Faith group students came to Buddha Garden on Wednesdays for ten weeks starting in mid-October and finishing in mid-December. They came during the normal work time of 6.15 – 9.00am Monday to Friday and were accompanied by Mahavir Honor and Adele (Deepanam teachers) and Ingrid, an experienced volunteer Waldorf Teacher from Germany. They worked with the Buddha Garden team of Priya, Rajan, Giri, and Mani together with any volunteers staying on the farm.
This gave them a structured opportunity to learn practically how to grow food on a working organic farm. In each session, as well as helping with the farm work, an activity was planned about some relevant topic such as soil fertility, plant growth etc. This was further developed in the classroom where students were encouraged to make their own examples of what they had learned using a variety of media.
During the work time, they undertook any and all of the work necessary to grow food in Buddha Garden. This included making vegetable beds, composting, mulching, planting, clearing beds, They also carried out work in the nursery, on the vegetable beds, and in the various orchards.
During each session, the students first carried out general farm work. For the last half an hour or so there was a talk about an aspect of farming as well as having a question and answer discussion. They were shown around the farm so they could understand how the different parts of the farm support the food growing process in a holistic way. We also looked at soil from different parts of the farm, talked about how to preserve soil fertility and looked at plant growth. The students constantly reviewed the work they did and were able to see how their different plants grew and developed during their time in Buddha Garden.