Thanks to all who were able to come to our work party and harvest potluck celebration this past Wednesday! The morning was a bit cool, but the clouds burned off and it warmed up to a breezy 72 with lots of sunshine–perfect for bouquet making, hat decorating, singing, and playing lawn games. Larry Dobson even stopped by on his stilts! In addition, we truly apologize for our oversight in scheduling the potluck celebration on Yom Kippur and missed those who may have been observing the holiday.

Perfect weather, delicious food, and happy people!

Perfect weather, delicious food, and happy people!

A huge thank you to all in the kitchen who worked with great gusto to make such a delicious and bountiful spread of dishes for the party, notably Good Cheer Food Bank staff Karen Korbelik, Lissa Firror, and Scott Stark, as well as Linda, a regular Good Cheer Food Bank volunteer.

Pretty sunflowers make for pretty bouquets.

Pretty sunflowers make for pretty bouquets.

Meanwhile, in the garden, volunteers Anne and Liz made four beautiful (and enormous) garden salads that fed our tummies and our eyes, thanks to some last-minute floral touches from Kim. Not too far away, Pete, Reed and Jenny, Madir, Briar, and Constance were busy bagging 42 pounds of beets, 94 pounds of carrots, and 49 pounds of greens harvested that morning by Camille, our garden manager!

On the floral side of things, Halley and Devyn harvested four overflowing buckets of sunflowers, calendula, dahlia, buckwheat, cosmos, and other flowers for the bouquet-making station for volunteers and guests.

Needless to say, the celebration was a great team effort. We had a wonderful time sharing food, fun, and hope those who stopped by did as well. As the leaves change color, we are excited to harvest our winter squash, sow cover crop, and put our garden beds to rest, but stay tuned for more information on a Fall Fruit Tree Pruning class as well as a Winter Squash Harvest Work Party at Bayview Garden!

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The Good Cheer Garden survey is closing on Monday, September 7th. If you have 5 minutes to spare, then please check out the survey link below! The information gained from this survey will be used to update outreach, educational and marketing materials for Good Cheer Garden and I, Nicole Bergman, will incorporate it into my senior research project. All your help is greatly appreciated, thank you.

More, peas

More, peas

So how ’bout them winds this past weekend?

We are feeling so refreshed and nourished from the rain these last few days, even if our bean trellis is a looking a little worse for wear.

As we transition into fall, we have been seed saving, getting our last rotation of greens in before it is time to cover crop, and harvesting flowers for the food bank with the help of our Wednesday volunteers and Waldorf educators who came on August 26.

Even though this rain may mean the start of late blight for our tomatoes, we are very glad to see our other crops perking up a bit and excited for the shift in seasons. Stay tuned and come visit us Wednesday, September 23 for our Fall Harvest Potluck!

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Hey everybody, we’re having a potluck celebration Wednesday, September 23 from 12:00-2:00 PM. Come out and enjoy some food, games, and hat decorating! Hope to see you there!

Fall Harvest Party Flyer_v2_8.31.15

What can you do to prepare your garden for fall and winter? Come to the food bank tomorrow at 5pm to learn how best to prepare your garden for the upcoming seasons. There will be a few quick fall starts and a simple garden guide to take home with you! See the flyer below for more information.

Hope to see you there!

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Hi Everyone! 

My name is Nicole Bergman. I am the new intern at Good Cheer Garden and am also an undergraduate at the University of Washington. I am currently conducting my Senior Capstone thesis project through the Program on the Environment. As part of my project, I have created a survey to assess the Good Cheer community’s (e.g. food bank participants, volunteers, and persons who donate) knowledge, opinions, and experience with vegetable gardens. The information gained from this survey will be used to update outreach, educational and marketing materials for Good Cheer Garden and I will incorporate it into my senior research project. This survey is completely anonymous and voluntary, but your participation is greatly appreciated. Additionally, I will not use direct quotations from your responses. The survey will take approximately five minutes or less. If you would like to participate, please click the link below. Thank you!

20150722_145207A big welcome to new Good Cheer Garden intern Nicole Bergman!

“Long before I knew the multiplication table, I was a wild child. I was the unruly kid in school that always got in trouble. My first memory of this was in kindergarten. Everyday after lunch, I used to sneak out of class to the school garden to help Ms. Kay, the garden caretaker. I quickly realized that being outside eating tomatoes, playing with snapdragons, and chasing Swallowtail butterflies was far more exciting than using number tablets in the classroom. Besides taking pleasure in the fact that all my teachers loathed having to come find me each afternoon, I was utterly mystified by what I learned in that garden: to care for life that wasn’t human.

As I grew older, surfing the waves of Northern California and breaking into abandoned buildings became my primary concern. I was privileged enough, at the time, to not have to worry about where my food was coming from or to whom I should be thanking for growing and nurturing that food. It wasn’t until I moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend the University of Washington that I was introduced to problematic food system our country had adopted and let spoil our planet– the nitrogen farm runoff that kills entire marine ecosystems overnight, the unjust distribution of fresh produce that cripples the less fortunate, or the farm subsidies that promote corn production for cattle rather than the cultivation of vegetables for people.

Being a part of Good Cheer and working at the community garden brings me back to the days when I was a kindergartener, realizing that there is more to care for in this world than myself. This internship is a way for me to become a more heedful person and to acquire the skills I need in order to look after the earth, to help people overlooked by our food system, and to be a part of a solution to relieving the plight of reckless agriculture. I am grateful to be a part of this community and to have the opportunity to learn from such grounded, experienced people.”

~~~~~ Nicole

July? Definitely another scorcher–temperatures were in the high 80s during Independence day weekend. Speaking of which, we were at the Maxwelton Parade handing out sugar snap peas and flowers from the garden!


Cukes and Tomatoes: great sandwich fixins.

Due to the dry and hot weather, we spent a good amount of July watering and harvesting. We made out quite nicely: 368 pounds of carrots, 278 pounds of tomatoes, 210 pounds of plums, and 153 pounds of summer squash from Good Cheer Garden and Bayview Garden! In fact, we more than doubled our harvest from last month, coming in at nearly 1,300 pounds at Good Cheer and over 350 pounds at Bayview, and thanks to in kind donations and gleaning, we raked in 4,870 pounds of produce just in the month of July.

And even though our spinach has been bolting like there’s no tomorrow, our tomatoes are loving this weather and have been putting on their second growth.

Also, on July 21, students from the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Students came to visit and lend a hand with weeding projects and blackberry removal. Especially since it’s been so hot, we’re so grateful to folks who are still coming by to help out during our Wednesday work parties. Thanks to our volunteers, we’ve been able to harvest and bag an enormous amount of produce, pick, braid, and hang our garlic for curing, and enjoy delicious salads during lunch. Thanks and stay cool out there!

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If you’ve been as busy as us, you’re probably a little behind on planning your fall and winter garden! But it’s not too late! Come by on Tuesday, July 28th between 4:30 and 6:00 to pick up some free fall and winter crops and ask us whatever burning garden questions you have. We’ll be out front of the food bank with plenty of hardy starts and some educational documents to take home. See you there!

Nicole watering starts

UW Intern Nicole watering the beautiful

It’s been so scorching lately, we couldn’t resist from making a Nelly reference. In all seriousness, we haven’t the faintest idea what happened to “June-uary”, as it seems like we’ve just jumped straight to August. Aside from the weather, things have been popping here at the garden too: sunflowers, zucchini and summer squash, tomatoes, beets, carrots, garlic, and so many different flowers.


Buzzz Buzzz. Hard at work.

The bees aren’t the only ones who have been busy in the garden; in the last month, we’ve had a continued streak of support from various volunteer groups who have come to help out and enjoy the garden with us: naturopathy students from Bastyr Center for Natural Health, UW student, local Girl Scout troops, Windermere Real Estate, and Seattle 9th grade Waldorf students. A HUGE thank you to all who have come out!

153In addition, things over at the Bayview Garden are coming along rather swimmingly. All of the beds are planted, and we just harvested the first of the carrots this week! Peppers, eggplant, and melons are under plastic; radishes soon to pop, and beets coming up. Until next time, enjoy the photos, try to keep cool and hydrated as the temperature rises, and hopefully see you at our Wednesday work parties.

Also, we’re having a volunteer appreciation party for all of Good Cheer’s awesome volunteers on Tuesday, July 16 from 5-7 PM in the garden. Hope to see you there!


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