Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Spring has Sprung!

Spring is in full bloom at the Orchard Garden. It's such a beautiful time. Plants are young and fledgling, and promise a bountiful summer!
This garlic was planted last October. Look at it go!
Yet, the green onions are looking rather sad. You can admire the minimal weeds though...

The gai lan is coming along nicely. This fast-growing crop will be ready to eat soon. 

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Student Teachers in the Garden

Student teachers shaping and amending beds
This week, the Orchard Garden is hosting 20 student teachers who are completing their 'enhanced practicum'. This practicum is very different from their classroom practicum, which is 10 weeks long. For the next 3 weeks, these budding teachers will be experimenting with a more informal setting to explore the pedagogy of teaching.
A brief introduction to bees!
At the Orchard Garden, we focusing our work with two students, and are looking at concepts of place-based learning, sharing resources about running and starting schoolyard gardens, and of course, garden work in the dirt as well.

Monday, 22 April 2013

UBC Farm Permaculture Design Course

Introducing two courses for change:

A)  Introduction to Permaculture Design
August 17th - August 20th | $450 | UBC Farm and OUR Ecovillage, Vancouver Island 

A 4-day taste of the ethics, principles and practice of Permaculture design.
Camping and meals provided at OUR Ecovillage, Vancouver Island.

B) Permaculture Design Certification Course @ UBC Farm:  2013
August 17th - Sept 8th | $950 - $1250 | UBC Farm OUR Ecovillage, Vancouver Island and the City of Vancouver.
Design Solutions for Sustainable Food, Building and Community Systems
Internationally recognized certification with UBC student credit available too.  
Fifteen unforgettable days over three weeks in Vancouver and the surrounding bio-region.

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James Richardson
Ph.D. Candidate Ecological Footprinting, Victoria University of Wellington.
M.A.S.L.A. Sustainable Food System Design, University of British Columbia.
B.Ed.  Outdoor & Experiential Education, Queen's University.
B.Sc.  (Hon) Biology, Geography and Mathematics, McMaster University.

Skype: jamesmatthewrichardson

Thursday, 18 April 2013

UBC Celebrating Learning Week TLEF Showcase 2012 featuring the Orchard Garden!

Here is a link to the UBC Celebrate Learning Week TLEF Showcase from November 2012. Julia Ostertag and I presented a slide show and short talk about the Orchard Garden project, which has been funded for a full three years through generous TLEF grants.

Follow the link to the 2012 presentations -- we are the third one in (at 23:56). You can hear the talk and see the slides on this site.

A garden in the rain & visitors from Finland

This afternoon, Andrew Riseman and I talked with a delegation of Finnish university campus planners about Learning Landscapes on campus. Our visitors also heard from a number of people from Campus and Community Planning about the planning, building and maintenance of other projects at UBC ranging from new wood-framed buildings and sustainable energy and greywater systems to the design of the large new multi-use Hubs.

This group showed tremendous interest in the Orchard Garden, the UBC Farm and other student-led, grassroots initiatives at UBC and their integration into the life of the university. They said that school gardens are rare nowadays in Finland, although they were a regular part of rural elementary schools up till about WWII. However they did say that students on their campuses (at Aalto University, The University of Helsinki, the University of Oulu and others) were now requesting spaces to grow vegetables on campus. They promised to put us in touch with students there who are also engaged in university garden projects.

We mentioned 'flax', and there was a flurry of activity with electronic translators as people looked for the Finnish term ('pellava', if you're interested). Our visitors told us that in the old days most people used to grow pellava to make their own clothing. One said that pellava was very stiff and scratchy at first, but then got better and better as the years went on -- "just like us!" He had a 30-year-old linen suit that was just beautiful, he said.

I took some pictures of the garden this morning to add to our slide show. Here's a link to my slides (I'll add Andrew's when he sends them), and here are a few pictures of our beautiful garden in the spring rain.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Arts in the Garden festivities

On Saturday, April 6, The Orchard Garden hosted an "Arts in the Garden" workshop to explore the various ways in which the arts and gardening can intersect to enrich and enliven teaching & learning.

While I helped to organize the day, I admit I had no idea how "epic" the event would be. It started off with Tiddley Cove singers & dancers chasing away the winter spirits to bring out the sun (which worked, by the way! A grey morning turned into a beautiful day).

Elder Larry Grant welcomed the participants to the ancestral, traditional and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. Larry Grant is a skilled storyteller, and wove together the histories of the Musqueam, Chinese immigrants, and other settlers into the stories of what we now call Point Grey. He reminded us of the power of language and actions to connect us to places, something we can all work on learning and enacting more.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Orchard Garden Workshop Series Recipe Collection

Many of you have requested the recipes from our workshops, so hear you are. Remember way back to October when we had those delicious Crèpes with Greens, now you can make them again.

Monday, 8 April 2013

First Canadian Market Garden @ School: Van Tech!

Check out Fresh Roots' brand new School Market Garden at Van Tech. The story even made it onto the CBC.

Congratulations to everyone at Van Tech for getting this impressive project started!

Thanks, Think&EatGreen for posting this story on your newsletter

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Spinning linen memory webs & giving gifts

Student teachers becoming memory spiders, March 9
Spring has arrived and the outdoor classroom/school garden installation, Threads Sown, Grown & Given, is slowly changing and re-inventing itself.

On March 9, 2013, student teachers in our workshop series worked together in pairs to spin spider webs throughout the installation site. The linen thread came from the flax that had grown as “desks” in the grid of the outdoor classroom installation the previous summer.

Funding for school gardens

There are many, many funders out there interested in supporting school gardening initiatives: Evergreen, TD Friends of the Environment...to name a few. Here are two calls for proposals that just came our way via the Vancouver School Food Network:

- average grant $3000
- targeting: Dance, recreation, extra-curricular, arts, music, or sports
- K-8 - public schools
- doesn't fund salaries or honorariums
- Deadline May 15th, 2013
2) World Wildlife Fund grant.  The grant program aims to support school projects that will connect students with nature, help reduce a community’s impact on the environment, increase understanding of environmental issues and solutions, stimulate environmental leadership, and inspire students and communities to take action. One of their topics of interest is local and sustainable foods (also waste reduction, biodiversity, water conservation…).
Grants of up to $5,000. Deadline is April 9, 1pm.