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The South Whidbey Academy Garden is taking shape! The grassy slope is being turned into an outdoor classroom for science and sustainability curriculum, and the produce grown will go to Good Cheer Food Bank! The terraces will be ready to plant soon, thanks to the hard work of students in Michele Sakaguchi’s class.
A big thank you to Chris Korrow and his tractor with its Italian spading attachment,
Community Gardening Leadership Training
SCHOOL GARDEN APPRENTICE
The Good Cheer Food Bank, and the South Whidbey School District, are partnering to offer a 7 1/2 month training in community gardening and leadership skills, with a focus on school gardens and garden-based curriculum, from March 2013 – October 2013.
This apprenticeship strengthens the school garden program of the Community Gardening Leadership Training. Besides participating in the educational program and field trips of the CGLT program, the school garden apprentice will also be developing and teaching garden-based curriculum in the schools, continuing the creation of the South Whidbey Academy Garden launched in 2012, developing composting programs, and helping to develop a long-term strategy for farm to school. The school garden apprentice will be assisted and mentored by school faculty and the CGLT coordinator, and will also have the support of the other apprentices in the program.
There are five gardens in the program, including three school gardens: the South Whidbey Academy, Langley Middle School, and South Whidbey Elementary School. All have either ongoing, or startup programs. The produce from these gardens goes to the Good Cheer Food Bank, and to school classroom activities.
Stipend and housing provided. Details and application below.
For more information and to apply, email Cary Peterson email@example.com
Applications requested by February 28, 2013
In what is becoming an annual tradition, the WSU Master Gardeners had their composting class at the Good Cheer Garden, and as part of their hands-on training learned about composting by doing it!
Thank you Master Gardeners for a great day of digging: Chris Allen, Celia Bartram, Sandra Brouillette-Jobe, Chris Dimm, Debbie Dyer, Melissa Evans, Ian Gleadle, Cindy Good, Martha Hollis, Gary Ketcheson, Gabby Leman, Linda McKee, Dan O’Connell, Heidi Oman, Chris Onstad, Jan Simpson, Greg Troyer, Mark Walljasper, and instructor Janet Hall.
“Sun Warms Good Cheer Garden for Grade 3″
By Lauryn Taylor, Third Grade Parent at the Whidbey Island Waldorf School
On Wednesday September 12th, Mr. Maliakal’s third grade glass enjoyed a beautiful Indian Summer day working at the Good Cheer Garden. The day began with a fun carrot harvest and continued on to beets and beans. The vegetables were sorted, washed and dried in the warm sunshine before moving on to many helping third grade hands for weighing, bagging and labeling.
This project illustrated several of the benefits of a day spent in an outdoor classroom: learning to work together toward a common goal of helping provide food for a hunger free community, math skills to bag and weigh each package, and reading/writing to identify and label each bag of vegetables.
Good Cheer’s Garden Coordinator Cary Peterson also incorporated science into the day with a lesson about Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria. Cary instructed the children to gently pull mature bean plants and examine the roots. She explained that beans do this amazing nitrogen fixing job with the help of a common soil bacterium which works with the plant to form nitrogen storage balls on the roots of the plant. She summed it up by explaining that this little balls are “essential to all life on this planet”. The children found many of these little treasures and then placed them back in the soil to help future crops.
At noon, Good Cheer volunteers assembled a bountiful lunch for the children and adult volunteers. Delicious salads, soups, breads, and a special noodle chow mein were set out on the picnic tables in the garden. It was truly a feast and a wonderful way for the children and volunteers to taste the delicious food they helped to harvest and share with our community.
A faithful group of local youth volunteered for a morning at the Langley Middle School Garden, maintained by Good Cheer. The CMA church in Langley hosted a week-long Vacation Bible School and children all ages were busy on the fields at the middle school during the summer sports camp. The oldest group, all entering sixth grade, is learning leadership skills in the church’s “Teens in Training” program. They decided to serve the community by working in the Langley Middle School Garden. Read the rest of this entry »
Last Saturday, May 26th, was a big spring boost for the Good Cheer Garden, with the help of 14 first-year students from Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine. Their family members came along and joined in! Their volunteering was inspired by two previous work parties when Bastyr students came to the Good Cheer Garden in April and May of last year.
They planted beds of winter squash, summer squash, beans, carrots, beets, spinach and arugula (10 new beds in all!), and also created a lovely bed along the north fence for lots of flowers that attract beneficial insects.
Lots of winter squash coming our way this fall!
A big thanks to Lisa Edens-Tan and her fellow naturopathic students for all their help in planting 10 beds of veggies for the Good Cheer Food Bank!
Banquet Fundraiser & Square Dance
Saturday, April 21st
Thomas Berry Hall, Whidbey Institute
Help us provide fresh produce to the Food Bank YEAR ROUND!
Support local farmers, and youth leadership training!
Read more about the banquet fundraiser HERE.
Here’s also a video with more information.
We’re raising money to purchase locally grown food throughout the winter,
and to fund our educational programs for youth:
- Community Gardening Leadership Training apprentices at Good Cheer and the Whidbey Institute
- Community Garden teen apprentices with the South Whidbey Commons
- School garden program at Bayview School, and the Langley Middle School.
It’s been cold, oh so cold, but we’ve been harvesting overwintered collards and kale from the garden, and growing lots of starts in the greenhouse. It’s just been too chilly to plant them out in the field!
The fruit trees were pruned, thanks to able instruction from Sarah Birger, and we now have all the beds at the Langley Middle School Garden turned over and ready for planting.
But the hoophouse is just cranking it out! We’ve had three cuttings of the cut and come again salad mix planted last fall, and we’ve planted bokchoi, spinach, lettuce and kale already this spring.
A big thank you to the Whitman College students who came to the March 14th Wednesday work party, and helped with seed blocking, weeding, planting and harvesting!