Posts Tagged organicarts

tree creatures and the permeability of clay

Withycombe Raleigh Primary came to West Town to explore soils and clay on the farm. We tracked our journey using a satellite image, waded through the stream, crossed muddy fields and ended up at Tree Henge.


There is a really good link to be made with Science and Art! Along the journey we stopped to observe first hand, in the hand and a very muddy hand it was by the end! Particles, organic matter, rock, pebble and permeability all emerged as a working vocabulary. Tea strainers allowed us to test permeability out in the field and answer the question “Why was the water staying in the Tree Henge’s moat?” Then clay became a resource for creation as we mixed different colours, added gathered materials and finally our Tree Creatures guarding the trees. I hope that, by the end, the children had a far deeper understanding of what clay is.
This is part of a developing series of stories about the resources we have on the farm. Wood, Water, Pumpkins, Pigs and more all have their story to tell of change and use through direct experience. Certainly this process is a good learning opportunity for me!

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Badger Tales!

A chance conversation with a teacher about a farm visit led to this project! Set in the red earth of the old railway cutting at West Town a mix of storytelling, drama, word play and environmental explorations and artworks will lead groups into the nocturnal world of Brock the Badger. Gill. the teacher, mentioned that her 7 year olds were writing about nocturnal creatures as part of their Literacy SATs. I am wondering whether any other schools would like to explore Badger Tales. More sessions make it easier to justify a longer preparation time.Time to go calling again!

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At the Green Fair

Exeter Green Fair

Exeter Green Fair

Finally the Green Fair has come onto the Cathedral Green out from the beautiful, but rather secluded surroundings, of the Bishop’s Garden! So many people wandering through the range stalls covering recycling, local food, green initiatives and more! OrganicARTS and Love Local Food were there and a very fine time it was with conversations ranging from the changing state of the staple food of Britain – is it potato or pasta now? – through to the possible links of projects at the farm with those in India!

Antoine Parmentier

Antoine Parmentier

I did a couple of story sessions featuring the Potato Tales. For those listeners who doubted the veracity of the story of Antoine Parmentier and the introduction of potatoes to France then  check this Wikipedia article! These stories have a good mix of history, biology and folk tradition!

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organicARTS’ thought maps

organicARTS had a morning of review and action planning with Mary Schwarz, an arts consultant. This was an excellent session with lots of productive thinking. I really liked Mary’s love of post it notes to generate and organise ideas. postitnoteseducationsmallThe challenge is to record these ideas for future discussion. I have been exploring the XMIND software which has done a rather good job. The ideas can be looked at in different ways and exported out as images, web pages and text outlines. Just what I wanted really. The software is free to download and cross platform. I am going to try it out with some 8-9 year olds next week along with VUE which offers similar features. When children ask how toget hold of the software to use at home then you know that things are working!!

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