Monday, July 7, 2014

The Edible Schoolyard Infrastructure and System

In the Edible Schoolyard, gardens are created in systems and structured in such a way that provides students and teachers well to explorative learning.
Functioning as a gathering place and an outdoor classroom, the circular, web link wooden structure provides a central place for starting and ending of each garden class. Beautiful and well compressed hay stalks around the circumference provide a natural and easy access to over 30 seats. Approximately 3 meters in diameters and laced with deciduous kiwis that climb up the sides of the structure and canopy over the top, this provides shade during sunny days. The circular open space allows for all group discussions, demonstrations, tastings and games.
The green house allows garden teachers and students to propagate plants for the school garden. Students learn how to sow seeds, division, cutting and grafting.
A compost row of free standing compost piles at different stages of decomposition is in the back end. The compost piles are turned down in the direction of least to most decomposed pile. The free standing system of piles allow students to comfortably stand around the compost and turn the piles together as a group while they are also able to observe the different stages of decomposition from pile to pile.
The drop off zone located before the least decomposed pile in the compost row provides a place for students to drop off garden scraps and empty the food scraps from the kitchen classroom.
With a capacity of 20 birds, the chicken coop in the Edible Schoolyard integrates chicken time into garden classes as much as possible to practice appropriate chicken handling.  The students are encouraged to check for eggs before school, after school and during the garden classes. The hanging baskets to collect eggs are made available and students collect eggs and deliver to the Kitchen with the date of collection. Kitchen classes incorporate the eggs into recipes whenever possible.
The Edible Schoolyard has a well developed tool shed. With prominent markings of yellow tape and red tape on the tools, the students can easily distinguish which tools are used for what purposes.  They learn how to use tools from the tool shed and also safety measures before they start using the tools in the garden. The tool cleaning station is located adjacent to the toolshed and after every garden class, students clean their tools in the sand.


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