apprentices september2013_0174

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.

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!

tsa tsoi_0897   carrots last harvest_0894

A bumper harvest is coming to an end. We’re on track to harvest over 7,000 lbs of produce! The fall weather was perfect for the asian greens like tsa tsoi (pictured) and bok choi for stir fry. The carrots were delicious, too!

lettuce harvest late fall_0886   lettuce harvest fall_0919

We harvested a lot of late season lettuce for those fresh salads that are so precious this time of year.

deep harvest beet delivery october_0696  fresh food in refrigerator_1520
Through the winter months, Deep Harvest Farm will be delivering carrots and beets, and Ebb Tide Produce is delivering kale and collards. The Greenbank Farm CSA has also grown carrots for the Food Bank and we’ll be harvesting those for Thanksgiving. Thanks to community donations to the Fresh Food on the Table program, there will be fresh produce in the food bank year round!

fall bed prep for cover crops_0911    fall bed prep3_0908
There are still some beds growing overwintering kale, chard, collards or spinach, but the rest are being sowed with cover crops. It may look like a lot of grass out there, but you’re seeing winter rye, austrian field peas, vetch, crimson clover and fava beans. They’re growing organic matter for next season’s fertility while holding the soil, and the legumes are adding nitrogen.

garden in fall sunset_0817

We cover the freshly sown cover crops with floating row cover to protect the sprouting seeds from the birds until they are established. Sunset in the garden, and sunset on this most amazing growing season!

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!

wellington seaweed wash off_0398 wellington garlic cloves_0402

First we gave the seaweed a little rinsing. The garlic was carefully separated into cloves.

wellington prep bed_0411  wellington seaweed spread_0412

wellington seaweed spread2_0415 wellington seaweed3_0416

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.

wellington spread straw_0419 wellington start planting_0423

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.

wellington planting garlic1_0427 Then we planted the garlic! Care was taken to make sure the clove was oriented correctly with the roots on the bottom.

Thank you Adrian, Alejandro, Collin, Donovan, Gabe, Izzy, Kaio, Kellen, Makenna, Lulu, Molly, Serena and Mr. McCarthy!

wellington school garlic planting done_0429

september cold in garden_0391

Oooooh! It’s cold all of a sudden! Our sweet sunny summer came to a screeching halt and the cold was a bit of a shock to us all! It’s warmed up since the first turn of fall, but the garden season is definitely coming to a close.

bokchoi alexa_0287

That hasn’t stopped us from harvesting a bumper fall crop.

spinach september_0280 collards_0432

lettuce harvest camille jack september_0282  bagging labeling_0580

harvest september_0578 - Version 2

All bagged up, labeled, and moving on into the Food Bank! Join us for the last official volunteer work party on Wednesday, October 30 at 12 noon as we celebrate our bountiful season!

empty soup photoThe Fresh Food on the Table season does not end when we put our garden to rest for the winter. As our amazing garden apprentices begin to leave Good Cheer and Whidbey Island, Good Cheer shifts the focus from growing our own produce to buying from local growers to keep fresh produce in the Food Bank throughout the winter.

The Empty Bowl Soup Night will be held on Sunday, October 20 at the Bayview Hall, from 4 – 6 pm. There will also be musical entertainment to enjoy while you visit with friends and savor the delicious soups.

The soups will be made by local chefs as well as some varieties of the Food Bank’s famous hearty soups. The bowls will be a variety of bowls made especially for this event as well as bowls that have been donated to Good Cheer.

The funds raised at this event will be used to purchase produce from our local farmers, Deep Harvest Farm and Ebb Tide Farm. By purchasing local produce, Good Cheer practices our commitment to “Buy Local – Donate Local – Feed Locals.” We are committed to the health of our clients as well as the local economy. The produce the Food Bank receives helps our Food Bank clients enjoy a healthier diet throughout the year. We all benefit as the community is able to eat better foods.

To add to the festivities, the winner of the TRACTOR RAFFLE will be drawn at the event!

tractor raffle

Empty Soup Bowl

tractor raffle2_1203

Henry drove down from volunteering in the garden to check out the cool tractor in front of the Good Cheer Food Bank. Wow, it’s a 1949 Ford Tractor with brush hog! Just donated to Good Cheer to raffle off! Tickets are one ticket for $3, or two tickets for $5. Tickets available at the Good Cheer Thrift Stores, and the Food Bank.

The drawing is Sunday, October 20th at the Empty Bowl Soup Night fundraiser for Fresh Food on the Table.

tractor raffle just tractor_1203

tractor raffle brush hog_1203

Harvest Party 2013 banner

Come join us at our annual Harvest Party and Music Fest!!
Click 2013 Good Cheer Harvest Party and Music Fest poster.

  • Music: Chitsuwo Marimba & Mwoyo Marimba, Steve Showell, Joanne Rouse & Fiddle Friends, Karin Blaine, Quinn Fitzpatrick, Julie Pigott & Buffy Cribbs, Bob Effertz
  • Free family activities- Veggie critters, veggie printmaking, tile painting, garden bingo and a blindfold herb and veggie tasting
  • Free garden workshops
          11 am:  How does your Garden Grow?
          12:30 pm: Composting 101
          2 pm: In-ground Worm bins
  • Free cooking workshops
         11 am:   Juicing class and tasting
         12 noon: Drying fruits, veggies and raw crackers
          1 pm:  Making fresh soups
          2 pm:  Making fresh pesto
  • Plus lots of yummy food from Good Cheer and local chefs, and a big fresh salad from the Good Cheer Garden!

Harvest Party more actitivies 2013

Check out the cool 1949 Ford Tractor and Brush Hog RAFFLE.

We’ll also be raffling off some of our vermicastings.

Come enjoy the garden, all the great activities, and celebrate the harvest!

kale flip bed with family_1 year old_1465

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.

kale harvest loretta_1448

Our Rainbow Lacinato kale planted in March has been a steady producer all season long, but it was time to take it out.

kale camille august1_1451

The new kale we planted in the summer is so prolific, tender and enormous!

beet riley_1458 beets washed riley_1459

Riley had fun harvesting beets, and very carefully washing and laying them out to dry.

basil harvesting hoophouse_1446  carrots august harvesting anne_1452

We also harvested basil, beans, carrots, lettuce, collards, arugula, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, ground cherries, pears, asian pears and leeks!

lettuce end august_1402 pumpkin_1412

More veggies on the way!

worm castings fair blue ribbon_1213 We entered our worm castings in the Whidbey Island Area Fair and got a Merit Award big blue ribbon! We use both wood and concrete in ground worm bins to turn food scraps into worm castings.

On Saturday, September 14th, from 2:00 – 3:00 pm, learn how to make blue ribbon worm castings. Class is presented by Cary Peterson, Good Cheer Garden Coordinator.

This class is one of three classes being offering during the Good Cheer Harvest Party and Music Fest.

Bayview Farmers Market logo  Every Saturday at Market closing time, Good Cheer Garden apprentices go to the market to see if the farmers have unsold produce to donate to the Food Bank. The farmers weekly generosity touches our hearts every time, and they provide hundreds of pounds of healthy fresh produce for Food Bank clients. We are so grateful to our local farmers for these donations!

Specifically, we’d like to express our appreciation to…..

Bayview Farmers Market willowood farm_1179    Bayview Farmers Market  Deep Harvest_1188

 Willowood Farm                          Deep Harvest Farm

Bayview Farmers Market Skyroot_1182    Bayview Farmers Market Pams Place_1191

Skyroot Farm                                               Pam’s Place Produce

Bayview Farmers Market Quail's Run2_1411  Bayview Farmers Market Bur Oak_1186

Quail’s Run Farm                        Bur Oak Acres

Bayview Farmers Market Anthem Farm_1190  Bayview Farmers Market Treetop_1181

Anthem Farm                           and our friendly bakers Tree Top Bakery!

These donations are an important contribution to the produce we offer in the Food Bank. The Good Cheer Garden grows a lot, but not enough to meet the need. The weekly Farmers Market gleaning makes a big difference. Please let the farmers know you appreciate their generosity!

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