How can we make schools fit for the future? What can alternative forms of teaching look like? And how can we do our part? These are all questions that have occupied us for a long time and that we have been working towards since the beginning of the school garden. During the summer vacations, we will once again be redesigning and upgrading the school garden in order to lay the foundations for next year’s new “University of Nature” studio lesson. The idea is to create conditions in the school garden, among other things, that will allow students and teachers to conduct lessons in the school garden as a new classroom. The University of Nature is intended to impart knowledge and create environmental awareness through practical demonstrations and experimental setups. For example, it is planned to build a composting toilet. A composting toilet is a dry toilet that requires no water and converts human waste into compost over a period of 12 to 24 months. This in turn then serves as a nutrient in our school garden. The composting toilet forms the basis for discussions on the subject of soil and nutrients and, particularly in view of the phosphorus crisis that we are facing, is a prime example of how phosphorus can be obtained from urine in the future, because without phosphorus there is no life. Innovative methods of urine recycling are important because global resources are running out. The mineral is a component of fertilizer, which is urgently needed in agriculture. In addition to the composting toilet, there will also be a biogas plant. The plant will be used to recycle non-compostable kitchen waste to produce gas for cooking. In order to make the best use of the gas, we will build a small outdoor kitchen in the school garden. Two insulated raised beds will also be placed in our school garden, which will invite students to experiment and conduct research in the future. How do pesticides affect plants? Can mineral oil be detected later in tomatoes? These questions can then be explored and clarified experimentally in chemistry or biology lessons, for example.
The studio class “University of Nature” is offered for grades 7-9 and takes place 1 time a week. Otherwise, of course, all interested teachers and parents are invited to realize projects in the school garden. So that it does not remain completely too theoretical and also the culinary side of a school garden does not come too briefly, we will share in the future from time to time recipes, which were cooked with ingredients from our school garden…..
As a small foretaste, here is already a recipe with wild beans, which we have successfully grown and harvested in the garden a few months ago.
Wild bean skillet
400 g wild beans, soaked
1 clove of garlic
3 stalks marjoram
2 tablespoons butter
1 heaped tsp. flour for dusting
200 ml vegetable broth
7 tablespoons cream
1 tablespoon medium or hot mustard
Boil the beans in water for about 15-20 minutes until they are soft. Heat butter in a large frying pan, add onion, garlic and beans. Dust everything with a little flour and sauté for about 3 minutes until brown, then deglaze with broth. Cover with marjoram and cook over low heat for 5-1 min.
Mix cream with mustard and add to beans, bring to a boil briefly. Season beans with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh bread or fried potatoes.
And now have fun with the re-cooking…
Greetings with Green Thumbs,
Florian, Tony and Patrick our gardener