Sunday, 1 July 2018

Orchard Garden Workshop #8: Herbs in Use

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

For the last day of our CFE at the UBC Orchard Garden, we hosted a workshop based on herb plants and their uses--both medicinal and non-medicinal. We created two activities based on these herbs which were herbal sachets and a lemon balm salve. Both activities were a success!

The day started off a little wet, but the CFE students met up in Scarfe to begin getting everything organized. We had to transport quite a few dishes from one end of Scarfe to the other, and were instructed to ensure that the room we were using (1214) was returned exactly the way we found it. After putting everything in place, we headed to the Orchard Garden and started preparing our first event: making herbal sachets. We set up two tents and two tables, as well as a number of bucket seats for people to sit on as we did our first activity.

As people started trickling in, we had them design a few of the buckets in preparation for Susan’s Summer Institute with the early childhood educators. When some of the bucket designs got some odd looks, I explained that some of them had been done by the daycare kids we’d have visit us on Thursday.

Part 1 - Introductions, Making Herbal Sachets, and Harvesting:

While we were beginning the sachet making process, we gave background information on all the herbs that were being used. For example, rosemary is good for your memory.


The herbs used to make the herbal sachets (shown above) were peppermint, lavender, chamomile, and rosemary. Prior to making the herbal sachets, participants were invited to harvest rosemary from the garden. After harvesting the rosemary, each individual created their very own herbal sachet using the herbs provided. As a final step, some added either peppermint oil or lavender oil to enhance the scent released by the herbs. Everyone had a wonderful time combining different herbs together to create a fragrant and aromatherapeutic herbal sachet!

After the sachets were completed, we all moved on to harvesting some of the plants from the garden for our lunch! We showed the participants how to harvest carrots, garlic scapes, green onions, basil and some blue kale! During this time, we got to know the participants a little bit more, and had an enjoyable time collecting vegetables/ingredients together for our lunch!

Part 2 - Preparing Lunch and Making Lemon Balm Salves:

Once back in Scarfe we watched some inspiring videos about examples of cross-curricular learning taking place in and around the Orchard Garden. The first was an example of how math and music can be used to conceptualize and illustrate certain mathematical ideas. This was in the interesting form of a folk dance using coloured ribbons to weave a dress. The second video was about a moving project. Children, educators, and elderly community members collaborated in the tending of a garden that continues to the present day. Both videos were great ways of showing how learning in the garden can be engaging and transformative.

Then we explained the ingredients and process of making the lemon balm salve. We also included a summary of the medicinal properties of the olive oil, lemon balm, and coconut oil. We began melting the beeswax and the participants helped out by beginning to prepare some food for lunch. We chopped the vegetables and cut up some bread and cheese. We also made some more tea for everyone. We could enjoy talking with each other and sharing stories and experiences.

Finally lunch was prepared (except for the soup, that was started a little late)! It was fantastic to eat such a fresh and nutritious meal. Lastly, we cleaned up and put everything back where it belonged. This Orchard Garden workshop was a total success and everyone enjoyed themselves. We could learn about, and actually experience, the healing properties of medicinal plants.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks to the amazing group of CFE students who planned and led a great final workshop of the 2017/18 year. You work so beautifully as a team! It's a great quality to bring to your teaching career, as you prepare to collaborate with fellow teachers, students, parents and administrators to make great things happen in your schools. Much appreciation!