SUSTAINABLE ORGANIC GARDENING
Our Sustainable World Studies focuses not only on natural garden food production, but as well on our modern agriculture techniques, both in the positive and negative effects in light of global Climate Change. The object of sustainable gardening is to introduce the students to urban horticulture using sustainable methods such as organic practices, composting and water harvesting. The lectures will provide the background necessary to start an urban garden at home. The lectures will be reinforced with presentations in the form of slideshows and short films and discussions in class. TREE has several gardening beds and a small aquaponic system where the students will be exposed and encouraged to apply the learned material for the cultivation of edibles.
By un-siloing the areas of study, we seek to reveal the connections between them. For example, our modern food production is closely interrelated and on a continuum with our current agricultural methods, our personal nutrition, global climate and our sustainable practices. Making students aware of the relationships and interconnections are core to our approach.
The garden and compost bin at school are tools for culinary science and the sustainable world studies classes, and they beautify the grounds and remove the veil of mystery of growing food. The principles of organic horticulture are the foundation for the cultivation of produce used in culinary class where we learn the process from seed to plate to compost and the students have an opportunity to experience the process first-hand. Also, with the help of the composter and vegetable beds, subjects taught in sustainable world studies such as soil health, soil composition, water preservation, the benefits of a plant based diet and the carbon cycle are more easily explained and understood. All of the students in these classes participate in the maintenance of the garden.