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We’re planting in the hoophouse! It’s our annual mid-February excitement here at the Good Cheer Garden because we know in 4 weeks we’ll be harvesting fresh veggies for the Food Bank!
We have kale, arugula, lettuce, spinach, chard and peas! Except for the peas, which we direct sowed, all the starts were grown in the greenhouse using soil blocks and grow lights.
Out in the field, we’re separating out and replanting the strawberries, and the garlic is poking out of the straw and seaweed we planted it in this fall.
And it all began on the Martin Luther King Day of Service on January 20th when over 30 volunteers of all ages came out and turned over most of the cover crops and mulched with leaves! Volunteers also helped us organize our garden materials, started seeds, sifted compost and made potting soil.
It’s been a great launch to our 6th growing season!
Congratulations, and much appreciation to Camille, Lissa, Alexa and Casey for their completion of the Community Gardening Leadership Training in the Good Cheer Garden, Food Bank, Whidbey Institute Westgarden, and South Whidbey Academy, South Whidbey Elementary School and Langley Middle School Gardens.
- Camille Green moved into a leadership role in the Good Cheer Garden
- Lissa Firor managed the over 24,000 lbs of produce that was grown for the Food Bank locally
- Alexa MacAulay coordinated the Whidbey Institute Westgarden
- Casey Jackson taught science-based curriculum while managing the South Whidbey School District gardens.
While gaining experience in our community food system, their hard work and leadership made a big contribution towards our record harvest this year for the Food Bank!
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!
We had a great work part on the last Wednesday of August, with all ages coming to help us harvest (180 lbs!) and turn over beds for fall plantings.
Our Rainbow Lacinato kale planted in March has been a steady producer all season long, but it was time to take it out.
The new kale we planted in the summer is so prolific, tender and enormous!
Riley had fun harvesting beets, and very carefully washing and laying them out to dry.
We also harvested basil, beans, carrots, lettuce, collards, arugula, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, ground cherries, pears, asian pears and leeks!
More veggies on the way!
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
Lettuce galore, spinach, kale, chard, arugula, basil, bokchoi, cilantro, baby beets and carrots, peas and strawberries…
All these veggies going into the Food Bank, and yum, also in our salad at the Wednesday work party picnic at noon.
With this glorious June weather, the flowers are delightful and we’ll be harvesting the first zucchini soon. Tomatoes planted out in the field are also happy! At this summer solstice time, we have much gratitude for the sun!
A big appreciation also to students and teachers from the Billings Middle School, who accomplished so much during their second annual visit to the garden!
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.
It’s all ages in the garden getting the overwintered spinach pulled out and ready to plant new starts. Started with one bed, did two. Tired, but proud of a job well done!
The winter cover crops we turned over in February are totally composted in, and we’re moving into major planting mode of the starts we’ve been growing in the greenhouse.
This spring has been cold, as usual, but the plants love being protected under the cloches.
We’re having a good harvest from overwintering chard and kale, and February-planted lettuce and kale from the hoophouse. Argentata chard has been a real winner for us.
The apprentices for the Community Gardening Leadership Training are all here!
Stay tuned for news of all they will be doing and learning!