A big thank you to Greenbank Farm and the students at the Ag Training Center! They planted and grew 90 lbs of carrots for Good Cheer that were harvested in early December. Alexa Macaulay, Community Gardening Leadership Training apprentice, and Jessica Babcock, Farm Training Director, harvested them and brought them to the Food Bank. Much appreciation!
It’s been quite the incredible season with all the sun and warmth! Through the generosity of our local farmers, gardeners, volunteers, apprentices and community donors, over 24,000 lbs of fresh, nutritious vegetables and fruits were donated to the Food Bank, helping to nourish those in our community who would otherwise not have access to fresh produce. The Good Cheer Garden alone produced a record 7,000 lbs!
A big thank you to the Market farmers from the Bayview Farmers Market, the CSA at Greenbank Farm, Gleeful Gleaners, Rotary Gleaners, home gardeners and local farmers who together contributed more than 14,000 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruits to the Food Bank.
Huge gratitude to the dozens of volunteers of all ages who contributed their hard work and good spirits to growing and harvesting the gardens at the Wednesday work parties and during service learning projects. Many hands made it happen!
We’d especially like to thank the Community Gardening Leadership Training apprentices, coordinated by Cary Peterson, who helped grow and distribute the produce: Alexa Macaulay (Whidbey Institute Westgarden), Camille Green (Good Cheer Garden), Lissa Firor (Food Bank) and Casey Jackson (South Whidbey School District Gardens). We couldn’t have done it without them!
Our appreciation to Nancy Scoles, Richard Renninger, Mary Richardson and the Whidbey Institute for offering accommodations to the apprentices. Because of their generosity, we were able to provide housing to these young people as they served our community.
Our partners in the Fresh Food on the Table program- the Whidbey Institute and the SW School District- helped sponsor the apprentices, and donated another 2,000 pounds of fresh veggies grown in their gardens to the Food Bank.
We also want to thank all those who donated money to support the program! We have been able to provide fresh food year round by contracting with local farmers Deep Harvest Farm and Ebb Tide Produce to provide us with winter veggies when our gardens wind down.
A special thanks to our Honey Bee sponsors: Whidbey Island Bank, Whidbey Telecom and the Trinity Lutheran Church for helping to make this possible!
So, we’re giving a big end of the season HOORAY! and wishing you all a restful and rejuvenating winter. See you in 2014!
If you would like to donate, click HERE.
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!
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!
We harvested a lot of late season lettuce for those fresh salads that are so precious this time of year.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
That hasn’t stopped us from harvesting a bumper fall crop.
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!
The 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!
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.
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!
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!
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!