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We had stunning success with our garlic this season after we planted it in seaweed. So, when the fall storms came, we went back to the beach to collect seaweed for the garlic beds again.
Middle School students from Wellington Day School and their teacher Cormac McCarthy enthusiastically helped us plant it!
First we gave the seaweed a little rinsing. The garlic was carefully separated into cloves.
A bed was prepped and then the fun began. We laid the seaweed down about 4 inches thick and also took some time to explore all the creatures still in the seaweed.
The bed was then covered with about 4 inches of straw. We pulled the straw aside to create planting holes and filled them with compost.
Thank you Adrian, Alejandro, Collin, Donovan, Gabe, Izzy, Kaio, Kellen, Makenna, Lulu, Molly, Serena and Mr. McCarthy!
As some of our crops are reaching the end of their life cycle, others are coming on quickly. The past two Wednesdays have seen a harvest of around 500 lbs of produce for the food bank! An energetic group of students from the University of Washington’s Urban Farm recently came by the help out in the garden. With the extra muscle we were able to flip, harvest, and clean up our compost bins, harvest rhubarb, beans, and beets, rebuild a terrace bed, and weed and prepare a couple new flowers beds!
Flowers are blooming, tomatoes are dripping off the plant, beans are trying their best to take over the garden, winter squash keeps on sneaking up on me, plums are attracting gleaners (both human and avian), and every day is another adventure and lesson in maintaining the garden without interfering too much in what nature wants to do. Check out our slideshow of beautiful pictures!
Carrot Camp for children ages 8 – 10! Click HERE for pdf.
Carrot Camp is a week-long adventure in the garden, searching for interesting bugs, getting dirty, and of course, snacking on veggies! Taking place at the Whidbey Insitute’s beautiful Westgarden, surrounded by 70 acres of forest, campers will learn about growing organic vegetables and how to use them for simple recipes and crafts. Bring your sense of play and learn how to transform dirt to delicious!
On Wednesday, the children will go the Good Cheer Food Bank and Garden, where they will be bringing over vegetables from the Westgarden to the food bank, and learning about providing healthy, fresh food for the whole community.
August 12th-16th, 2013
Monday to Friday, from 9am to 1pm
Westgarden at the Whidbey Institute
Boys and girls 8-10 years old
Registration Fee $150
It’s a lot of work to grow 5,000 lbs of produce annually for the Food Bank! Not only do our apprentices and Wednesday work party volunteers make this happen, but we also are so grateful for the service learning programs that come to help in the garden. This spring, students from Bastyr Naturopathic College, Wartburg College (Iowa), and the Seattle Waldorf School have volunteered in the garden!
On Saturday, May 4th, Bastyr College students weeded, prepped and planted.
On Wednesday, May 8th, Wartburg College students participating in a week of service learning as part of their Leadership and Spirituality May term, came to the work party and joined in with other volunteers to harvest veggies and vermicastings, prep beds and plant.
Ninth grade students from the Seattle Waldorf School joined the Wednesday work party on May 22nd to help with harvesting, prepping and digging for a new concrete block worm bin.
A big thank you to all the service learning volunteers this May for helping to grow our garden!
Bastyr College- Susan Azar, Sarah Chappelle, Rob Chappelle, Lila Chappelle, Evan Chappelle, Pa Lao, Missye Profit, Jennifer Harrison and Michael Smith.
Wartburg College: Haddie Vawter, Amy Sampson, Katlyn Underwood, Megan Puls, Tanner Wenger, Jordan Finch, Lauren Mapes, and Professor Fred Waldstein.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.