teaching methods for organic gardening

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  • 7/29/2019 Teaching Methods for Organic Gardening



    Nyitott Kert Alaptvny, Hungary

    SOSNA, SlovakiaLipka, Czech Republic

    Garden Organic, UK

    Growing Home Grundtvig Project 2011-2013

    Teaching Methodsfor OrganicGardening

    Tools for teaching to adults

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    Purpose of this booklet

    This booklet is a teaching resource aimed at providing practical tools (teaching methods) to

    any educators or facilitators who want to pass on skills, knowledge and experience to any

    groups of adults keen to learn about organic home gardening.

    The booklet provides ideas for the method of exchanging information not technical details

    about how to garden. Gardening books are widely available which can provide technical

    know-how, but teaching methodology designed specifically for educators of organic

    gardening is not an area previously addressed.

    The booklet is the outcome of a 2 year Grundtvig project (EU supported), taking place

    between 2011-2013, with the active participation of 4 organisations which have long

    experience in teaching organic and natural gardening to all kinds of learners across Europe.

    The four organisations (NyKA, Hungary; SOSNA, Slovakia; LIPKA, Czech Republic;

    Garden Organic, UK) cooperated to share their many years of practical educating experience,

    with a view to providing a simple teaching resource to other educators in organic and natural


    In this booklet each organisation has provided a number of effective, well proven methods to

    assist educators in the task of exchanging skills, knowledge and experience to all kinds of

    learners interested in organic gardening.

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    Our Principles of Organic and Natural


    The Growing Home project group agreed upon these four principles which underpin all of

    our efforts in gardening:

    1. Gardening using natural systems. We seek to improve and maintain the soilconditions by natural means, to produce healthy food and an improved environment,

    taking nature as our guide. Aims to be a self-sustaining closed system, cycling,

    conserving and enhancing soil carbon and nutrients. Inputs should be minimised but

    where necessary sourced as locally as possible.

    2. The garden should be integrated into, supported by and enhance the localcommunity.

    3. Enhancing biodiversity. The genetic diversity of crops should be as wide as possible,conserving local varieties where possible and the biodiversity of both cropped and

    non-cropped areas should be enhanced.

    4. Avoid the use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. We alsoavoidthe use ofunproven technologies which could be damaging such asgenetic modification (GM).

    The Growing Home project team

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    About us, the project partners

    Nyitott Kert Alaptvny (Open Garden Foundation), HungaryNyKAs aim is to promote the practice of organic gardening and local food systems. It has

    been active in organic production and education since 1999, running its own gardens and

    providing practical education in organic gardening.

    NyKA pioneered the introduction of community supported agriculture to Hungary in the late

    1990s, and has continued to promote local organic food systems ever since.

    NyKA currently focuses on providing short courses and resources in organic gardening to

    people who have an interest in home gardening or small scale commercial, local organic food


    LIPKA, Czech RepublicAs an educational organisation for environmental training, Lipka is one of the oldest and

    largest civil organizations in the Czech Republic to focus on public environmental education.

    Lipka was founded in 1992 and since then we have developed our own programmes in

    Natural Gardening. With the help of small grants from the City Hall the grounds of our center

    have gradually been transformed into habitat gardens designed to teach ecological and

    environmental programmes. Step-by-step, as Lipka expanded to its other five facilities, theirgardens have been developed and maintained and used in a similar manner.

    Under its wide range of activities Lipka offers one-day or longer environmental educational

    programmes in schools and preschools, whose student attendance is over 20 000 students

    every year. In the afternoons, Lipkas five training facilities buzz with children fully engaged

    in science courses as well as adults enjoying gardening courses. Lipka also undertakes

    teaching of environmental-based subjects at several universities and promotes the systematic

    training of teachers in the field of environmental education.

    For nearly 20 years our organization has conducted hundreds of small and large events for the

    public, teachers, pupils and students in organic gardening. We arranged also three full 14-daycourses in Design and permaculture, as well as 5 annual weekend courses in permaculture

    garden design. In the next year Lipka plans to start a new project in Natural Gardening

    targeted at senior citizens and socially disadvantaged people.

    We are doing our best to be a refuge for perceptive children and adults who are interested in

    the future development of the environment and who are willing to play an active role in

    making the world a better place.


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    SOSNA, Slovak ReoublicSOSNA Eco Centre serves as a resource to demonstrate clean, healthy, aesthetic, low-cost and

    low-energy buildings with natural bio-gardens. The whole complex of Eco Centre and its bio-

    garden is serving visitors with an inspiring example of "how to do it this way", as well as the

    training and education facility for our activities (lectures, courses, exhibitions, etc.) on all

    sorts of topics relating to eco houses, bio gardens, climate change issues, and sustainableliving.

    SOSNA as one of the co-ordinators of the international Green Schools Network, and has

    excellent contacts with schools and we have a number of training and demonstration activities

    for various target groups. We also regularly organize weekend workshops and courses

    focused on acquiring practical skills on eco housing and sustainability.

    At our Eco Centre we have a half hectare Natural garden, which is gradually being

    transformed to demonstrate natural gardening, where herbs, flowers and plants are grown

    without any chemical inputs. The site design was defined during two permaculture courses,

    carried out on this land. Our bio garden provides space for old, traditional and unknownvarieties of cultural plants, as well as including land art, a small fishpond, solar fruit drying,

    and other important components of bio-gardens.

    Our organic garden has the following features:

    training/teaching - our garden provides space for informal environmental education on

    various topics,

    community - we have close co-operation with local elementary school, local children and

    adults as well as with various groups unemployed, Roma people, women, etc.,

    demonstration - our garden and Eco Centre presents a living example of organic gardening

    and eco housing,

    ecology- building the organic garden is motivating children and citizens to adopt more

    environmentally friendly ways of living.


    Garden Organic, UKarden Organic, the UK's leading organic growing charity, has been at the forefront of the

    organic horticulture movement for 50 years and is dedicated to researching and promoting

    organic gardening, farming and food.

    Garden Organic's scientific research aims to develop and improve the techniques used in

    organic agriculture and to advance the knowledge of organic production systems, focusing on

    commercial organic horticulture in temperate areas and on sustainable agriculture in

    developing countries.

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    Garden Organic is committed to getting people growing and there is no better place to start

    than getting our children involved. We have an education programme which provides

    resources and training to teachers and other school professionals.

    Through our Heritage Seed Library we work to safeguard rare vegetable varieties, that were

    once the mainstay of British gardens.

    Master Composters are volunteers who encourage and support householders with composting

    at home. These volunteers come from every age group and a wide variety of backgrounds and

    this helps with the scheme being so effective - Master Composters can reach parts that other

    compost promoting activities cannot reach - they talk to their friends, family and neighbours,

    write in their parish newsletter, attend village fairs and it has even been know for a Master

    Composter to hold a compost-themed childrens birthday party!

    Volunteer Master Gardeners offer food growing advice to local people and communities.Volunteers are fully trained and supported by Garden Organic, the UK's leading organic

    growing charity.www.gardenorganic.org.uk

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    Teaching methods for organic and

    natural gardening

    The teaching methods presented in this booklet all fall into one or more of the following


    Mentoring/supportThis is where students independently grow (at home or in allotments) and are given

    appropriate support by support staff or trained Master Gardeners.

    Practical activitiesLearning-by-doing.

    Learning gamesSuch as the Rotation game, the Composting game, Show & Tell or Taste & Tell

    activities, quizes

    CommunicationResources from website, self-learning materials, membership newsletters/magazines

    SeminarsDidactic, theoretical sessions led my expert as students sit and listen (and ask


    DemonstrationTours of the demonstration gardens for examples of varying styles of gardening; tour

    of site for example of sustainable building techniques, tours of the seed library.

    ProjectsFor example building willow structures or straw buildings.

    Worksheets/campaigns Social gatherings

    For example, festivals.

    DiscussionStudents reflect their experiences, hopes and aspirations related to their teaching


    The teaching methods presented below will, we hope, provide a useful resource to educators

    of organic gardening, on techniques to share skills, knowledge and experience with all kinds

    of learners. All of the methods are tried and tested, and practical in their approach. Each

    teaching method is introduced (where appropriate) by:

    Name of teaching method Category (see below) Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group) Timeframe (how much time is optimal for this method) Short description of method Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.) Location for training Tools, equipment, materials Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology

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    The 20 teaching methods below are

    provided by our four organisations:

    Garden Organic1. Games for learning

    2. Action day

    3. Communications/Enquiries

    4. Master Gardener Scheme

    5. Seed saving


    6. Taste and tell7. Projects (establishing Natural Garden)

    8. Theme based learning

    9. Counselling

    Nyitott Kert Alaptvny (Open Garden)10. Social gathering/festivals

    11. Goethean Observation

    12. Meetings/Discussion Groups

    13. Recipe Exchange

    14. Garden Diary

    15. The Four Elements

    SOSNA16. Compost/Green Treasure

    17. Excursion

    18. The Art of Organic Gardening

    19. Indian Summer Festival

    20. Designing systems and structures in Natural Gardens

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    1. Games for Learning

    (Contributing organisation: Garden Organic)

    Category: Learning games Target group: The group can vary in size. The games can be adapted for different

    age groups/abilities

    Timeframe: Variable Short description of method: Using pictures, word games, sorting, matching

    activities to promote knowledge or skills development

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.) :The participantswill increase awareness and understanding of a specific aspect of organic growing.

    This could be pest and disease control, principles of organic gardening, what to

    compost etc.

    Location for training Anywhere Tools, equipment, materials Various cards, photos, word cards, etc., although

    many games for learning do not require any physical resource.

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology:

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    2. Action day

    (Contributing organisation: Garden Organic)

    Category:Events Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group): This

    varies depending on the project but could be school pupils, teachers, family

    groups, non-gardeners, experienced gardeners and other options.

    Timeframe: Usually , 1or 2 day event Short description of method: An event is planned around a theme such as Potato

    day, Chilli Day, Wildlife Weekend etc. The activities, educational messages, retail

    messages and food choices are all linked into the theme of the event, (where


    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): The participantswould have increased awareness and of a specific aspect of organic growing

    Location for training: Anywhere but often held at our headquarters, Rytongardens

    Tools, equipment, materials: Usual items associated with event management Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology: A

    sample programme can be seen below.

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    3. Communications/Enquiries

    (Contributing organisation: Garden Organic)

    Category:Communications Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group): Mainly

    our members (approximately 20,000) although information is also supplied to

    journalists and other individuals

    Timeframe: Ongoing (1950s onwards) Short description of method: Members write in (usually by email) with questions

    about various aspects of organic gardening. As far as possible these are answered

    by reference to about 50 factsheets which deal with common enquiries.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): An answer to aspecific question. We encourage the learner to look for our factsheet material

    directly next time to reduce the need for answering individual questions. Location for training: On line Tools, equipment, materials: Computer and library resources Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology:

    Enquiry: I was reading an article in a magazine regarding brassicas. The author stated that

    when he planted them out, he used a nitrogenous fertilizer called perlka; he stated that it

    assists the fight against clubroot. Have you any advice on this product please?

    Answer: As a synthetic fertiliser Perlka (calcium cyanamide) would not be considered

    acceptable for organic gardening. It seems that is can be effective against clubroot due to its

    liming effect and because it provides available nitrogen to help the plants to outgrow the

    disease. I would recommend that you use alternative liming agents such as ground limestone

    (if necessary) and build up the soil fertility using green manures and compost/animal

    manures. Please see a factsheet on club root control attached.

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    4. Master Gardeners Scheme

    (Contributing organisation: Garden Organic)

    Category: Mentoring Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group):

    Separate Households

    Timeframe: Up to 30 hours across twelve months within one year Short description of method: Individual household is supported and advised in

    gardening organically with an assigned mentor

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.):o Introduced to organic gardeningo Become confident in applying basic skill setso Advice delivered

    Location for training: visit or telephone/email communication Tools, equipment, materials: Supplied by person being mentored Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology:

    The Master Gardeners mentoring scheme works in practice by following

    through a number of steps:

    1. Person contacts the scheme2. The applicant is matched with a local mentor3. The mentoring takes place first with making initial contact and a discussion4. A follow-up meeting is arranged, at which advice is shared between the

    mentor and the mentoree (person seeking advice/support)

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    5. Seed saving

    (Contributing organisation: Garden Organic)

    Category: Show and Tell (followed by learning-by-doing) Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group):

    Maximum of 20 people, but depending on the task being studied

    Timeframe: Between 2-4 hours, depending of the level of knowledge ofparticipants

    Short description of method: Explain to students the basic principles associatedwith a seed saving task, show them how to do the seed saving task, and then get

    them to perform the tasks with help as required.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): At the basiclevel the expected outcome is to learn how to save a given seed or type of seed, at

    a more advanced level the learning experience would include achieving acompetence in showing others how to perform the seed saving task.

    Location for training: On-site or off-site, inside or outdoors Tools, equipment, materials: Plants in ground that are at the fruiting/seeding

    stage, material to clean, sieves, jars, water and either laptop and projector or a

    flipchart and pens.

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology:o Show examples of the different stages from flower to seed of a particular

    plant (e.g. radish)

    o Explain mechanics and principles of how to save seed (e.g. of the radishplant)

    o Get students to have a go at collecting seed, whilst helping them alongwhile they are working.

    o Finish with details on storageo Recap on basic principles of seed saving and the basic steps to follow in

    the concrete case of the crop chosen

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    6. Taste and Tell Edible weeds, Edible

    blossoms, Vegetables like a picture

    (Contributing organisation: LIPKA)

    Category (see below) Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group)

    5-30 adults (with children better to have less participants)

    Age: 7-77 or above basically any age if the person is able to move in the garden and

    bend down

    Timeframe30 60 minutes

    Short description of methodThis method is one of the best for learning organic gardening. It uses all the human

    senses, in particular the senses of smell and taste. Through sensing different tastes and

    smells of weed/wild plants participants very easily and almost incidently get to

    know and learn lot of about plants e.g. the conditions suitable for growing each

    plant, where does a particular plant grow in the wild, they learn to distinguish between

    edible and non-edible or even poisonous plants. Positive experiences connected with

    digestion will help participants to remember the information more easily and use them

    in practice in their lives. It motivates participants to not use chemicals in the garden,

    both herbicides/pesticides and fertilizers. At the same time this method will remind

    people of the wisdom of our ancestors, who used wild plants/weeds commonly forcooking. The motto for this course is: Do you know what to do with weeds? Eat them!

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    The participants will get to know about the possible uses of weeds and wild plants as a

    food source, and they will learn how to recognize wild plants and collect them in the

    garden or meadow, then will learn how to prepare them into spreads, spinach-like

    meal or soup (depending on the possibilities of the place and time). In the end

    participants will taste all parts of the process.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.)Influence the point of the view of participants on their attitudes towards weeds, so they

    will accept their existence in the garden with gratitude, will learn how to use them for

    their own profit and to avoid direct chemical warefare.

    Location for trainingThe best location is directly in the garden, where there is also a possibility of cooking.

    It is possible to lead the theoretical part of the training inside, and subsequently go

    outside to gather the plants. In case of very bad weather it is possible to gather the

    plants ahead and store them in the fridge, to help with recognition of particular plants,and to help students to gain an overall picture of the gathered real plant. Of course,

    ideally the course would be held directly in the garden., as participants can this way

    see also the typical growing environment where each plant/weed grows.

    Tools, equipment, materialsGarden scissors, containers or bags for gathering the plants, kitchen tools (knives,

    bowls, wooden spoons, chopping board, aluminium foil. In the case of preparation of

    spinach or soup you also need a cooking pot, strainer, scoop, mixer, plates and


    Depending on the recipe some of the following: cottage cheese, butter, soft cheese,

    salt, pepper, bread, potatoes, egg (for spinach).

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of the methodologyAt first the teacher/facilitator tells the participants about the importance of a particular

    wild plant (accompanying vegetation weed in this case and its potencial/

    possibility for health use). Participants will try to connect black-and-white pictures of

    the plants with the common names, after checking participants can use this working

    paper as a guide when gathering the plants. During the walk in the garden we show the

    participants the plants and typical places where each can be found. Then each

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    participant gathers at least 3 specimen of each edible plant, which can be found in that

    season and place.

    Important: only the youngest leaves of the plants (baby leaves) are tasty! The older the

    plant is, the more bitter and coarse the leaves are. Therefore the best time for this

    activity is in the spring (March till May), before the weeds start to blossom,.

    After return from gathering the plants is necessary to check what the participants havebrought, to determine whether all which they have collected is really edible.

    Sometimes it can occur that plants from the Ranunculaceae family, which are


    Weed recipes:Herb butter:

    Wash the plants and chop them finely. Add into butter, mix properly and pack the herb

    butter into the food foil in the shape of a roll, replace the plant in the fridge to let it

    harden. In a freezer this butter can be kept for months.

    Weed spread:Add part of the cut plants to cottage cheese mixed with soft cheese and you will have

    an awesome spread full of spring vitamins, which you spread on bread and decorate

    with whole leaves and edible blooms (daisy, violet, dead nettle...)

    Weed spinach:Leaf weeds like aegopodium, atriplex, chaenopodium scald with hot water, boil

    briefly in salted water, then add garlic mustard and mix it until it is smooth, thicken it

    with egg and again boil for a short time. To soften it you can add bit of milk or cream.

    Spring weed soupChop finely the leaves from orach (the red variety) and boil it together with salt and

    add to potatoes cut into cubes. Add cream and you will get creamy soup with an

    unusual pink colour, which children like a lot.

    If you want, you can also make baked potatoes wash them and pack in aluminium

    foil, bake in a hot oven.

    Serve the soup again decorated with blooms of daisy or leaves of clover, potatoes with

    weed spinach with bit of herb butter on the top, and canap with weed spread.

    This full menu can be also a light dieting lunch full of vitamins and minerals, which

    human body badly needs after the winter.

    Edible weeds

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    7. Projects

    (Contributing organisation: LIPKA)

    Examples: certification of a school natural garden, building of a garden lake, vertical

    garden creation, mobile plots, edible balcony, dry wall, green roof, herb spiral, willow


    Example: Certification of the natural school garden

    CategoryProjects, Practical activities (Learning-by-doing)

    Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group)School with a garden/plot

    TimeframeUsually one year

    Short description of methodIn order to support the schools endeavours to fulfil criteria needed for getting the

    certificate of Natural school garden, counsellor can advise them via email, telephone

    etc. Usually there is a personal visit of the counsellor to the school garden at the very

    beginning and at the end of the certification process, when the school is ready for its

    certification visit

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.)Fulfil the criteria required to gain school garden certification. To

    promote the idea of organic management of the school gardens

    They are able to explain principles of the natural garden to others

    Location for trainingFor long-term projects if there is a community planning part of the project it is good to

    have a room/suitable space for brainstorming and planning at the beginning, which

    usually takes place in the winter time. Realization itself takes place at suitable time of

    the year (depends on the theme of the project) directly at the garden/plot/place.

    Tools, equipment, materialsDepends on the theme of the project, size of the garden/place and level of difficulty of

    the project

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodologyLong term project certification of the natural school garden:

    If the school decides to rebuild its garden/plot into an organic garden and nature

    classroom and is able to fulfil the criteria for a certificate of a Natural School Garden,the school fills in an application and gets in contact with a counsellor. Usually there

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    follows one visit of the counsellor directly to the garden/plot, where the counsellor

    recommends changes needed, which will suit to the needs of the school and at the same

    time will fulfil the necessary criteria to get the certificate.

    Usually over one year the school manages (with the help of pupils and often parents too)

    to fulfil the required changes and the school asks for a certification visit. During thisvisit fulfilment of the required criteria is checked and evaluated by the certification

    committee and if the garden fullfils the criteria, it gets the certificate and title of Natural

    School Garden.

    Celebration of gaining the certificate takes place during an annual conference of

    environmental education - here the effort of the school is publicly appreciated and it is

    also an opportunity to motivate other participants of the conference (mainly teachers and

    headmasters of other schools).

    This process of certification is the same also for private gardens or public spaces.

    Picture from the conference of environmental education

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    8. Theme-based learning

    (Contributing organisation: LIPKA)

    The Zamini lecture series Minimum for gardeners (12 lectures throughout the


    Category (see below)Seminar, Practical activities (Learning-by-doing), Learning games

    Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group)Minimum group number 5 maximum 20, optimum 12 15 participants

    Timeframe1-3hours (depending on the theme), optimum 2-2,5 hours

    Short description of methodOrganic gardening is a very wide field with lot of specific practices, often suitable

    only for particular parts of the vegetative cycle, so it is useful to organize seminars

    before that particular part of the year/season. The best way is to have an introductory

    theoretical part at the beginning (0,5-1 hour) with an explanation of WHAT, WHY

    and HOW you should do, followed by a practical part, where the participants can try

    some of the specific activities. E.g. prunning, grafting, foundation of the raised beds,

    but also good techniques for sowing and planting of young plants (transplants).

    The human brain can absorb one tenth of what it hears, one quater of what it sees andminimally three quarters of what was done in practice. That is why this model of

    connecting theory and practice is very appropriate for organic gardening (and not


    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.)Get basic knowledge about gardening and growing vegetables, plants, herbs... in an

    organic way

    Location for trainingThe theoretical part of a course can take place in any room or space where the

    participants can comfortably sit and listen or even watch screened photos or

    presentations. The practical part can sometimes take place inside (winter months, bad

    weather), but most of the time outside in the garden (you can decide according to the


    Tools, equipment, materialsFor the theoretical part it is good to have data projector (pictures are explanatory and

    with sample examples you can demonstrate principles and most suitable methods of

    organic gardening, best practice cases (local or global ones) or , for example, the

    vegetative stages of plants which took place before or after the date of the seminar

    (buds, leaves, blooms, fruits...).Other equipment and tools depends on the theme of the seminar.

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    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodologySeed and planting stock

    Some adults do not know how particular whole plant looks like, what is under theground or how it blooms, despite the fact that they eat this plant (vegetable, herb)

    daily. So the first activity of the seminar is to put together cubes with parts of plants in

    the way that the pictures make sense, then participants try to describe these plants

    including pin-pointing the part which is edible. Later they try to explain terms and

    differences between them (e.g. which plant has a stem tuber and which one root tuber,

    what do rhizomes look like etc.). They can also find out which plants are annual,

    biennial and perennial and what is the difference between them in growing and


    Putting together cubes with parts of the plant

    There is a vegetative way of reproduction (through parts of the plant) and generative

    (through seeds). The participants will find out which plants reproduce in which way,

    what their seeds look like, what is the right depth of sowing, what should be the spaces

    between the seeds or young plants and many other useful practical pieces of


    Examples of seeds

    In the practical part, if there is the possibility, you can sow and plant the seeds and

    plants directly in the garden (appropriately to the season and conditions of the place).

    If it is still too cold outside, you can make seeding tapes. Stick seeds onto a wetted

    paper tape (with the right spaces between), which can be sown in the same depth in the

    ground (lettuce, radish, carrot...), but which germinate and grow at different rates, so

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    also the harvest will be gradual, one after another. The harvested radish will make

    more space for lettuce, harvested lettuce will make space for carrot. It is an activity

    suitable for winter months, when by planning and preparing seeding tapes you get

    ready for the spring time.

    As we put and stick the seeds on the tape with the right spaces needed for each plant,

    we save the amount of seeds we need to use and also save the need for thinning out.

    When we have seeds ready on the tape, we cover it from above with an absorbentpaper (e.g. kitchen paper towel, paper napkin) and again wet it with a sprayer. Both

    parts will stick together and the seeds are locked inside like in a sandwich. When the

    weather outside is fine for the seeds, we make a furrow in the ground (of proper depth

    and length) and we put in the seeding tape, cover it with soil and then we just wait, for

    when the seeds emerge.

    Planning the elements of a Natural Garden

    You can also make such seeding tapes with flowers (as part of biological plant health

    management). Also you can make different ornaments with seed tapes, it is not

    necessary just to keep to straight lines.

    Seminar: Seed and planting stock

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    9. Counselling

    (Contributing organisation: LIPKA)

    CategoryMentoring/support, Discussion

    Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group)Usually individuals (gardeners) or family

    TimeframeFrom 5 minutes to few days or even years, if there is a long term cooperation


    Short description of the methodCounselling is probably the most widespread and most useful way of educating in

    gardening organically. Experts in particular fields of garden art/mastery answer

    specific queries and offer advice to interested people on how to adapt the garden to

    their needs and at the same time use its (often hidden) potential, in the organic way.

    There are counselling nodes or centres, where people can call, email or come

    personally, but much more complex is the counselling directly at the site/garden.

    Visits at the garden and interviews with the owner or even all the users of the garden

    help to the counsellor to uncover all the relationships of the particular place, find its

    strengths and weaknesses, and directly at the site s/he can recommend priorities and a

    time schedule for recommended changes.

    Enquiries are common relating to the diagnosis of pests and diseases, and

    recommended ways of handling plant health challenges. Also advice is commonly

    sought on recommended varieties, with a stress on local specifics and conditions.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.)Get answers for specific, actual questions, learn the organic way of handling the


    Location for trainingCounselling can be provided at a larger scale through mass media (TV, radio,websites..), as a part of the programme at different events, at markets, as a part of

    presentations or workshops or at counselling points in opening hours for personal

    visits, otherwise via phone or email or even individually at the garden of the client.

    Tools, equipment, materialspaper and pencil for notes, camera for documenting the actual state of the garden or


    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology

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    Counselling: How to make urban mobile vegetable bed

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    10. Social gatherings/festivals

    (Contributing organisation: NyKA)

    Name of teaching method: Social gatherings/festival Category (see below): Social gatherings Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group): general

    public. From small group to large event (8-800 people)

    Timeframe: 2 hours to one day Short description of method:

    Festivals and social gatherings can be a useful way for people to learn about organic

    gardening. There are a wide range of possible experiences to be gained from social

    gatherings and festivals, and they can be especially useful for people new to organic methods.

    Perhaps the most important experience from a festival or social gathering is the overallatmosphere. When people are relaxed and stimulated they tend to learn best. An informal

    atmosphere, with freedom to choose from a number of programme options, may be a good

    way to introduce someone to what organic gardening is about. Often festivals include an

    element of practical work e.g. harvesting, which can give first hand experience of a task, but

    in general social gatherings and festivals are more about gaining an impression overall.

    If planning an event with the aim of providing a learning experience, you could consider the

    following programme ideas: games for adults, guided walks around the garden, talks (lectures

    or less formal exchanges), quiz/competition, cooking competition using organic ingredients,

    discussions, film presentations, demonstrations of a particular task (e.g. pruning fruit trees).

    The size of the social gathering will obviously have an important bearing on how personal the

    experience is for each participant. It is probably worth planning various sessions into a

    festival, where people can experience an activity in a smaller sized group (5-12 people) as

    people usually feel more relaxed and can gain more hands-on experience if the group is not

    too big.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.):Learner will gain broad experience of what organic gardening is about in a wider social

    context. More impressionistic and feeling-based than gaining of specific competencies.

    Specific knowledge may be gained from workshops or lectures, but overall impression

    more likely to stay with the learner. Location for training: suitable locations include demonstration gardens, organic

    gardens, organic farms, private organic gardens

    Tools, equipment, materials: The simplest social gatherings will just require thelocation. More elaborate festivals could

    include all kinds of resources, including

    tents, stages, public address systems, etc.

    Basic infrastructure should include live

    examples of good organic gardening


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    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology:Organise a 2 hour visit to an established organic garden in your area. Ask the garden owner

    to give a guided tour of the garden, including a description of how the garden began. Why

    was that location chosen for their garden? What is the basic crop rotation? Is any manure

    imported? ? how is composting done? What crops are usually most successful? What have

    been the biggest challenges? Ideally, the guide will allow questions throughout the walk, ifnot it would be good to arrange for questions at the end of the tour. If it is possible to include

    some light refreshments during the visit, it is likely to make people feel more relaxed and at

    home. The organiser will need to decide whether a fee needs to be charged for the garden

    visit, and how much should be paid to the garden owner.

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    11. Goethean Observation

    (Contributing organisation: NyKA)

    Name of teaching method: Goethean Observation Category: workshop, observation, discussion Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group): learners

    interested in getting closer to nature

    Timeframe: min. 2 hours to several day workshop Short description of method:

    Goethean Observation is a learning method which developed out of Goethes natural science

    work, based on the principle of metamorphosis. The approach to nature observation is based


    Observing with patience and rigour Deepening a sense of wonder to the world Using sensual and emotional awareness to experience phenomena as fully as possible Attending to connections between phenomena Acknowledging an ethical dimension to the practice of science (Brook, 1998).

    The aim of Goethean observation is to enter more deeply into any actual phenomenon in

    nature, with the aim of experiencing the phenomena directly. The Goethean approach can be

    described as a method with four stages (modes of perception):

    1. exact sensory perception2. exact sensorial fantasy3.

    seeing in beholding4. being one with the object.

    There is also a preparatory mode, where first (personal) impressions are noted, and seen as


    1. exact sensory perception (perception): the phenomenon of study is observed asobjectively as possible, collecting all the bare facts visual observation, description

    of colour, form. Smell, taste. It is an attempt to see the phenomenon of study as

    directly as possible without any personal judgement or evaluation.

    2. exact sensorial fantasy (imagination): here an attempt is made to see the phenomenonin time (in flux) as opposed to a frozen moment. E.g. in leaf observation a time

    sequence of leaves is studied, rather than the form at a particular moment

    3. Seeing in beholding (inspiration): at this stage an attempt is made to still activeperception to allow the thing to express itself through the observer so for this theobserver needs to be in a more passive, receptive state. For this stage, to really enter

    into the right mode of perception, Goethe said that we need to develop new organs of

    perception. What is expressed is the being of the phenomena something of its

    essential nature which is experienced directly by the observer, and can be described

    using emotional language, though the experience is the least subjective of the 4 stages

    often expressed in poetry, or some art form.

    4. being one with the object (intuition): at this stage the human participation with thephenomena is such that the observer lends his/her ability to conceptualise to think.

    In the inorganic realm this relates to intuiting laws and in the organic realm an

    appreciation of type. The observer and phenomena become closely linked with theobserver intuiting on behalf of the phenomena.

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    Recommended reading:

    Brook, I. (1998). Goethean science as a way to read a landscape. Landscape Research, vol

    23, No. 1. 1998.

    Colquhoun, M., Ewald, A. (1996). New Eyes for Plants a workbook for observing and

    drawing plants. Hawthorn Press, Stroud, UK.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): through observationand direct perception the learner enters into a closer relationship with natural


    Location for training: in Nature, workshop study area Tools, equipment, materials: paper, drawing materials Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology:

    Plant observation (1 day). An annual wild plant is selected for observation (e.g. Shepherds

    Purse). Study is carried out in a group with a facilitator leading the observational work. The

    Goethean observation begins with each member of the group noting down first impressions of

    the plant these can be later shared and discussed. 1. Sensory perception (perception) (1

    hour). Each member of the group gathers all available data on the plant. Describe colour,

    texture, form, taste, smell, etc. As far as possible avoid abstract (academic) descriptions.

    Stick to the directly perceptable facts, and use simple language to record or describe.

    Description can be shared in a round table group. It is important to give every one in the

    group equal time to share the information they have gathered. 2. Exact sensorial fantasy

    (imagination) (3/4 hour). The plant is collected (if enough specimens are available, then one

    is collected for each member of the group). At a table the plant specimen is examined and an

    attempt is made to see the plant in its entirety as a time continuum. Separate off each leaf,

    bract, corolla, petal, etc. And arrange these in a sequential spiral. The plant can be observed

    this way as it grows through time. 3. Seeing in beholding (inspiration) (1hour). When thespiral specimen of the plant is laid out it is possible to read the metamorphosis of the plant.

    On paper, with charcoal everyone draws the gesture of the plant in free expression. 4. Being

    one with the object (intuition) (1 hour). The group then tries to pull together the intuitive

    learning from the observation. Each member of the group needs to consciously bring into

    thought what is expressed in stage 3 as a gesture of the plant. This can be discussed, and an

    attempt to elicit natural laws and directly experienced facts about the whole being of the plant

    as revealed through the 4 stages of perception.

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    12. Meeting/ group discussion

    (Contributing organisation: NyKA)

    Name of teaching method: Meeting/group discussion Category (see below): discussion Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group): wide range

    of group applications

    Timeframe: 10-40 minutes Short description of method:

    A group meeting or discussion could be used as a stand alone teaching method for a session,

    but is more likely to be incorporated into a garden learning session alongside other learning

    techniques e.g. you may have a learn-by-doing practical session and then have a short

    plenary discussion at the end of the session to exchange experiences and reinforce the


    Involving adult learners in discussion is a way to share knowledge, so that you move away

    from a teacher-student dynamic towards a more horizontal exchange of learner-to-learner

    exchanges. Allowing time for discussion of activities undertaken or tasks completed allows

    learners to reinforce their experiences and also critically appraise what has been learnt.

    Good techniques for encouraging discussion are to sit in a circle, to create a context where all

    participants are called upon to give their view or share their experience. Try to steer away

    from discussions which are dominated by one person or by a leading subgroup. People tend

    to learn more when they are active rather than passive. Having to listen to lengthy discussion

    by other people will quickly turn some learners off.

    Limit time to a predetermined period, and consider structuring the discussion (and moderating

    the discussion) to maintain maximum participation

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): reinforce learnedexperience. Critically appraise learning experience

    Location for training: flexible Tools, equipment, materials: a board or flip chart can be useful to make notes, but

    not always essential

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodologyYou have undertaken a practical task (e.g. planted and trained tomatoes up stakes).Having completed the task you focus the attention of the group for five minutes to

    appraise the work just undertaken. Ask questions of the group which help to focus

    attention (e.g. How do the plants look now? Do you think that plants will stand up to any

    kind of weather? What kind of maintenance is now required to keep the plant healthy?)

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    13. Recipe Exchange

    (Contributing organisation: NyKA)

    Name of teaching method: Recipe exchange Category (see below) : Communication Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group): any size Timeframe: on-going activity Short description of method:

    Exchanging recipes may not seem like the most obvious teaching method for learing about

    organic gardening, but in fact can be a very useful tool, which can build great insight into

    seasonality in the garden, and how to use (and by extension what to grow) from the garden.

    As a gardening educator you can use recipes in a wide range of ways from suggesting

    recipes to your learning group, to asking for recipes, or creating new recipes, or researching

    recipes. Recipes can be an enormous aid to helping guide people in the consumption of fresh

    vegetables and fruit from the garden. Learning in what season what crops are possible, and

    then finding good uses for these crops is central to a deeper knowledge of gardening.

    Learning to enjoy the seasons by appreciating the plants which are ready to use at different

    times of the year can help people to find a much closer relationship with nature. Eating by the

    season helps to reinforce the experience of living with the seasons. A good sense of season is

    a fundamental for being a good organic gardener.

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    You could encourage people to find recipes which fit the current crops in the garden.

    You could set the task of creating tasty recipes which make maximum use of raw

    ingredients from your own garden. You could use recipes to help people extend their

    range of crops in the garden, encouraging people to experiment with new crops (e.g.introducing Asian vegetables (pak choi, mizuna, tatsoi, etc.).

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): Throughusing recipes students will get to know more about what is available when in

    the garden, and how to use it to best advantage

    Location for training: not dependent on location Tools, equipment, materials: recipe books, internet access Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology:

    You are running a gardening evening class. You are beginning to get crops from your

    teaching garden. You ask your group to bring along either their favourite recipes,

    with a specific ingredient (something from the garden) featuring centrally in the

    garden. The group exchanges selected recipes and discusses how these help to enjoy

    the harvest of the garden.

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    14. Garden Diary

    (Contributing organisation: NyKA)

    Name of teaching method: Garden Diary Category: communication (written) Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group):

    individual activity could be set as an exercise for the whole group

    Timeframe: daily for a season or year Short description of method:

    Keeping a journal, a log or a garden diary is a straight-forward, but effective tool for

    learning. Most suitable for an on-going learning situation e.g. a year long evening

    class, an apprenticeship.

    The learner is asked to keep a daily journal of activities which happen in the garden.

    This diary when kept regularly becomes a learning process and a concrete source of

    information on the specific activities in a particular garden in a particular year.

    Serious students of gardening are encouraged to make this a life-long practice,

    building up a valuable reference source, which can be looked back on to check on,

    e.g. sowing dates in a previous season, weather records or first/last frosts.

    As a daily log, the adult learner will enter into the discipline of recording daily

    activities in the garden. The reflection back on the activities of the day reinforce the

    practical learning experiences, and help to establish a bridge between learning by

    doing and cognitive learning, where the student becomes more conscious of activities

    and the reasons for doing things the way we do them.

    The garden diary will help the student in time to become more conscious of the

    garden passing through the seasons in the garden. Spring being full of busy bed

    preparation, sowing and planting. Summer hoeing and plant care, autumn harvesting,

    winter planning. Living in this way with the seasons is both inherently satisfying (key

    to the enjoyment of gardening) and also helps to reinforce and awareness of the right

    time to undertake certain jobs which eventually becomes a kind of second nature.

    The garden diary can be used to record activities, but also as a record of what was

    sown where and when in the garden. Keeping a log of weather (temperature, rainfall,

    wind direction, hours of sunlight) and e.g. when bio-dynamic preparations are used (if

    working biodynamically) transforms the diary from being a teaching tool to being an

    important reference for the future. Keeping a garden diary strengthens the power of

    observation key to good gardening and farming.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): strengthenobservational skills, reinforce (make more conscious) knowledge gained from

    practical activity

    Location for training: regular recordings on a specific garden Tools, equipment, materials: a notebook/diary and pen/pencil, crayons

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    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology:Encourage the student to keep a garden diary for a specific period e.g. the current

    growing season, a fixed week, a whole year. Suggest the student records: daily

    activities in the garden. Any unusual activities (e.g. receiving delivery of a load of

    manure, dates of spraying), which might be useful to refer back to. Observe theweather and make recordings of temperature, precipitation, wind direction, hours of

    sunlight (for bio-dynamics also the root, leaf, flower, fruit days). Also suggest the

    recording of sowing dates (including what crop, variety, amount of seed sown, where)

    and possibly transplanting dates, cultivation dates. Once the specific period has

    passed, ask students to present their diaries and discuss.

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    15. The Four Elements

    (Contributing organisation: NyKA)

    Name of teaching method: Teaching with the Four Elements Category: practical activities, learning games, seminars, demonstration Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group): any


    Timeframe: 1 hour to 1 day Short description of method:

    Teaching using the four elements is less of a pedagogical method in itself, as it is an

    inpirational resource. The four elements (earth, water, air, fire/warmth) are by

    definition essential elements in nature, and when studying nature can be observed to

    always be present in living processes in some combination as such they are apowerful tool for entering closer into natural processes, and for understanding (and

    directly experiencing) nature.

    Each of the four elements corresponds closely with a respective season of the year:

    Earth winter; Water spring; Air summer; Warmth/Fire autumn, but is not a

    direct analogue, leaving some room for interpretation. For example it could be argued

    that warmth/fire are closer to summer than autumn. However, also corresponding to

    the four elements are the four parts of a plant, and these give a key also to seasonal

    and elemental connections. That is: Earth root; Water leaf; Air flower;

    Warmth/Fire seed/fruit. In this respect it is easier to see the connection between

    warmth/fire, seed/fruiting processes and the autumn, or at least the late summer

    when in nature seeding and fruiting processes come to a head (though not for all

    plants at the same time).

    Working with the four elements are direct experiences and also as symbolic/allegoric,

    it is important to develop a sense of flow, movement, dynamism and creativity.

    Nothing can be simply fixed, or stated as solid fact. The four elements rather are

    background qualities which continuously imbue matter with their nature, but are

    continuously in flow from one to another. For example, we can relate the four

    elements to a single day if we observe plants wet with early morning dew

    encouraging leaf development, drying off as the air warms up and wind clears the air encouraging growth and flowering up to midday. As the day becomes fully warm,

    with long, baking afternoon sun we can imagine the seed formation processes

    working most strongly. As the day finally cools and darkens, the plant begins to

    withdraw again to its roots and turn back to the Earth.

    The possibilities for using the four seasons creatively in teaching gardening are

    infinite limited only by our own imagination. What is observable is that when the

    four elements are used to communicate a natural process, people tend to have a deep

    sense of recognition (not everybody!), and feel on a deep level some kind of

    resonance, confirming some already known truth (intuition).

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    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): anexperience of feeling closer to nature and natural rhythms in nature

    Location for training: any, but preferably outdoors Tools, equipment, materials: the resources to be found in nature Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology:

    The four elements can be used as a living analogy when studying composting. The

    compost pile can be seen as a complete synthesis of the four elements, with each

    element contributing an essential part of the overall process of composting. The

    physical materials (plant and animal wastes/residues) constitute the earthly element

    the physical. The watery element is clearly required in composting in the form of

    moisture surrounding the substance of the compost pile. The need for aeration in

    composting is well recognised where air is not available accompanying

    decomposition, then the decomposition becomes anaerobic and stagnant, with

    putrefied smells a sour fermentation not correct composting. This shows the

    essential role of the airy element in composting. Finally warmth/fire comes about in

    the compost heap spontaneously (a kind of self-cooking) when all the other

    elements are present in a correct balance. Microbes can aerobically break-down the

    substance when moisture and air and the correct carbon:nitrogen ratio is in balance

    the compost pile heats up from the warmth generated by the metabolising microbes.

    (A further analogy can be used in parallel liking bread-making to composting the

    ingredients as matter/earth; air and water both being essential; the fire element beingrequired to bake the bread).

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    16. Compost / green treasure

    (Contributing organisation: SOSNA)

    Category (see below): Worksheets/campaigns combining with Practicalactivities and Mentoring/support

    Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group):municipalities, around 1000 citizens

    Timeframe: 3 months Short description of methodComposting campaigns comprising the following parts:- presentations and seminars for public, citizens- seminars for schools- seminars for municipalities- campaign door to door knocking for households- course for Compost masters- information campaigns, included local radio station and local newspaper Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.)

    Established public and school composting site, increasing number of private

    household composting sites, trained youth volunteers, trained Compost Masters,

    installed 3 informational panels for public, distributed informational leaflets,

    prepared system of collecting biowaste in the village

    Location for training: any kind of village Tools, equipment, materialsPrepared special ppt presentation for school and special for municipalities, place

    devoted for composting site, equipment and material for composting,

    informational leaflets and materials.

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodologyComposting campaigns comprising the following parts:

    - Presentations and seminars for public, citizens. Presentation lasting aroun 2hours are concerned with the following steps: A. Why composting? B. what

    to bring into the compost and what to add to the compost C. Technology of

    composting D. Testing of compost maturity E. How and where to apply

    compost to the soil.

    - Seminars for schools. Seminar of duration 2 hours prepared for children ofdifferent ages /12 - 15 years old/. Topics include: How to separate biowaste

    in school, in school canteen, learning-by-doing part concerning on setting up

    composting site, what to add to the compost, technology of composting.

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    Seminars for schools also concerns how to lead information campaigns in


    - Seminars for municipalities. Presentation of duration 2 hours concerning thefollowing steps: A. What kind of biowaste we have in the village B. what to

    bring into the compost and what does belong to the compost C. Technologyof composting D. Testing of compost maturity E. How and where to apply

    compost to the soil F. How to keep records about biowaste / type, quantity,

    humidity. G. Way to establish composting facility.

    - Campaign door to door knocking for households. There was prepared anddistributed questionnaire about composting in households. Process was carried

    out by school youth volunteers, which had been trained for this task.

    Following results of evaluation of questionnaires, information leaflets were

    prepared for citizens households.

    - Course for Compost Masters. Using learning-by-doing technique wasemployed. The prepared course about composting technology lasted 3 hours,

    practical demonstration of establishing of composting site, warning on

    possible faults, way of using compost on a non-productive location.

    - Information campaigns, included local radio station and local newspaper,public hearing with promotion through movies, leaflets, informational panels


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    17. Excursion - Bus trip full of

    organic gardening

    (Contributing organisation: SOSNA)

    Category (see below): excursion Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group):

    gardeners, farmers, teachers interested in organic gardening, NGO members,

    Timeframe: 2-3 days Short description of method

    Excursion lasting 2-3 days visiting inspirational 8-12 organic gardens, organic family

    farms. Participants could see good practices and various approaches to organic

    gardening and farming, educational programs of NGOs on organic and Permaculture

    gardening. A useful tool which was employed was the Natural Gardens National

    Network, which was used as database for possible participants. An inspirational space

    for networking and exchange of experience was established for all participants.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.)Participants will gain broad experience of what organic gardening is about in a

    wider social context. Obtained competencies on natural gardening techniques,

    strengthening of national network of Natural Gardens, trained people

    participants in various skills for gardening.

    Location for training: regional or country organic gardens, NGOsconcerning on gardening

    Tools, equipment, materials:Bus, contact person for each location, lecturers, Natural Garden guides

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodologyOrganise a 2- 3 days excursion to an established organic garden in your region or on a

    national level. To generate places of interest - organic gardens, farms, NGOs aimed

    at organic gardens, ask the garden owner to give a guided tour of the garden,

    including a description of how the garden began. It is important is to consider

    carefully various locations when planning the excursion, to get a good spread of

    gardens , good for inspirations on various designing of gardens and information on

    different garden structures e.g. natural pond, willow structures, raise beds, companion

    planting etc.

    Why was that location chosen for their garden? Why and how it is innovative? For

    what purpose the garden is used? What is the basic crop rotation? Is any manure

    imported? How is composting done? Best practices for plant protection? Why was

    this garden designed in this specific way? What have been the biggest challenges?

    Very important is to encourage participants to raise questions. The organiser will

    need to decide whether a fee needs to be charged for the garden visit, and how much

    should be paid to the garden owner and to ensure accommodation and meal

    facilities. It is good to ask natural gardens guides if they can offer people, local

    specialities, or local products.

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    18. The Art of Organic Gardening

    (Contributing organisation: SOSNA)

    Category: Learning by doing, mentoring Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group):

    teachers from schools which would like to start up organic garden in their

    schools, gardeners, public

    Timeframe: 2 days Short description of method

    This method is a great tool to support people in the creation of new organic garden

    The training method needs a minimum of 2 days , containing both a theoreticaland practical part. Combining these two parts is important for participants, to

    allow them understand not only theory, but also to obtain the skills needed to start

    up their own organic garden or some garden structures in an organic way. In the

    practical part participants will get a chance to construct different garden

    structures, such as natural ponds, key holes, herb spirals, constructions suitable for

    different kind of animals etc. Participants will obtain information on how to

    motivate people around them, in schools, families, communities, to run up their

    own organic garden.

    Possible topics for this training can include the following:

    Principles of organic gardening Principles of permaculture Natural patterns and their using in designing of gardens Soil, as the base for good gardening Composting Plants, seedlings Traditional varieties, local species and their reviving in gardens How to attract animals into the garden / animal homes Art in the garden Shelters and play structures for children

    Part of the program is practical: building structures in the garden.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): trainedparticipants with acquire skills needed to start own home gardening,

    improving knowledge on specific principles and guidelines on organic

    gardening, obtaine skills in how to build specific garden structures, as ponds,

    willow shelters, raised beds, butterfly bed etc, to train people in theory how to

    design organic gardens, what are organic gardening principles.

    Location for training: SOSNA organic garden, or any kind of organic garden

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    Tools, equipment, materialsPpt presentation, technique / data projector etc./, material for garden structure

    creation, choosing structures depending on participants and locality/

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodologyTo start up the course you need to prepare a detailed program for two days, to

    have a good lecturer, good promotion and teaching material, an organiser andplace, which in practice means an organic garden.

    Also you need to think about promotion, so it is a good idea to prepare attactive

    informational posters to distribute through different ways: facebook, web page ,

    posters in cities, etc. It is also necessary to prepare an application form for the

    training. It is important to think about the fee for participants, information included

    facilities rules: accommodation, meals and services.

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    19. Indian Summer Festival

    (Contributing organisation: SOSNA)

    Category: Social gathering, festival Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group):

    Families with children, public, youth, NGOs members

    Timeframe: 8 hours / from 2pm to 10pm Short description of method

    Festivals are a useful way for people to learn about organic gardening. During

    festivals you can offer programmes, which will introduce the advantages of organic

    gardening, new techniques for organic methods. Into the program organisers can alsoadd various workshops, with practical examples how to create structures in the

    organic garden , how to cook from organic produce, how to save seeds, etc.

    The most important experience from a festival is the overall atmosphere. Part of the

    preparation is informational notices/signs, informational materials, photos, ppt

    presentations, guided tours through the garden, leaflets, books and magazines sales,


    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.)Participants trained in specific topic of garden methods and structures depending

    on workshops, gaining of a broad experience of what organic gardening is, ,

    skills in workshops learning-by-doing, volunteers trained in organising

    large events

    Location for training : natural garden

    Tools, equipment, materialsThe first is location a natural and/or organic garden, size is variable according to

    the amount of people the festival is planned for. It is good to think about space for

    different parts of the festival. Space for workshops, space for presentations, films,

    exhibitions etc. Of course, above all you need find excellent lecturers. Do not forget

    that people would like to drink and eat, so it is great chance to prepare tables withrefreshment which will support the idea of organic gardens that is meals prepared

    from organic products.

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodology

    If you think of a program for a festival, you can think about different target groups:

    youth , retired people, mother with young children, men, etc. For all the different

    participant groups you need to consider specific programs - presentations, seminars,

    workshops, learning-by-doing activities, games, concerts etc. It is very useful to ask

    for help from volunteers in different aspects of organising this event: preparation

    phase, promotion, workshops etc.

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    20. Designing systems and

    structures in Natural Gardens

    (Contributing organisation: SOSNA)

    Category: demonstration Target group (size of group, geographical social specifics of group):

    families with children, public, gardeners, teachers interested in creating

    school gardens

    Timeframe: from 2 hours to 1 day Short description of method

    The Natural Garden in SOSNA, a half hectare plot, as a part of Eco Centre, is

    gradually transformed for the demonstration of natural gardening, where herbs,

    flowers and plants are grown without any chemical inputs. The Natural Garden

    provides space for old, traditional and unknown varieties of cultural plants, it includes

    also land art, a small fishpond, solar fruit dryer, and other important components and

    structures of bio-gardens. This space is suitable for introducing people to organic

    gardening methods, as well as for deeper courses in this topic.

    For the introduction of designing systems and structures for Natural Gardening you

    can use different methods, depending on target groups. Because of that we describe

    different tools to give people as much information and practical examples for

    everyday life and implementation in schools, or household gardens.

    Expected outcome (competencies, learning experiences, etc.): toimprovethe competency of visitors / participants to start their own organic gardens

    and garden structures, improve skills in organic garden designing principles,

    improving knowledge on organic gardening, practical information regarding

    herbs, vegetables, systems of water use, composting etc.

    Location for training : SOSNA natural garden, or any similar organic garden Tools, equipment, materials

    Informational materials for excursions or seminars, data projector and ppt

    presentation, in the case of practical work materials are needed, e.g for raise bed

    creating, composting, seedlings etc., these materials depend on the choice of the

    garden structure presentation.

    Concrete example including step-by-step description of methodologyPhilosophy for home gardening in this place is based on supporting of small scale

    organic gardening, as the way of :

    maintaining the traditional rural landscape improving natural conditions of landscape and its biodiversity strengthening local self sufficiency and food security in Slovakia, which has

    the highest proportion of imported food of all EU countries

    maintain relation of local people to their land and soil support healthy and responsible life styles

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    Organic garden can have the following features:

    training - teaching : organic gardens provide space for informal environmentaleducation on various topics,

    community : garden can be in close co-operation with local elementary schools,

    local children and adults as well as with various groups - unemployed, Roma people,women, etc.. In this case the garden can be used for community celebration, social

    gatherings, organic markets and other suitable events.

    demonstration : the garden and ecocenter presents a living example of an organic

    garden and eco house for households, university students, schools, teachers etc. and

    provides an appropriate location for educational programs, practical workshops,

    summer camps, courses, learning-by-doing actions.

    ecology : building the organic garden motivates people to adopt environmentallyfriendly ways of life

    production : Local gardening with production can support and strengthenfinancial stability. Because of this it is important to think about an financial

    policy, to decide who will pay for services, educational programs, courses, orplants, seedlings, participation fee for attending events etc.

    To reach this policy organisers should prepare programmes, which contain various


    excursions natural gardens can be regularly visited by groups of visitors,which are guided around our garden getting a great deal of information about

    natural gardening and related topics. Important is good promotion, marketing

    and also providing visitors with informational materials.

    demonstration our Natural garden is used during various activities andevents as a sample demonstration of natural gardening and its principles.Notice boards/interpretations boards with descriptions of particular parts of

    our garden, labels with names of plants, and other information can help with a

    better understanding of our approach.

    trainings learning-by-doing - trainings can be organised as 1-2 day trainingon detailed prepared topics of natural gardening. Apart from theory, part of

    training is always connected with some practical activity. SOSNAs most

    popular training is Design of natural school plots this favourite activity is

    realised as a 1-2 days training outside of our garden, on selected school plots.

    Training consists of theoretical part focused on principles and a practical

    realisation part. Together with teachers, pupils and parents of concerned

    schools we create designs for a school natural garden as well as realise someof selected parts of design. In this case it is necessary to have a natural garden

    coordinator for all follow-up activities in the school after demonstration

    sessions in the SOSNA garden.

    It is always a good idea to take care of meals or refreshment facilities. For a 2 hour

    event it is only refreshment, in the case of 1 day guided tour a meal would be

    suitable. In this case it is good to remember to decide if participants will pay a fee,

    and if so, how much, and whether children can attend free of charge or whether they

    will pay a small amount.

    It is necessary is to ask guides, lecturers, people will take care of the participants/

    group and somebody who will prepare the material and equipment which is needed

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    Okrun 17

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    +421 904 951139

    Za obsah tohto materilu zodpoved autor a Eurpska