Our first week's field trip to GROW NYC's learning garden on Governor's Island was a highlight for our students and us! It is a magical and inspiring place for gardeners and sustainability enthusiasts. We admired their beautiful perennial and annual gardens, learned about the giant solar oven, and watered the plants with rainwater from the rain barrels. The children tasted fresh veggies and edible flowers, harvested carrots, and created beautiful art with plant parts. The tone has been set for our summer together, learning that is engaging, relevant and fun!
- Monica Ibacache, Executive Director of Beyond Organic Design
Cassie & Priscila's Class
Week one was full of anticipation and excitement for us here at UDSP. We had many returning campers who stepped into their role as leaders of the classroom. Both those who attended last year and new students were introduced to the new learning-friendly design of the garden and the plants growing this year. Camp Director Monica Ibacache came and did a special workshop to have the students see how they are already designers and they made their first outdoor design of the summer!
In cooking, students quickly saw the usefulness of pickling and canning as a preservation method and part of our permaculture principle of Produce No Waste. We made cucumber pickles and continued the theme by using browned bananas to make muffins.
Day 2 was dedicated to seeds. Students planted a variety of seeds including radish, lettuce, and arugula seeds. Throughout our five week course, they will be observing their growth and will take care of them! They are so excited about harvesting their own plants knowing they will later on be able to use them in cooking class. The same day, They planted their own “thought seed” during our Plant A Wish Arts & Crafts activity. The activity consisted of drawing and writing what they would plant a seed in the world. The activity resulted in a colorful display of beautiful wishes for their families, peers and everyone in the world.
Klara & Sarah's Class
We had an exciting first week at the Urban Design and Sustainability Program! We began the process of delving into the world of permaculture, a design system that is based on how nature designs itself. Our focus was on the permaculture principle Produce No Waste. Did you know that without humans, nature produces no waste? Guided by permaculture principles, we used science, math, engineering, and art to understand why this is and how we can do the same.
We made insect mobiles out of trash, which otherwise would have gone to a landfill or wound up in the ocean. In cooking class, we made delicious banana bread out of brown bananas and pickles out of extra vegetables instead of throwing them away. After this, we had our garden class, where we learned about soil health and plants in our garden.
Together, we thought about what it means to produce no waste, why it’s important, and what habits we need to change to become less wasteful so that we can enjoy a greener planet, for us today, and for the generations that follow.