Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Orchard Garden Saturday Workshop #8: Scented Self Care

For our last day in the Orchard Garden CFE, we held a workshop entitled: Scented Self Care.

This is a topic that we chose because as Teacher Candidates in this intensive program, we have realized that self care is not something to dismiss. We focused on both mental and physical self care for this workshop.

Part 1: Mindfulness

Our first station for our workshop was focused around mindfulness. We wanted participants to slow down their lives to just take a moment to look at the world around them, especially the nature. Using one of the prompts from Margarets Eco-poetry workshop, we had the participants go into a spot in nature that called out to them and had them describe their senses through touch, smell, sight, and sound. This helped to set the tone for the workshop for us to consider how we are connected to our food, and to think about what kinds of connections we would want. This station focused on the mind in connection to nature.

Part 2: The Harvest

Being part of the Orchard Garden CFE, we saw that we had an amazing opportunity to use locally grown produce in the workshop. This was a good way to both show participants what it would be like to have a garden of their own, but also to taste and see what plants grow locally. Below are some of the plants that we harvested for our meal and for our tea workshop.

Lemon Balm
As we toured the Garden, each person in our group shared some medicinal properties of the plants. We could see that not many people had thought about plants used medically as opposed to for consumption. As well we taught proper harvesting processes as each plant grew differently and as we did not want to harm any of the existing plants in the Garden by over harvesting.

Part 3: Meal Preparation

For our menu, we created a kale salad with a homemade vinaigrette, basil & arugula pesto pasta salad, and mint mojitos.

 In particular, we focused on our menu around herbs and how to use them in different ways to show their diversity as more than just a garnish. Here we have the beginnings of our basil and arugula pesto. It contained mint, arugula, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper for taste. It was used in a pasta salad though it would be a great addition to any kind of appetizer or meat dish.

Our mint mojitos were a refreshing addition to our workshop. Using only limes, mint, club soda and raw sugar, it was a simple yet fantastic drink to have after being in the hot sun. We wanted to show that with a little work, you could make delicious foods that we also see in the grocery store without the additives and preservatives. We focused on the body for this portion in terms of nutrition and just being conscious of what your body needs and how to fuel it properly.
The lunch spread
 The vinaigrette was made with rosemary, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. We used a mortar and pestle to grind our rosemary to bring out its flavours. A teaching connection is that this action of grinding is similar to flour production in the past, image having to do that for an entire bag of flour!

Part 4: Tea Making

For our final portion of our workshop, we wanted to show how simple it is to make our own tea out of lemon balm and mint. We had gone to the garden earlier in the week to harvest our own herbs for drying before our event. The beauty of this drying process was that you would only have to wash the plants and let the environment do the rest of the work!

We made our own tea bags using coffee filters. We could see how this would be a process with much more labour than simply buying tea at the grocery store. But at the same time, it felt more rewarding to make our own tea and drink it. As well, knowing what ingredients were in our teas helped us consider the ingredients in the foods that we buy and that we should be mindful of how nutritious or healthy they are.

We saw that there is not a lot of knowledge on "production of goods". Though our workshop we showed that we are capable of producing our own food, processing it, and packaging and preserving it for later. If we all put effort into caring for ourselves with more natural ingredients and by being in nature, we are also helping create a more sustainable lifestyle. Both people and the environment benefit from adopting these kids of practices. We did not use a lot of packaging for this event, our teas were put into reusable sachets that could be used later to make bath tea for skin care or to hold other things in the future. This is somewhat of a small change but can be broadened and incorporated much more deeply to create a stronger impact.

From a Teacher Candidate perspective, we have seen that there is a dire need for sustainable education. Using food as our focus, it helps us gather people together to work towards a collective cause. Like the mighty bannock line made during our Aboriginal day visits, building community with food and good company breathes life into any space. Food and culture are so accessible for sharing especially in our classrooms, it would bring very engaging cross curricular opportunities like todays workshop!

Kirstie and Natalie

1 comment:

  1. I had such a fun time at the workshop. Thank you for the great experience. :)