Thursday, 24 January 2013

Workshop Series #4 - another success!

The Orchard Garden and friends rang in the New Year with the fourth Workshop Series on January 12th. By way of reminder, this Workshop Series is designed specifically for teachers-in-training, who want to learn how to include garden and outdoor spaces into their teaching, and importantly linking it to Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLO). PLO's are the standardized milestones that teachers are required to cover and meet each year with their students. 
This month's theme was centred around designing school gardens, the challenges and rewards of maintaining school gardens, and tips for how set new ones up. Our hands-on activity was using permaculture principles, compasses, and rulers, to map out areas of sun and shade in the Orchard Garden. We practiced this so that anyone wanting to set up a new garden will know how to assess where the sunny and shady spots are, and plan accordingly. 
Participants working together to measure the angle of adjacent buildings.  

Friday, 18 January 2013

Upcoming UBC sustainability events: Fermentation, Curriculum, Farm, Fair

1. UBC Reads Sustainability: Sandor Katz- January 31, 2013

In this talk, Sandor Katz will speak on his New York Times best-selling book, The Art of Fermentation by discussing how fermented foods can heal our bodies, environment and our global food system. Jan. 31, 12-1:30PM at the BC Hydro Theatre, CIRS. 

2. Sustainability Across the Curriculum CoP - February 7, 2013

Julian Gonzalez will share his knowledge and experiences of implementing an interdisciplinary sustainability leadership course at UBC. Feb. 7, 12-1:30PM at the BC Hydro Theatre, CIRS. 

3. UBC Farm Symposium - March 15, 2013
Join the UBC Farm, Sustainability Ambassadors, regional farmers, and a diversity of learners to celebrate food sustainability. 

4. UBC Sustainability Fair - April 4, 2013
Save the date for the first ever UBC Sustainability Fair, happening April 4, 2013. Contact us for more details and to participate.

To register and for more info go to:

Monday, 14 January 2013

Volunteer Team

Hello all!

We hope your new year is off to a good start. We would like to invite those of you that would like to become more involved with the Orchard Garden to the first meeting for interested volunteers next Monday, the 21, at 12pm in room 66 (just off Agora). This will be the beginning of a volunteer student management team that would take up 2-3 hours of your time per week devoted to care of our lovely garden. Team meetings will be held bi-monthly. There are also positions for events planning/communications volunteers, so if you're not so keen on working in the garden, there is other meaningful work for you to do!
We are really excited for this semester, and look forward to hearing your ideas about the garden and starting the first "club" of young agrarians on this campus! Please invite any peers you think would be interested. 

For more information, contact: The Orchard Garden Volunteer Coordinator <>

SFU SEEDS PDP Module visit to Musqueam and the UBC Orchard Garden

Last week, I took up a wonderful offer to accompany faculty member Mark Fettes and faculty associate Bill Hood and their SFU SEEDS teacher education group on a visit to Musqueam, and to bring the group on a visit to the UBC Orchard Garden. They later visited the Camosun Bog near Imperial Drive on the edge of campus.

 At Musqueam, Elder Larry Grant took time to tell us about the history of Musqueam and about his own experiences, with his typical generosity, kindness, candour and humour. Everyone in the group was at times both shocked and moved by these stories, and learned a great deal -- there were lots of questions. Elder Grant took us on a tour of the beautiful new Musqueam Cultural and Community Centre buildings, and at my request, we also saw the site of one of the Chinese market gardens at Musqueam, Hong Kong Farms, where Burnaby MLA Richard T. Lee's family farmed for many years.

Elder Grant commented that, although UBC is very closely affiliated with Musqueam, the SFU group was the first group of teacher candidates to request a visit and talk at Musqueam! I was astounded to hear this, and assured him that we would make that situation right as soon as possible. I had not known how to approach the Musqueam First Nation to organize such a visit (through correct protocols, etc.), but a simple phone call to the Band Office is enough to get things started.
The SFU group loved the Orchard Garden and were keen to get involved, especially since the Garden is now under imminent threat of being bulldozed as soon as a year from now if Campus and Community Planning goes ahead with building a 12-storey tower on the site without design consultation. There may be plans in the works for this PDP Module group to come back to the Orchard Garden to perform a drama piece about community gardens on our Arts in the Garden day April 6, 2013 -- watch this space for more details!

The beauty of the garden in winter: tomatillos

Julia Ostertag found these beautiful, lacy tomatillo husks in the Orchard Garden this week.

And although tomatillos are part of the nightshade family, they are more closely related to cape gooseberries than to tomatoes! . Green tomatillos make a delicious salsa (tomatillo recipes & info here).

Friday, 4 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you and yours! It seemed welcoming the new year is appropriate with the freshness of a flower, and the introduction of the Peony, as it will be growing in the Chinese Market Garden this season.