SustPack 2017 Volunteer Activity: The Orchard Learning Center

Pre-Conference Volunteer Activity at The Orchard Learning Center

Sunday, April 23, from 3:00-5:00 pm 

If you are planning on coming into Scottsdale early, we invite you to roll up your sleeves and join us in volunteering at The Orchard Community Learning Center, on Sunday, April, 23 from 3:00-5:00 pm.

*Space is limited for 30 people max, and sign up's are on a first come, first serve basis- sign up during the registration process. 

The Orchard Community Learning Center (OCLC) is a place for community to gather, an educational center for youth, and a working farm. Our community possesses the rich “funds of knowledge” and cultural wealth that are the best resources to address society’s systemic issues. The OCLC helps catalyze the necessary conversations, learning, and actions to happen.


The Orchard provides experiential education, resources, and joins in partnerships to promote healthy lifestyles in South Phoenix. Organizations, students, and families gather to learn, work, and develop relationships. Their main focus is in 3 areas; Farm-to-Table, Community Conversations, and STEA²M.


  • Farm-to-Table starts with chemical-free farming/gardening, aquaponics, and poultry husbandry. Food is raised for roadside, CSA, farmers’ markets, and community events. Embedded in the work are efforts to understand the entrepreneurial and food justice aspects of small farms. Farmer Miguel is currently the only OCLC employee. He is paid a just wage in return for his work that literally sustains us.
  • Community Conversations are community workshops, and actions in the areas of food and educational justice. Activities include a ‘Healthy Roots’ heritage foods project and a new initiative that combines local food sales and wellness conversations in a Monday market at the Mountain Park Health Center/Baseline.
  • STEA²M (Science, Technology, Arts, Agriculture, Math) is for youth 6-18. Human curiosity is the nature of science and learning. Our work in STEA²M assumes that (1) children are scientists by nature and (2) their families possess rich funds of knowledge which can be drawn upon by us for a side-by-side development of curriculum. Parents are engaged as co-teachers in the work. Themes of study have included seed, seed sovereignty, aquaponics, native crops, and composting.

Click here to learn more about The Orchard Community Learning Center

*You must register for the full SustPack 2017 conference to be able to attend the pre conference volunteer activity.