A Classroom Without Walls
Odyssey Orchards was created to demonstrate, apply, experiment with, and celebrate a living solution to what is perceive to be the most urgent problem facing current and future generations, the convergence of environmental, economic, and cultural decay. The garden stands as a thriving, localized, solution to this otherwise globalized, complex problem. Students will have opportunities to not just understand these problems, but to actually be a part of the solution, on a scale that they can comprehend and affect.
The quarter acre garden at Odyssey Charter School engages K-8 students in the process of growing food and and helps them to build relationships with nature and its cycles. All students participate in the maintenance of the garden, which includes engineering and design, planting, harvesting, as well as weeding, mulching, and pruning. Students experience a wide variety of hands on learning activities that incorporate science and math standards. Some of the topics covered are life cycles, plant anatomy, climate/seasons, soil quality, seed science, and measurement.
In addition, students have ample opportunities to try new foods growing in the garden. Sometimes this looks like informal foraging, and at others, more structured cooking activities with recipes. The goal of these kinds of activities introduces students to a wider range of healthy foods.