Youth from the HUB Youth Center in Langley came to the Good Cheer Garden and helped us restore a bed of strawberries! They mixed soil and learned about compost, and then removed aging strawberry plants, and replaced them with young ones that had grown from runners.
The new season is beginning!
- Wednesday, March 6th, from 4 – 6 pm, bring your questions to the Good Cheer Garden! Cary Peterson will be available to answer your garden questions, and also to show you how to grow starts using soil blocks.
- Wednesday, March 13th, starting at 1 pm, Sarah Birger will be teaching pruning basics at the Good Cheer Garden. We’ll practice our skills by pruning the Good Cheer plum and pear trees!
The best way to learn is by doing!
- Come to the Good Cheer Garden work party on Wednesdays, from 9 am – 4 pm, for as long or short as you can. Lunch at noon.
- Another great work party is on Thursday afternoons, at the Whidbey Institute Westgarden, from 1 – 4 pm. Come for as long or short as you can.
Help grow veggies for the Good Cheer Food Bank, while learning what to do seasonally to grow your own!
We’re in full gear growing starts with soil blocks using our own potting soil mix. Interested in learning this technique? Check out the Growing Groceries classes, and you can learn how to make them every Wednesday at the Good Cheer Garden work party. Not only will we plant these starts out in the garden, but they’ll be distributed to Food Bank clients to help them get their gardens growing.
The stairs to our garden shed “Woody” needed improvement, and they sure are sturdy now!
The hoophouse got a nice pressure-washing, and we turned over half the Bayview School Garden (the students have relocated to the South Whidbey Academy!)
All the cover crops are now turned over and mulched, and composting into rich organic matter. To help with the decomposition process we sprayed biodynamic Pfeiffer Field and Garden Spray on the beds to inoculate them with beneficial soil microorganisms.
The garden is ready for spring! Can hardly wait to turn the brown into green!
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.
Martin Luther King Day can be a bit dicey with the weather, but we were lucky this year, and though cold, the rains stayed away. Americorp volunteers from the South Whidbey Commons turned over cover crops and mulched the flipped beds.
A great kickoff to our new gardening season!
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on Martin Luther King Day to serve their neighbors and communities.
Join us for our annual work party on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January, 21th, from 9 am – 12noon. Weather permitting, we’ll be
- turning over cover crops,
- harvesting overwintering chard, spinach, kale, collards and arugula,
- preparing the greenhouse for a early planting, and
- making our own potting soil, and starting seeds to plant in the greenhouse in February.
- if the weather is horrendous, we have work in the hoophouse and greenhouse, or come help in the Food Bank and Distribution Center!
Picnic lunch at noon with hot soup, and salad greens from the garden!
The ongoing deliveries of kale, collards, carrots and beets from Annie and Nathaniel of Deep Harvest Farm have provided fresh, organic, nutritious veggies the whole winter, after the production from the Good Cheer Garden tailed off in the fall. The Food Bank clients thank you! Chard harvested from the Good Cheer Garden has added to the bounty.
The first plantings in the field will be in March, but if you are a thick cover crop, that’s not so far away. We need to start turning over the beds now! The soil microorganisms and worms need time to decompose the cover crops into organic matter, especially in cold temperatures. Our mix of fava beans, vetch, rye, clover and austrian field peas has grown very well, in fact the fava beans planted in September grew so tall we needed to cut them down before turning the bed over.
If you are an intrepid gardener, we’ve started turning over the cover crops, weather permitting, on Wednesday mornings, from 9 am – 12 noon. Join us if you’d like, and help us get the garden beds ready for spring planting! We also have some indoor work in the hoophouse and seed starting greenhouse, and bagging up the produce from Deep Harvest Farm.
And time to harvest the rest of the enormous bok choi,
and pull out the last beds of beets and carrots! Our deep appreciation to all the volunteers who helped grow the garden this season!
In their place we’ve been planting cover crops and covering them with floating row cover to make sure the birds don’t eat the seed. They are growing vigorously! Looks like lots of green in the garden beds now… we’re growing next year’s organic matter!
We have a few beds overwintering kale, chard and collard beds, but they aren’t enough to meet the need. Now Annie Jesperson and Nathaniel Talbot of Deep Harvest Farm are bringing weekly deliveries or kale, collards, beets and carrots from their incubator farm at Greenbank Farm, grown especially for the Food Bank as part of the Fresh Food on the Table program. We’ll have fresh veggies all winter long!