Understanding Orchards Teachers’ Notes are available in English and in French

“Understanding Orchards: Soil & Biodiversity in Fruit Trees” by David Barnes and Susan Poizner is a set of teachers’ notes aimed at students aged 12-17. It includes six activities that teach students how to test the soil for fertility and drainage and the importance of preserving biodiversity when planning an orchard. The lessons can be integrated into the Ontario curriculum (Grades 6 and 11). The activities can also be used as part of a school project to help young people design and plan their own school orchard. The notes are available in both English and French. All profits from sales of these teachers’ notes go to Growing for Green to help support Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard and our activities. This project was funded in part by a grant from Live Green Toronto, a program of the City of Toronto.

For more information and to order your copy in English click here:

For more information and to order your copy in French click here:

“Tree Stories” is a series of 3 short educational films that can accompany “Understanding Orchards: Soil & Biodiversity in Fruit Trees”.  These films celebrate the stories of trees and the people that tend them, protect them, and enjoy them. Each film focuses on a different species and features footage that will help viewers with tree identification, including close up shots of the leaves and buds and footage showing the tree’s habit (shape) and the texture of the bark. One of the Tree Stories films is about Growing for Green’s orchard in Ben Nobleman Park and is called “A Call for Urban Orchards”. Another film is called “A Beech Among Maples” and it explores biodiversity. “The Last Oaks in Oakville” explores the importance of preserving older trees.

To preview the films, click here.

For more information and to order a copy of “Tree Stories” click here.

About the creators:

David Barnes is a school teacher, writer,  illustrator and author of “Teaching with Trees: Linking Literacy and Environmental Education”. He is based in Toronto, Canada.

Susan Poizner is a writer, filmmaker and fruit tree care consultant. She is one of the founders of Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard in Toronto and she is the director of the Toronto-based fruit tree care and consulting company Orchard People.