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Every season the Community Gardening Leadership Training Program brings enthusiastic apprentices to work at the Good Cheer Garden, as well as at the Whidbey Institute West Garden, and the South Whidbey School Farm. Not only does this program help educate future farmers and food activists, it supplies each garden with energetic new ideas and essential program support. Please consider supporting the Community Gardening Leadership Training program to keep our gardens growing in 2016! All of your donations will be DOUBLED thanks to the generosity of Hand in Hand Partners $10,000 matching grant!


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

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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.

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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!

Our enormous gratitude to Whidbey Telecom and Whidbey Island Bank for their support of the Fresh Food on the Table program of Good Cheer, helping to provide year round fresh food at the Food Bank, while also educating youth.

Both have made contributions at the Honeybee level, and we are so appreciative of their generosity to the community!

Fresh Food honeybee Whidbey Island Bank

Thank you Whidbey Island Bank!

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Thank you Whidbey Telecom!

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Over 140 people came to the Fresh Food on the Table Banquet Fundraiser

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With all those who came enjoying delightful music (and square dancing), delicious food (salad greens grown in our gardens).

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and meeting the apprentices, farmers and partners who are growing fresh food for the Food Bank.

Fresh Food inch by inch

Leslie Woods Second Grade class opened the evening festivities and brought down the house with the song Inch by Inch, click HERE to view it.

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The auction was a hilarious success with potting soil, hori hori knives and worm bins reaching stratospheric levels. Together with our honeybee donors, a great appreciation to all those who have generously donated, and all the volunteers, apprentices and partners, who together make this program successful!

Fresh Food Logo Final_finalcropped

Providing fresh produce to the Food Bank YEAR ROUND!
Supporting local farmers, and educating youth!

Reserve your tickets now!

Sunday, April 28th
Banquet Fundraiser and Square Dance
Whidbey Institute, Thomas Berry Hall

5 pm:  Appetizers, with Silent Auction and Veggie Photo ops
6 pm: Banquet from the Good Cheer chefs
6:45 pm: Program and Live Auction with Jim Freeman
Square Dance follows with the Mudhen Callers

Thanks to last year’s fundraising, Good Cheer provided fresh food YEAR ROUND at the Food Bank! We are putting together another evening of great hilarity and fun to raise the money we need to purchase locally grown food throughout the winter from local farmers, and to fund educational programs for youth in the community and school gardens that are growing produce for Good Cheer.

Meet the youth and farmers who are growing for the Food Bank, and hear about all the ways Good Cheer is partnering with our community, schools and local non-profits to provide locally grown food year-round to the Food Bank!

Tickets available at
There is no cost to attend the banquet, but please give as generously as you can, or bring a friend who can! Jim Freeman will be auctioning a garden variety of fun and useful items. Get the laughing muscles in your cheeks ready!

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Fresh Food on the Table is a program of the Good Cheer Food Bank, in partnership with Whidbey Institute and the South Whidbey School District, in collaboration with the South Whidbey Commons, Deep Harvest Farm, Greenbank Farm, and Skyroot Farm.

Your generous donation helps Good Cheer to:

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Purchase locally grown food throughout the winter, from Deep Harvest Farm and other local farmers.

 waldorf school weighing1_9788 Allie and Mechelle Bayview School1_6822 

Fund educational programs for youth in community and school gardens that are growing produce for Good Cheer.

    • Community Gardening Leadership Training apprentices at Good Cheer and the Whidbey Institute
    • School gardens at the South Whidbey Academy, and the Langley Middle School.
    • Culinary training with South Whidbey Commons

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Fund cooking, nutrition and gardening education at Good Cheer, as well as helping Good Cheer put the harvest up for the winter.

To support Fresh Food on the Table, you can also donate HERE 



Saturday, Sept. 8th is the 4th Annual
Good Cheer Harvest Party & Music Fest
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
with Growing Groceries class at 1:00 pm

Join us as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary in the Good Cheer Garden at Bayview Corner, with garden workshops, fun & educational food booths showing how to cook up some delicious foods that celebrate the harvest of our gardens as well as fantastic local music, free kids activities and an auction with lots of great items.

From 2:30 pm – 3 pm, Ed  Hume will be answering questions and signing his books. Craig & Joy Johnson will come with samples of bird photography on Whidbey and have their beautiful books available.

Come enjoy the music, with Karin Blaine, the Dandelion String Band and Piper Reva will start the festivities, with Janie and Joe following with a long set to eat and dance the day away.

Lots for fun for children, too, with tiles to paint, Garden Bingo, and engaging activities with the Sno-Isle children’s librarians. Garden apprentice, Allie Urbanek, will be leading a family activity in making Garden Art.

Prior to the start of festivities, the Growing Groceries class will be from 1 – 2:30 pm, and feature Top Tips for what to do in your garden in September, and the “Scoop on Poop”, how to improve your soil fertility! Then, at 4:15 pm, come to a Worm Bin Q & A led by Cary Peterson and garden apprentice Mech Knedinger.

    The food will be better than ever! Bobby Cressman, our Food Bank apprentice, will head up a group of Good Cheer volunteers including Sydney Hoffman and Chuck Flannery-Jones and others to showcase new recipes for how to use the garden harvest. The Celebration of the Harvest booths will include Kym Saephan of Whidbey Rice (a volunteer at the Good Cheer Food Bank) and Dan Saul the Soup Man at CMA’s soup.  All tastes will still be $1!

Speaking of food! CELEBRATION DESSERT COMPETITION! Bring your favorite dessert to share that is decorated in some way to reflect the 50th Anniversary theme and you might win a $50 gift certificate to the Star Store! Every entry will win a $10 gift certificate to Good Cheer Thrift Stores. See for the entry form.

  We will be drawing the winner of the Good Cheer Greenhouse Raffle at 5pm so you still have time to buy more chances to win. Remember this greenhouse includes installation on Whidbey Island. It is custom made and built with tempered glass on the bottom with plexiglass top for an easy to maintain and lasting beauty kind of greenhouse or as we like to call it, the “Chick Cave” for those ladies who would like to just take a book and cup of tea or glass of wine and enjoy the northwest in the warmth of your new getaway.

This year will also include a silent auction of some beautiful items and some items you might not otherwise try. There are baskets filled with many items from local businesses from Clinton to Oak Harbor. There are several restaurant possibilities in Langley, Coupeville and Oak Harbor. A wine tasting for 6 or a basket of wine, coffee and other Grown Local items and a night’s stay at Compass Rose B & B in Coupeville. A recent entry of two beautiful handcrafted drums should not be missed. See for more details.

Help us celebrate the 50 Years of Good Cheer. You started this organization 50 years ago and you have kept it going for 50 years! You are Good Cheer because the community support is what makes Good Cheer possible. Celebrate with us and enjoy a day of free activities and inexpensive yet delicious food! You might even win a nice prize along the way!

– Shawn Nowlin

(For more information or if you would like to volunteer to help with the event, please contact Shawn at or 360-221-0130.)

RAFFLE!  Win this glass greenhouse made by BugaBay…a $3700 value!

Tickets are $5 each, or 5 tickets for $20. You can purchase your raffle tickets at all Good Cheer locations.

  • Tempered glass main panels, and plexiglass upper angle gable panels
  • 6ʼ W x 9ʼ L x 8ʼ H
  • 6” x 9” concrete perimeter footer beam foundation with 1/2” anchor bolts
  • 32” steel storm door with adjustable slide up glass panel
  • Fold down plant table so you can grow directly in the earth or on an elevated table
  • Installation included for Whidbey Islanders (but site prep not included)

With this greenhouse, you’ll be able to grow year round, and will especially have great tomatoes in the summer!

Banquet Fundraiser & Square Dance
Saturday, April 21st
Thomas Berry Hall, Whidbey Institute

Help us provide fresh produce to the Food Bank YEAR ROUND!
Support local farmers, and youth leadership training!

Read more about the banquet fundraiser HERE.

Here’s also a video with more information.

Fresh Food on the Table is a new program of the Good Cheer Food Bank, in partnership with Greenbank FarmWhidbey InstituteSouth Whidbey Commons and the South Whidbey School District.


We’re raising money to purchase locally grown food throughout the winter,

 and to fund our educational programs for youth:

  • Community Gardening Leadership Training apprentices at Good Cheer and the Whidbey Institute
  • Community Garden teen apprentices with the South Whidbey Commons
  • School garden program at Bayview School, and the Langley Middle School.




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