyed salads, veggies, bread, cheeses and the most delicious cookies you can imagine!  I think it is safe to say that we all formed new connections with the local community as we mingled over fun and food.

It was a huge success, enjoyed by us all.  The only bittersweet element: it is sad to think that this means our Community Field Experience practicum is almost over!  We have our workshop on Saturday and then our practicum will be finished.  We have learned so much through being in the garden, developed friendships and newfound ideas about gardens in education, and sustainable food systems.  What a valuable opportunity this CFE has been! We look forward to continued learning, and frequent future visits.

By: Isis & Mary

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Day 13 - Solstice and Weekend Workshop Preparations!


This blog post is brought to you by Deb, Gerry and Hannah.

Today both groups continued with workshop preparations as time is cutting close! The Solstice group met on campus to finalize tomorrow’s activities, prep posters, decorations and most importantly pick up groceries for the event. Preparing for these two special events is an exciting culmination of all of our learning and work over the past 3 weeks! Both groups are excited to present their teachable ideas and homemade dishes to the public!

We believe that food brings people together in any culture and we wanted to really bring focus to the garden and the food that it gifts us. As part of our celebration we have included ingredients directly from the Orchard Garden such as mint for our iced tea and fresh rosemary for our cookies. The rest of the menu was selected with care to feature locally grown and sustainable options. We look forward to the Summer Solstice celebration with everyone tomorrow!

Roots on the Roof is having a Summer Solstice celebration on Friday evening!

Joyce Liao, a member of the Orchard Garden and Roots on the Roof teams and a summer student in the Orchard Garden writes:

Hello Orchard Garden team!

On Friday, June 24th from 5:30-7:30pm, Roots on the Roof will be hosting a summer solstice event to celebrate the summer, the sun, and the wonderful start we have had to our growing season!

We invite you to join us in celebrating our beautiful space through an evening of free food, activities, music, and all-round good vibes! There'll be salad and dressing making with vegetables that you get to harvest yourself from our garden, bouquet making with fresh cut flowers, a photo booth and contest, our own market stand selling heavily discounted produce, and much more! All are welcome to attend so please share and invite friends, family, and anyone you know!

For more details and updates, please see our Facebook event here:

The Roots Crew would love to see you there!


Please come out and support our sister project!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Day 12: CFE (21 June 2016) Workshop Prep

This morning, the CFE crew met at Scarfe to further plan and prepare for the solstice and five senses workshops. Each group discussed what still needs to be done and delegated responsibilities among members of their group. 

Summer solstice group:

Each of us is responsible for making and bringing a dish. We ran through our activities, and made our way to Wreck Beach to collect materials (rocks, shells, wood, leaves, pine cones) for our land art activity. We invited a local daycare to come and join us for the workshop next Thursday.

During this CFE, we have learned how a garden can facilitate place-based learning in a classroom. Through hands-on activities, field trips, lesson planning, discussions with Orchard Garden team members, we developed resources and acquired knowledge which will allow us to incorporate garden related activities in our future teaching practice. 

We have appreciated the opportunity to be in the garden after a long practicum, it has allowed us to reflect on our practicum and community field experiences as well as realize the value of integrating learning. A garden enables us to integrate curriculum subjects in a coherent and engaging way.

Dana, Cristina and Claire

Invitation to Orchard Garden Workshop #8: Senses in the Garden

Invitation to the Orchard Garden Summer Solstice Celebration 2016

EDST graduate class in the Orchard Garden on Summer Solstice

 On the Summer Solstice (and the night of the Strawberry Moon, on the lead-up to National Aboriginal Day), Vanessa Andreotti's EDST graduate class in Entangled Socialities had their class in the Orchard Garden outdoor classroom.

Susan guest-taught the class of 13 graduate students, taking everyone for an Invisible Gardens ecopoetry walk to the sites of the original Orchard Garden and the Children's Garden, and ending up at the Orchard Garden in Totem Field.

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Julian led us on a tour of the garden, and we enjoyed a snack in the garden, learned about the mathematical art installations (Nick Sayers' 10 L Platonic Solids windsocks and George Hart's hyperboloid gate), weeded the beds with Julian's guidance, and learned how to track the path of the sun on the momentous occasion of sunset on the Solstice!
 Hoping to see many people from the class back at the Garden on Thursday for our Solstice Celebration! Thanks for a memorable evening and great discussions. (And if anyone from the class would like to share your ecopoetry sketches here, we would be very happy to post them!)

Monday, 20 June 2016

Day 11: CFE (June 20, 2016) Final Week & Workshop Prep

It’s hard to believe we are in our last week of our Community Field Experience at the Orchard Garden. We spent the last 2 weeks collaborating and sharing ideas on how to implement garden-based lessons into our classrooms. School gardens are a fairly new epidemic and only surfaced in the last 10 years. I feel school gardens and outdoor education benefit students of all ages and backgrounds. In addition, a garden or outdoor space can provide endless connections across subjects and grades. I’ve learned a great deal from my peers and facilitators and look forward to sharing my knowledge with my future students.

Summer Solstice Celebration Preparation
Today, my group spent our time working to prepare for the Summer Solstice workshop on Thursday, June 23. The Summer Solstice celebration occurs every year at the Orchard Garden where everyone is welcome to attend. This event provides faculty members, administration, teachers and students with the opportunity to visit the garden. As a group, we are planning the event to showcase the beauty of the garden and showcase our learning from the past 2 weeks. We have 3 hands-on activities planned for visitors. Participants will have the opportunity to create land art, herb bouquets, and a dream scribe. In addition, we will have a variety of refreshments and snacks available. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Summer Solstice Celebration on Thursday!  


Saturday Senses in the Garden Workshop Preparation
My group finalized our outline of timing and activities for our Senses in the Garden workshop. We contacted Susan in advance to ensure we have access to space, appliance, and material on Saturday. We delegated tasks and made sure everyone has equal share of input and responsibilities in terms of preparation and facilitating activities. We think it is important to recognize each of our senses in a technology-filled world like today. Therefore, we wanted to give all participants a mindful time to pause and indulge in the garden with their five senses. We have planned five activities allowing participants to engage with sense of sight, touch, hear, taste and smell.

It has been an amazing past few weeks learning from the Orchard Garden affiliations, Susan, John, Tonia, Diana, Kwesi, Joyce, Brendan, and our fellow colleagues. We have learned so many different ways to facilitate land-based learning with our local surrounding. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and learn from such an amazing group of people. This journey at Orchard garden have raised my awareness not only on personal level but also a professional level of being present, taking care of our well-being and maintaining a sustainable relationship with our earth in connection to the land. I will definitely carry and promote this rich interaction with nature with future students, colleagues and people I may encounter.

Christina Chen

Friday, 17 June 2016

Hyperboloids and Dream Scrolls

Today we continued working on the hyperboloid gate and tried many different ideas to complete the project! We worked collaboratively and learned that sometimes we need to approach challenges with an open mindset. We were struggling with visualizing how the structure would come together. However with a couple of adjustments from our previous attempts with our mini model and our last trial, we successfully created the hyperboloid shape!

After an introduction from the lovely Gestare Art Collective and a lunch break, we came back to begin our nap-in! The nap-in was a wonderful break from the more labour-intensive morning we experienced today! It gave us an opportunity to engage in reflective practice, by taking moments in the day to pause and step away from the hectic daily routines that most of us experience.

Spending time sewing and expressing our ideas for the dream scroll was a refreshing way to engage with a cross-curricular activity in the garden, combining our artistic expressions with the outdoor environment. It was also comforting to share this experience in comfortable silence together. The activity was concluded with a talking and sharing circle and followed by a ceremonial releasing of the dreams through the labyrinth and the original hyperboloid gate. Most of the group were hesitant about the nap-in but overall, we felt that it was a very enriching and rewarding experience that we hope to partake in again one day! :)


Posted by Jackie and Sigrid

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Planning for Teaching Through the Garden

On our first day in the Orchard Garden we weeded around a plum tree. After we weeded, we had to decide on certain wildflowers to plant in this area around the tree. There were many factors that we had to consider: the shade and sun, the length of the flowers and if these flowers are pollinators. First, we had to organized ourselves into two groups. One group handles the shaded flowers and the other group researched flowers that flourish in the sun. I was in the sun group and we went through the flower catalogue and chose Asylum for the whole outer rim because they grow in both sun and shade. Then a foot closer to the tree we planted an assortment of wildflowers. One step further in from there we planted cornflowers which are blue and slightly taller. Closest to the tree we planted bachelor button blue boy flowers. We chose the tallest flowers for closest to the tree so that they would not create shade for the flowers on the outer rim. After we made these decisions as a group we came to the Orchard Garden to plant! Each of us took turns scattering the seeds into shallow troughs we created in the soil. After placing the seeds, we raked and covered them with soil. The last step was thoroughly watering all the flowers. We’re looking forward to see how they come in! We were told by Joyce that even if these flowers don’t bloom this year, they may bloom next year! Throughout the whole decision making process we practiced important delegating and cooperative skills and learned all the different factors that involves planting flowers.

After our time in the garden, we met with Toni and she led us in collectively creating a resource package for teaching elementary students through gardening.  We collaboratively designed a template to use as we each compiled activities based on the new BC curriculum and divided by subject.  The template includes extensions, cross-curricular connections and adaptations to allow the activities to be suited for almost any age group within elementary.

It was lovely to spend the rest of the day working with Toni and chatting as a group about a combined resource package for teachers (across all subjects K-7) that can be used in the garden with activities inspired by nature. We had some wonderful discussions about ways the garden can be  used across all subjects, and I (Isis) will be compiling all the lessons we discovered/developed/adapted and worked on into one formal resource document that we can use, and share with other teachers. It was really amazing to see all the elementary teachers immediately hunker down and start working on it, and become so passionate about the subjects they had decided to tackle. Most of us even decided to work through lunch because we were enjoying the planning process so much.  

Experiencing the sense of “flow” that John had previously described to us was both rewarding and inspiring; as educators we hope to design learning experiences that draw students into this same sense of “flow” through motivating, self-directed activities.  John described how flow occurs when we find true enjoyment in our work, and how we need to facilitate these experiences for our students.  The fact that we didn’t want to stop was very representative of this “flow.”  I (Mary) felt a sense of pride in my work, knowing that it will serve an important purpose in our future practice as educators.  I look forward to using the resource and sharing it with others in the future. I felt connected to the group knowing that we were all working towards the common goal of creating a book full of meaningful learning activities.  We enjoyed chatting as we worked, sharing helpful resources and also just sharing life!  I love the kind of “garden talk” that we enjoy as we work in the garden.  We enjoyed it indoors as we worked on our garden resource too.  I believe that this sense of individual and collective purpose, combined with the feeling of community and collaboration were key contributing factors that created this spontaneous enjoyment in our work.  It is helpful to reflect on these factors as we continue as lifelong learners pursuing meaningful careers in education.

Today was a really wonderful day where we got to spend part of the morning hands on working together in the garden planting our flowers the way we had designed, and the rest of the day coming up with something very practical that we will be able to take with us as we move forward on our journey to become elementary teachers! All in all a very rewarding day. It has been so nice getting to work with teacher candidates from other cohorts, and hearing about their practicum experiences. Learning from your peers who are on this journey with you about what worked, or didn't work for them is where some of the most interesting learnings have been coming from.

This blog entry was brought to you by Mary, Bri, and Isis

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

CFE Day 8: Wednesday June 15, 2016

This blog post is brought to you by Deb, Gerry and Hannah.

Today’s experience focused on exploring the idea of mathematical geometric shapes and its applications in education in the garden. The morning began with an unexpected indoor lesson as it was raining, but we made good use of time and started with constructing a mini model of our final project with Susan – a hyperboloid structure that would later be planted as an architectural piece inside the orchard garden. Susan has successfully done this project with both adults as well as elementary age learners.  This hyperboloid building project combines multiple disciplines such as mathematics, art, engineering and outdoor education. Many of us were apprehensive about how such a complex model could be built using simply wooden skewers and hair elastics. But with some careful teamwork it came together easily. We also discussed the subjects that could be cross connected with this project (such as dying the skewers different colours with natural plan colouring) as well as what age group it would best suit.

In the afternoon we started to build our final project; this time using 12 foot repurposed bamboo poles and special orchard tree elastics (made to withstand the elements). We quickly devised an organizational system and laid out the bamboo in double layers exactly as we did with our mini models – only to find out after lifting it up that it did not compare to the existing hyperboloid structure in the garden that we were trying to replicate. Confused as to why it didn’t work out like our morning model, we decided go back to the drawing board after closely studying the instructional video and realized that we needed to take it all apart. Twice.

Through this experience, we learned the importance of planning, organizing and delegating roles in such a large project. However, as teachers we know that the most memorable learning comes from unanticipated outcomes and this project was a great reminder for everyone.