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The “Learn and Serve” program (LEAF) of Edmonds Community College came to Good Cheer on Friday, May 22nd to learn how about how the Good Cheer Food Bank operation works, and to serve in the food bank, distribution center and garden.

edmonds cc at good cheer langley

Gail Thomas gave a tour of the Good Cheer Langley thrift store, and explained how, since 1962, Good Cheer has funded the food bank through the thrift store.

Then the students toured the Food Bank and Distribution Center at Bayview, working in both places to gain that experience. After lunch, it was out to the garden to see how it is providing fresh produce for the Food Bank, and to help!

edmonds cc mulch and water edmonds cc weeding squash slope

The students mulched and watered new starts, weeded the big slope where the squash will go,

edmonds cc prepping for square ft garden edmonds cc sq ft garden talk

prepared the ground for the Square Foot Garden beds, and learned about this method of small space gardening,

edmonds cc prepping squash slope 2 edmonds cc planting squash

prepared the ground for the squash starts, and planted some!

compost bin compost temperature

They also flipped the compost in the bins, adding grass clippings to get it hot again. And indeed, in just a couple days, the temperature in the turned-over pile hit 150 degrees!

Edmonds cc group photo

Many thanks for all the great service, and the opportunity to share the Good Cheer Food Bank!

harvest lettuce2 may09 harvest kale2 may09

The harvest is coming on strong with the kale and lettuce!

harvest lettuce and kale may09 lettuce washing

Lots of veggies to wash and spin. Volunteers are now needed to help with this!

irrigation lines south side irrigation t-tape rows

More irrigation lines go in to water the new lettuce and bok choi starts that Molly Petersons grew for the garden.

tomatoes more starts potted up tomatoes in food bank to distribute

We have lots of tomato starts! We’re potting up the extras and distributing them to food bank patrons who are growing their own gardens. Finally the warm weather has arrived, and they can be planted outside after hardening off.

Harvesting, planting, hoophousing, mulching, irrigating, weeding, composting, small space/container gardening: lot’s happening!

lettuce harvesting lettuce

Rose Rivera harvests lettuce! We have about 70 heads that are heading into the food bank. A kale harvest is next, and local gardeners have also started to bring in wonderful produce.

radishes radishes french breakfast

Lynn Willeford harvests French Breakfast radishes that had been planted by the “Alternatives to Detention” youth crew.

hoophouse digging soil hoophouse making edges on beds

Lily Fox and Shawn Morris continued the deep digging of the tomato beds and then built the edges on one side. Kennedy Horstman edged the other side, and….

tomatoes planting Jamie McNett planted the tomatoes!

cloche baby all covered up The hoophouse had a baby!

cloche baby making bed cloche baby planting

This is a cloche (covered growing space) made from an old clothes rack from Good Cheer.  Michael Nelson sifted the soil, added manure and amendments, ran string between the ends to provide the support for the floating row cover, planted it, and covered it up to keep the heat in.

raspberries papering edge raspberries mulching on top of paper

The grass was starting to grow in from the fence line towards the raspberries. Janet Ploof and Eve Carty took cardboard from the Good Cheer recycling dumpster, laid it on the grass, and covered it with mulch. Presto! No more grass and the moisture will be held in, also.

Bayview high school planting seeds planting leeks lettuce mesclun

Bayview High School students Jesse Dale, Jenna Manapule, Kelsey Matzen, Alex Orr and Mac Warwick and teacher Michele Sakaguchi planted a variety of the less common veggies: turnips, parsnips, broccoli raab and collards to see how they’d do. Janet Ploof, Kate Boulware and Judy Furukawa planted leeks, mesclun mix, and lettuce.

lettuce in basket From field to food bank, that’s what it’s all about!

Everywhere you look in the garden these days, something is happening! More seeds sprouting and being sown, irrigation installed, herbs planted, starts donated, beds weeded, beds sifted, manure delivered and turned into the soil, compost cooking, and hoophouse hopping with tomatoes.

irrigation-setting-up-conduit irrigation-rows-of-t-tape-in-lettuce

After the stretch of dry weather, it was crunch time for the watering. Todd Peterson, intern with the Greenbank Farm CSA and Master Gardener intern, set up the 1/2 inch poly pipe in PVC conduit out to the beds. Most of the beds now have t-tape (a low-flow drip system) set up and we’ll be having a “how-to” on that soon. Now almost 21 beds are irrigated!

29april09-jamie-planting-tomatoes 29april09-greg-demonstrating-lying-tomato-sideways

Jamie McNett and Greg Sager planted tomatoes in two different ways.  Jamie buried his tomatoes in really deep holes, and Greg demonstrated how you can plant the tomato sideways and then bend the stem up. In both methods the lower leaves are removed so that roots grow out of the stem to create a larger root system. Stay tuned for a “how-to” on tomato growing techniques.

29april09-cow-manure-piles1 29april09-manure-amend-beds1 29april09-turn-over-beds1

Fred van Benschoten donated 15 yards of aged cow manure and Dave Montgomery hauled it to Good Cheer. Then, in three hours of energetic effort,  Michael Nelson, Mike Negrete and Brian Pike shoveled, wheelbarrowed, spread 3 inches on the beds, and turned them over. Fourteen beds were amended and prepped in this way!

29april09-potting-up-tomatoes 29april09-filling-containers

Kennedy Horstman, Melanie Lowey and Margaret Moore potted up dozens of tomato starts from Molly Petersons. Judy Bierman and Kate Boulware filled up several dozen containers for the upcoming “Small Space and Container Gardening” workshop on May 23rd, from 10 am- 12 noon.

high-school-history-class-sifting-soil high-school-history-class-strawberry-cleanup high-school-history-class-weeding-raspberries high-school-history-wheelbarrowing-manure high-school-history-class-turning-soil high-school-history-class-laying-pvc-pipe

Mr. Jorn Aronson’s South Whidbey High School History class students volunteer regularly at the Good Cheer Food Bank, and also lent a hand in the garden: soil sifting, weeding raspberries, moving and spreading manure and turning beds, setting up irrigation pipe, cleaning up strawberry starts.

alternatives-to-detention-terraced-beds-sifted alternatives-to-detention-artichokes

The young men in the “Alternatives to Detention” program of Island County Juvenile Court, supervised by Leon Shordon, have worked really hard and made a significant contribution to the garden. They have sifted beds (about 10 total), mulched, planted (see artichokes above) and turned in the manure in the hoophouse beds.


In just this one photo, Judy and Kate are making compost, Mike and Melissa are hoeing up weeds and spreading leaf mulch, and Shirley Tinkler is planting rosemary donated by Bayview Farm & Garden! It is all just so amazing what the community is doing!


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