Inside, Outside and Beyond

The Edible Campus Program partnered with the Orfalea Family Children’s Center (OFCC) and the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education (GGSE) to develop curriculum for pre-kindergarten students and some curriculum for toddlers in the 2016-2017 academic year.

The garden curriculum implemented at the Orfalea Family Children’s Center is based on child-driven and play-based theories.  Play-based learning allows the student to learn by interacting with the physical world around them. In order to assimilate new concepts, children must understand how the environment plays a role in this new knowledge. Play-based learning allows children to manipulate their surroundings, by which they can interact and form their own knowledge (Piaget 1952, Dewey 1990, Vygotsky 1967).

Child-driven learning allows the student to take charge of the direction of the content, with which they are interacting. This is typically self-motivated and enjoyable, and relies on adapting to the changing needs of the child (Playwork Principles Scrutiny Group, 2005). The theory of nature placed-based learning, allows the student child to move from inside, outside, and beyond; learning about, in, and with nature (Warden, 2015).  This collaboration has been highlighted in several media outlets:

In Fall, we introduced the concept of closed-loop ecosystems and the connection between the soil and our food.  A closed loop ecosystem is an ecological system in which matter within is maintained with little loss, as in the case of recycling or composting. Closed-loop ecosystems are self-sustainable, although energy from external sources may flow through (Taub 1974; BBC GCSE Bitesize Science: Ecosystems). Learning about this concept eases students’ understanding of any similar processes in the future.

Posters describing fall quarter curriculum:

Inside

Outside

Beyond

Full set of lesson plans from Fall 2017:

Lesson plans

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event

In Fall 2017, one of our students, Tiffany Kim, wrote the following song

“My Compost Pile”
(to the tune of “The Muffin Man”)

Oh, what’s inside my compost pile
my compost pile
my compost pile
What’s inside my compost pile
I’ll tell you, have a look!

Here’s some browns, and then some greens
and then some browns, and then some greens
Here’s some browns, and then some greens
and a bunch of worms on top!

Yum yum yum, the worms, they eat
the worms, they eat
the worms, they eat
Yum yum yum, the worms, they eat
and give us healthy soil!

Hand motions available here.

In Winter 2017, the students learned about how plants grow from seed to harvest. In the first lesson, they learned how seeds travel through air, in water, and on animals and birds. In a second lesson, students learn about sprouting seeds.  In the final lesson plan, students learn about harvesting, exploring the garden, and tasty recipes they can make from broccoli!

Full lesson plans for Winter 2017:

 

Johnson Ohana

We are currently in the process of editing and solidifying the spring 2017 curriculum. This season we will be talking about herbs, food, and the way the process of food brings community together. In the first lesson students will not be introduced to a new closed loop cycle, rather will have the chance to review all the complex ideas we learned in the first two lessons. We will then learn about herbs and spices and be planting a different herb in each classroom’s garden bed. For the field trip students will make a dish from their classroom herb after harvesting it in the morning. Then we will meet parents, grandparents, or guardians across the street at the community garden to have a potluck picnic. The class will bring their dish that features their classroom herb, while parents will also bring a dish that includes the same herb. There is literacy, science and math included in these lessons. Children will also learn the cultural, historical and medicinal values of certain herbs.

 

 

Field Trips

Connecting to Our Food

The Edible Campus Program also helps UCSB students reclaim their personal connection to the land and their food system.  We provide opportunities for students to participate in gardening and farming activities, offer internships, host workshops, and take students on field trips to local farms and urban agriculture projects.  In particular, we are excited about applying sustainable agriculture and permaculture principles to urban and suburban settings.  Our team is committed to reaching diverse audiences and making farming accessible to our whole community.

In Winter 2017, we hosted workshops on how to start growing produce in your apartment or backyard.  We stressed that it doesn’t matter if you have a small patio space or a little land behind your house/apartment.  Growing a small garden is easy. We taught students how to make a small herb container gardens and garden bed, while emphasizing options that are cost effective and tailored to the Santa Barbara environment. We also hosted a second workshop on indoor gardening.
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It is also important for students to feel connected to the local food system, know their farmers, and learn from the best practices of local growers.  In Winter 2017, we visited Chapala Gardens, a local hydroponic vertical tower farm.  We were excited to visit Chapala Gardens as we are also going to be starting hydroponic gardening at UCSB in Spring 2017. By visiting an established grower locally, we could learn from their successes.  Also, in Winter 2017, we visited Fairview Gardens, a farm nestled in the middle of a dense suburban area.  We learned about the challenges of small scale suburban farming, what issues are important to our local farmer, and best practices that have made their farm successful.