Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Spring Farmers After School Program

Spend Thursday afternoons at the UBC Farm April 4 - June 20 2013 3:45 - 5:45 $300 for 3 months of weekly visits, ages 7-14 Join us weekly and watch the farm transform from spring to summer! SpringFarmers offers a hands-on, farm-based education program designed to give children a science-based approach to land, food and community. Children work in small, collaborative groups with staff and community volunteers to sow, grow, harvest, and eat what they grow. Campers work in the Children’s Learning Garden, The Children’s Greenhouse and also can explore other parts of the 24 hectare farm. This unique camp spanning 3 months is an ideal opportunity to observe nature’s cycles as they change week-by-week. To Register:

Monday, 25 March 2013

Plan spring/summer/fall classes now

To FoE professors, instructors, TAs, and students, (please distribute widely & apologies for cross-postings)

Are you teaching or a student in a course in the BEd program? Have you noticed how schools throughout the lower mainland and around the world are re-creating their schoolyards as outdoor classrooms? Are you wondering how to integrate gardens into your curriculum & pedagogy?

Well, spring has arrived, and it’s time to come to The Orchard Garden for rich, experiential, embodied, place-based teaching & learning opportunities across the curriculum.
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Student teachers performing teaching in the outdoor classroom installation

Our team is largely comprised of undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculties of Education and Land & Food Systems (LFS) and supported by a strong network of community partners (see We work closely with instructors to develop one-class or multiple-class educational experiences with the garden that connect to relevant curricular and pedagogical issues at hand in your course. 

The Orchard Garden is a unique outdoor classroom located behind the MacMillan Building, a short walk from Scarfe and Ponderosa (see map). 
This student-run, inter-faculty garden project grows food for the Agora Cafe, for community sales, and to help connect students, staff, faculty members, and teachers (pre- and in-service) with growing food and garden-based education. Here are some ways to connect with The Orchard Garden on your own or with a class:

  • Request plants to be grown for art projects (e.g., dyes), musical instruments (e.g., gourds), science experiments, math projects, etc. à advance notice required
  • Come for a tour and/or work day to make tangible the pedagogy and curriculum of garden-based learningà 1-2 week notice
  • Plan an assignment or project around the garden à 2 weeks + notice
  • Develop an Inquiry Project, research project, or Enhanced Practicum à advance notice required
  • Have class, meetings, or lunch outside and enjoy the beautiful setting! àNo notice, simply for our records after your visit
  • Attend special events and workshops in the garden (e.g., Arts in the Garden, April 6, 2013)
Examples of class visit themes include: math, critical thinking, history & social studies, biology, art, philosophy of education, indigenous education, language education, and so much more!

For more information or to plan a visit or project in the garden, please take a look at our website and contact us:

---The Orchard Garden Team

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Student teachers starting the workshop series, October 2012

Learning to Teach in an Outdoor Classroom is made possible by funding from UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF)

Arts in the Garden workshop April 6

Arts In the Garden
Date: Saturday April 6, 9AM - 3PM
Place: The UBC Orchard Garden, behind the Macmillan Land and Food Systems building at Main Mall & Agronomy Road <>
Price: sliding scale $5-10 to cover lunch

Come celebrate spring and the arts in the Orchard Garden in this spectacular workshop day! All welcome! RSVP on Eventbrite <>

Opening ceremony & welcome to unceded Musqueam territory by Elder Larry Grant

Participating artists:

Sharon Kallis & Brian Jones, Urban Weavers project: weaving invasive plants and traditional British wheat weaving <>

Mind of a Snail: "compost-modernist" duo, teaching the artistry of making shadow plays with garden materials & obsolete overhead projectors <>

Shadows, sundials, ancient calendars and time: a workshop about awareness of the shadows we carry with us with astrophysicist-artist Ben Pfeiffer <

Tiddley Cove Morris Dancers & Musicians: dancing the plants awake in the ancient English folk tradition <>

Orkestar Slivovica: irresistible Balkan Roma brass festival music featuring super-star trumpeter Demiran Cerimovic <>

Seedfolks: a readers' theatre adaptation of Paul Fleischman's novel by SFU student teachers supporting the Orchard Garden

Lunch and snacks provided, including dishes made straight from the garden! 

Friday, 22 March 2013

Inside the outdoor classroom installation

Flax window at installation, November 2012
On November 20, 2012, a cohort of the teacher education program joined me for a collaborative learning workshop and research day. Since the class has been exploring themes of indigenous education and the relationship between land and education, it was exciting to share my research journey with the students and create a generative space to explore our overlapping questions, concerns, and hopes.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Plight of the Garden(s)

Thank you, The Ubyssey, for getting our story out.
If you're interested in the future of The Orchard Garden, please read this opinion piece by Gordon Katic. We clearly need some unsettling narratives to examine how universities are being funded and what we envision the role of post-secondary institutions ought to be in our society.  

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Workshop Series #6: Hands On

Our sixth Workshop Series was blessed with a brilliantly sunny day. The kind of day where you can hear the robins, smell the sweet air, and the sun's warmth on your face. We were thrilled to have sun because we spent the whole morning outdoors working in the garden!  We had three stations set up for the student teachers. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Green onions are seeded!

Spring is slowly on its way: the crocuses blooming and the daffodils are up! And the field teams at the Orchard Garden have started green onions and leeks inside. The allium family, which includes, green onions, leeks, and storage onions, grow very slowly and mould from excessive moisture. In our climate, starting them early and inside is essential to make sure they mature in time. 

Sybil and Kate celebrating at the greenhouse!