There’s something really special about the children who come to learn in the Intergenerational Landed Learning Project at the UBC Farm. Maybe it’s the wide-eyed look of awe the first time they see an eagle swoop overhead. It could be the unique pride they exhibit when they harvest a radish or pea from a plant they grew themselves from seed. Perhaps it’s the confidence and thoughtfulness they exude when speaking to a large, intergenerational group about what they have observed and learned from the land. Of course, it must also be the enormous grins they show when you hear 11-year-olds say things like “I LOVE kale!” or “Did you know that if you eat a piece of sorrel and then spit, your spit will turn green?!”
One thing that’s definitely special about the children learning at the UBC Farm is the intergenerational experience they have, learning from and along side of elders and younger adults who share their compassion for the Earth and for humanity, their time, and their wealth of knowledge about soils, plants, insects, ecology, food, nutrition, art, and life. Over 40 volunteers commit to a group of three or four youth, aged 10-12 for 12 visits over the school year. It’s hard to say who gets more from the experience: the kids or the adults. One volunteer, Hortensia Gonzalez shared, “This has been a wonderful experience for me. I felt a lot of inspiration from watching and observing the way people work at the farm. Their dedication and their passion has inspired me even more in my commitment to making this world a better place to live for us and our children.” From late September to late June (with many breaks in between) volunteers meet once or twice a month with their groups to work in the garden as the seasons direct: harvest, collect seeds, compost, prepare garden for winter, plan, seed, transplant, weed, water, thin, harvest, and (always!) eat!
The 2008-09 Intergenerational Landed Learning Project is currently seeking inspired volunteers aged 18-88 to share their passion and knowledge with children to make these experiences possible. To find out more or to get involved with Landed Learning, contact Stacy Friedman, Program Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 604-822-4842, or check out www.cust.educ.ubc.ca/landedlearningproject
Info Session: Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 10am at the UBC Farm Centre