Friday, 24 March 2017

Kedrick James & Narrative Inquiry graduate class (LLED 565c) in the Orchard Garden

Thanks to Kedrick James, a member of the Cultivating Learning Network Advisory Board, for holding his LLED 565c Narrative Inquiry grad class in the Orchard Garden yesterday. By all accounts, it was a very good class -- and they were there to witness the first blooms emerging on the magnolias!

It's great that so many UBC courses use the Orchard Garden as their outdoor classroom, for one session or a whole course. If you are an instructor and want to arrange to hold your classes in the garden, just contact <> to let us know and book the space.

Our upcoming workshop April 1: Mushrooms, mycorrhizae, garden ecology

Here is the poster for our exciting workshop coming up next Saturday, April 1. We will have guest workshop leaders Laura Super (UBC Forestry PhD student, and a long time Orchard Garden team member) and Mendel Skulski, president of the Vancouver Mycology Society.

If you weren't sure how you felt about mushrooms, fungi and mycorrhizal networks before, I think you'll learn to love them and their important role in garden and forest ecology.

Hope you can be there!

Note: We will be adding an extra workshop on April 29 to make up for one of our snowed-out sessions. More info to come -- it will be a great one too!

Our March 4 workshop: Body measurement from soil to sky -- math and astronomy in the garden

We had a great workshop on March 4 -- the rescheduled time for our snowed-out Feb. 4 date.

We used a chant with gestures to orient ourselves, facing southwards (something that might work well with school classes in the garden outdoors):
Here I stand beneath the sky
On the compass rose stand I.
My left hand points to the start of day,
My right hand points to where the sun goes away.
My back is to the cold north star,
My face looks south, where the warm winds are.
North, south, east, west --
Where I stand, I am at rest.

Then we used the great activity designed by former Orchard Garden team member, astrophysicist
 BenoĆ®te Pfeiffer, to track the path of the sun on both the summer and winter solstices, using our hands to measure angle of elevation and our arms and whole bodies to sweep out the path the sun takes from sunrise to sunset.

We worked out ways to measure garden beds using our hands, feet and stride, and then used the measurements on seed packets to plant beds of early vegetables: radishes, peas and spinach.

We also planted nettles on the far side of Totem Field, with John Ames' help. Nettles are used around the world as a spring-harvested tonic vegetable (and tea), and an autumn-harvested fibre plant for making thread and cloth.

Our final activity in the garden was making and hanging up 6-month pinhole cameras to track the path of the sun, an activity and art form we learned from visiting mathematical artist Nick Sayers. Six cameras were made, in three pairs: one of each pair to be taken down at the Summer Solstice, and the other to stay up till next Winter Solstice. We can compare the results from each pair of side-by-side juice can pinhole cameras!

Lunch back at Scarfe included kale chips and roasted brussel sprouts from veggies we harvested in the garden, along with a delicious butternut squash/ coconut Thai curry soup, lots of bread from Terra Bread's generous donation, and cheese, humus and fruit. A great day, with lots of learning about body measurement, math and astronomy in the garden!