Come Wednesday December 11th from 5-8pm for a fun & educational experience here at Orca. The lunchroom will spread out into a virtual cornucopia, a treasure trove, a plethora of science! This event is always fun and widely attended by Orca families & friends. Come see what students have been learning in the area of science. Plus- the Seward Park Audubon Society will be there to help us dissect owl pellets (mice bones galore!).
Most classes get a couple of chances to harvest greens for the food bank during their garden class time. This is another activity that reinforces our social justice focus at Orca. This can also help take the cultural stigma out of poverty & the fact that some folks need help sometimes. We have an amazing relationship with the Rainier Valley Food Bank that involves canned & packaged food donations and our incredible greens & produce also.
Greens love this cold weather and our garden is still pumping out rainbow chard, dino kale, russian red kale, and collards.
The “closing down” of the garden for the season is always a yearly highlight that gets kids active and engaged in the garden. They get to stomp around in the soil harvesting the last of the goodies still there AND help tear it all down for the winter. Today they cycled through 4 activities.
1. Tearing out calendula and nastertium plants
2. Chopping of the plants into compost
3. Harvesting potatoes
4. Harvesting mint for mint tea this winter (and drinking some before washing our own cups!)
Alright- we don’t grow fish or seaweed, so what are we thinking? Well I think that using local and home grown foods as substitutions in favorite foods is a great plan for increasing our food security and enacting a more sustainable food system.
So we wrapped our rice and homegrown carrots in chard and kale and VOILA- Orca Sushi. I picked up some daikon radish, rice vinegar, and soy sauce for some added flavor. Students brought the recipes home to share and a student even showed me their lunch yesterday w/ chard sushi they made at home!!
Well we have just powered through another amazing harvest festival- where we celebrate the end of the gardening season and all the things we are thankful for. This is a great school community event full of fun activities related to gardening and food. We brought out our infamous cider press and got to juicin’. Thank you to all the parental volunteers who REALLY made this event happen- you’re awesome! We had so many activities because of all their talents and hard work- fresh waffles from scratch, tamale making, lavender sache’s, herbal tea bags, pumpkin ring toss, and the fabulous leaf crowns.
The potluck food was great and all the cinnamon and pumpkin flavored foods had the greenhouse smelling delightful.
It was great to see all the parents and family members coming by too.
Why not use a free, organic, local resource to help protect our garden this Winter? Mulching protects against frost, snow, & ice, while also retaining moisture and keeping down weeds. The leaves were in abundance here and we collected them with an Orca fervor and a passionate quest for sustainability.
I’m not the biggest fan of rewards, but……How about a carrot for all that hard work piling and mulching? Sounds fair!
What better way to explore fresh, local, organic food than to harvest, cook, and eat some soup from the garden?
The deliciousness kept coming as students asked for seconds and thirds of that infamous Orca soup. What’s the secret? Tons o’ veggies from the garden, lots o’ love, and a few bouillon cubes (we don’t want to ruin a soup experience with a watery taste!).
We really get a chance to explore so many different areas of study- local food systems, nutrition, science, and art. These diversified subjects help keep lessons & concepts dynamic and interesting. Local & organic Orca soup helps keep us warm on these cold fall days also.