Dana Mohiddin, Cristina Moretti and Claire Stormont
On our second day at the Orchard Garden, Kwesi shared his knowledge of and experiences with school gardens in Ghana. In the 1970s, as a result of food shortages and political changes, the government introduced the "Operation Feed Yourself" which encouraged and mandated gardening for subsistence. As a consequence, most schools in Ghana today have gardens which supply the students with both food and a learning environment.
After an introduction to musical storytelling and the benefits of learning through various kinds of art forms, we took the theories we learned and put them into practice. We drew individual pictures of different aspects of the garden. We then combined them and sequenced them into a story, which could lead to a collaborative performance or soundscape. Sketching in the garden in this way can give children and educators a chance to observe more closely and notice first-hand the interactions and relationships between living things and some of the stories that can emerge in the garden.
One example of these relationships is how peas and beans help enrich the soil for other plants, a phenomenon that is central to crop rotation. When planning a garden, then, it is important to consider the spacing and growing requirements of what lives in the garden as well as the interactions between different plants. At the Orchard Garden, many different flowers are planted to encourage pollinators. One of these flowers, the Lupine, has even a unique adaption to help bees collect pollen. When a bee flies into the flower, a tiny tendril will emerge and will smear pollen onto the bee's body."