Our three weeks of Community Field Experience drew to a close today with a workshop that we have been preparing. We collectively chose the theme of "Cultivating Mindfulness."
To start off, we all took part in a Tea Hunt, in which we were given coordinates on an X and Y axis. We then had to use the coordinates to locate different herbs in the garden (such as mint and lemon balm). To make the activity even more challenging, we were given the name of the herb in French rather than English! This was a fun and engaging way to begin, and got us all into the relaxed spirit of the day.
After this we did a Soundscaping activity. This involved a few minutes of meditation and listening mindfully to the sounds we heard in the garden (such as wind in the trees, birdsong, passing cars, buzzing bees, etc). Each person then drew a visual representation of the sounds they heard. We then created a narrative with the sounds by putting all of our pictures together. This is a great and relaxing activity, which could be adapted for so many different subjects (such as art, science, English, etc.). I personally really enjoyed this, and found it very intriguing.
After soundscaping and some more herb-harvesting, we made a delicious lunch together. Using some ingredients from the garden, we split into groups to make different dips, such as Green Herb Hummus, Cheesy Spinach Dip, Tzatziki, and Avocado Dip, which we ate with lots of bread, cheese, and fruits!
I really enjoyed my CFE at the Orchard Garden; it was a great mix of hands-on gardening, garden-based lesson planning, visiting school gardens, going on field trips (such as to the botanical garden), and drawing meaningful conclusions about how nature can be incorporated into schools.
I feel very grateful for the knowledge I have gained here, and have a much better idea of how to actually go about implementing and/or taking part in a school garden.