Wednesday 14 May 2014

Spotlight On: Mint

Hi again! Alexandra here.

One of the most popular activities I've been doing at QE is making mint tea fresh from the garden, because our mint patch by the kindergarten rooms is overflowing!

I've been taking students out in small groups to see, touch, smell, and taste the mint. The younger the students, the less they like the taste of raw leaves - but everyone loves the sweet, spicy smell! Did you know that:

-the most common kind of mint is spearmint?
-there are over 30 kinds of mint, including spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint?
-people have been using mint since at least ancient Egyptian times?

Once we taste the raw mint, I've been asking the students to harvest enough mint for tea. It takes at least 5 stalks' worth of crushed leaves to make a pot this size, which yields about 25 small cups. The students love to see the water turning green, and even the little ones seem to love the taste of homebrewed tea!

Added bonus: mint tea makes the classroom (and most of the hallway) smell nice for hours...

Wednesday 7 May 2014

Hi there!

Hi there!

Every spring, a new crop of UBC Education students like me are sent out to schools in the TEGS (Think&EatGreen@School) program to help with the gardens. This spring, one of those students is me - Alexandra - and my given school is Queen Elizabeth. It's great to be here!

So far, there have been lots of environmental activities to get involved with:

-planting and weeding with Green School students
-taking classes to the orchard for scientific sketching
-going on a bog walk looking for signs of spring
-helping Catriona with flower reproduction presentations
-dissecting bean seeds for embryos

Here are some of the photos:

From top: tomato plants coming along nicely in Natasha's office, a bounty of West Coast Seeds for planting, loupes for getting a close-up look at flowers (stamen, stigma, pistil, ovary, ovules...), tulips ready for dissection, and three trays of pots ready for the Green Team to use this afternoon!

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Images from the Garden on Earth Day 2014

The garden today, Earth Day, April 22, 2014




kindergarden potatoes

potato planting 2014

Gardening is cyclical, and once again, it is potato planting time.  A lot of divisions planted up tubs of potatoes in their classrooms, so that they can get a head start, and hopefully the harvest will be bountiful in June.

Pear tree planting

On March 14 Roger Philips brought us a Sierra pear tree, that had been specifically grafted for the QE Orchard Garden.  Green School came out to help plant it.