a The Learning Garden

Monday, April 07, 2014

Green Radio Network

Dear Garden Friends,

Students continue to labour in their 12 week student teaching practica, enlivening classrooms across the Southern BC interior. (Very proud of all). The Learning Garden slumbers in the BC Southern Interior. . . 

. . . and Green Radio Network lives. 

Tune in. Green is good.

See you all soon.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Rocks and Ripples

Dear Middle Years Philosophy Class and Friends,

One very special day this term, Rutland Middle School and their teacher, Mr. Ryan Scorgie, visited the Learning Garden and the Middle School Teacher Ed class. 

We collected rocks, built a Celtic Spiral, then filled it with soil.

Click to view the slideshow:


Why a spiral?

In Celtic art and symbolism, the spiral represents the path leading from the outer world (materialism, external awareness, ego) to the inner (enlightened, intuitive)world. 

Some other spirals....

and who could forget,

More on our aspiring garden spiral in Spring 2014. 

With peace, for the coming weeks,


Of Middle years philosophy, and the Fruit
Of that learning garden and peace tree, That
Brought light and inspiration into our pedagogy
Sing O Educational Muse!
And though this poem, epic not be
This course truly was.
. . .

(From student Chris England's poem, "The Legend of Philosophers 2013", read during our final class of the term).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ocean Update

Dear Students of Term One,

With the garden asleep, we have had time in class to think about the ocean. 
Is...the ocean broken?

These films of Humpback Whales were recently taken off the Southern coast of British Columbia.  

Victoria (D'arcy Island) BC.

What is the whale trying to communicate to the humans on the boat? 

How can humans respond?

Compassion: Compassion commonly gives rise to an active desire to alleviate another's suffering. (Oxford English Dictionary)



Thursday, November 07, 2013

Pumpkin Power

Dear Middle Years Philosophy Class,
Your beautifully written and illustrated story about the lost and found pumpkin patch was way better than Cinderella...

Good to know I "designed and sewed" those green trousers from discarded material. 

Friday, November 01, 2013

Poetry Garden

Dear Humanities-English,

Thank you for your support this term...you're an inspirational group to teach with and learn from. 

Wordsworth reminds us why we do this work:
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky.
(leap on)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Garlic Power!

Dear good friends of the garden, 

In early October KLO Middle school visited the Learning Garden.

Student teachers practiced progressive middle school ed through environmental learning. Go Scott!

The day was fun-filled.

Students dug deep....

Plotted the new garden beds....

...and carefully planted garlic.

Level that soil.

We gathered at the Okanagan First Nations Firepit

...and listened as Mike Marchand told the story of carving the salmon (7 years ago now).

Students explored the pine forest, bonded with pine cones...

Then collected rocks for a future Mystery Project....


Love rocks...

 Sarah brought an ancient Mystery Rock....yes that is fossilised dinosaur dung.

Students explored the pond.

This post is dedicated to previous middle school cohorts....with thanks for saving this little patch of forest.

Thank you, teachers...

...and driver.

In Solidarity!

See you next time.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Learning Garden Rise and Fall...and..Rise?

Dear Good Friends of the Garden,

I returned from a study sabbatical in London, England to find a few surprises in the garden...

The original boxes were gone/bulldozed...

...to install a new geothermal system (the green posts) that will heat/cool the Education building.

The blasted noise issue (emitted from the sustainable hot air sucker, also at the Ed building) has been dealt with (mostly). 

We can hear each other better now.

The Pond is still there.

As is The First Nations Fire-pit.

From this base, we will begin again...with more indigenous plant species, more learning about how to grow food in a drought region, and more visits from local school students. 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed their support to the garden over the past seven years, in so many ways.

Thank you to yet another good, kind, adventurous middle school teacher education cohort 2013-14, more wonder awaits.

Since we first started the Learning Garden in 2006, more, and more serious issues affecting environmental systems have arisen. Talked about much more openly in the UK and Europe. In Canada, Neil Young speaks. 

And the garden rises...

More soon.