I was so excited to host Sallie Marston, Rachel Wehr, Blue Baldwin, and Moses Thompson from the University of Arizona’s Community and School Garden Program (https://schoolgardens.arizona.edu/about/staff ).
We achieved so much, worked hard, and shared lots of laughs! The purpose of their trip was strengthen our international partnership. We spent a full day at Boclair Academy across 6 different teaching periods. The Arizona team led two outdoor lessons which were so much fun (about 60 students involved in total). They also helped out in a further 4 different classes, and learnt a lot about guidance and counselling at the school (more on this later – there’s so much potential for a garden).
At the University of Glasgow, the Arizona team led a group presentation and Q&A on their school garden program (thanks all for coming!), followed by an afternoon workshop on ecological justice with geography undergraduates. This workshop involved students from across the degree program, and we’re already organising for working in the school garden and across our communities. We then headed to Baltic Street Adventure Playground – a fantastic greenspace!
Photos below from our time together….
Finishing off with a couple of photos of the garden in its present state – and a drone shot from a pupil!
Today was a glorious Glasgow day. Lots of sun! Victoria and I split the class into two and then rotated – half would help weed the front of the school, the other half came with me to sketch out their ideal school garden designs. Lots of creative blueprints! Bug hotels and ponds definitely came out on top of the wish-lists. Nice to use the benches I built, too – sturdy so far!
Today I visited Boclair to help out on the 10-week garden elective that Victoria is running. I had lots of volunteers for digging, and other pupils helped weed and maintain the site. The rain just about held off!
Julie and Victoria discuss the Arizona trip to other staff at Boclair Academy, and conduct a school garden “audit” to assess how the garden can be used for teaching beyond geography. Some amazing suggestions!
A wet and miserable day – but vital work on measuring out the shed foundations was done! Thanks Louise! On the Friday, the first gardening elective class harvested the garden for an epic amount of potatoes and onions!
Cheryl, Julie, Victoria, and myself spent a week in Tucson, AZ, shadowing members of the Community and School Garden Program – which is run out of the University of Arizona. It’s difficult to put into words how inspiring and uplifting this experience was for all of us–and how many wonderful ideas it gave us to take back to our own wee slice of the planet. We visited 3 elementary schools, 2 high schools, a University-run urban farm, and a community-run urban farm. We also spent many hours shadowing various meetings at the University of Arizona. Finally, we tried our best to understand the flora and fauna of the Sonoran desert to help integrate into international science experiments back in Scotland.
On the 19th, Cheryl and I meet with Julie and Victoria to discuss our upcoming visit to Arizona. We also harvest loads of peas. They are so sweet! On the 24th, I come with Louise to do another harvest–and build a compost bin!