From the Fall of 2011 to Spring of 2012, I volunteered at the University of British Columbia’s “Landed Learning” children’s garden. Here is our group (I’m on the left), the “Presidents of Plants.”
In that short time, I learned a lot! But gardening is a vast subject, and it’s become apparent that it’s a lifelong process of learning, being open to new ideas and learning from mistakes.
Kelly and I worked as a team with a group of three children (pictured below). I always looked forward to the days I worked at the garden! It was an invaluable experience for the kids, but also for the adults (like me!). A local elementary school teacher brought his children to the garden every two weeks, except during winter. We visited the children’s classroom in the winter and heard what they were learning. It is an amazing program and Gordon, the teacher of our particular group, was an amazing teacher! We would open and close each day with a circle, sharing a meal, experiences and songs.
It was always highly interesting to learn from the project coordinator, Stacy Friedman. Her laid back approach and interest was encouraging. She made a great leader of this project.
Every time it comes to planning my own garden, I have confidence due to what I learned at UBC – from choosing which seeds, the timing of them, what needs starting indoors vs. direct sowing, plotting out the map of our garden, what goes where. And even adding the manure. If I hadn’t volunteered and learned at UBC garden, we probably wouldn’t have taken up such a project ever.
This video illustrates the program.
These pictures were taken in the Spring 2012 (explained below).
Kelly and two of the kids in our group showing greens we picked and washed to contribute to lunch that day.
Looks like the strawberry bed
Cob oven (we used this to bake our own bread one time)
Cob archway, leading to the cob oven and shed
Cob tool shed
Flowers by the cob shed
Rows of raised beds in the children’s garden, and raspberries
Cob tool shed
Cob tool shed door (loved the door!)
Watering can and brewing compost tea (the sack tied to the handle was filled with compost, other times we used comfrey leaves)
Our group’s raised garden bed. The long branches were used to support climbing veggies (I don’t recall what we planted there! Probably peas). The stick in the corner closest to the camera was a potato trap. We had a piece of potato underground and this stick kept track of where it was. It was how we kept wire worms from ravaging plants (even though we didn’t plant potatoes), giving them a nice piece of something to bait them so we could catch them & place them in a far away location. And here it is at the end of the season (next picture)….
Our group, who voted to call themselves, “The Presidents of Plants”, had this raised bed garden. A sign from a group who had it previously is still there. These were our crops in early June 2012.
A long view of the entire children’s garden (raised beds)