We are very proud of our connection to Team A- a couple of classrooms at our school that work with disabled students. Orca works hard to integrate these students as much as possible. Many students go there to volunteer and hang out with these guys- and they really appreciate it. We had them come out and have some tactile experiences with various plants- lamb’s ear, mint, sage, flowers, & thimble berry. Mainly we had them touch soft leaves and be touched by them. They get to have a nice connection with plants and enjoy some fresh air- a great garden experience!
Archive for May, 2011
Plant love is blasting out of the greenhouse. First we donated hundreds of plants to our friends at Danny Woo Gardens – Their 1.5 acre garden is amazing! They help 70 Asian families that live in their low-income housing have beautiful garden space. They are an amazing resource for urban gardening in the concrete laden International District.
We also gave plants to our good friends at Graham Hill Elementary. We helped them get some grants to start a garden program (which had a setback recently because of vandalism ?!?!). We are really happy to help them get back on their feet w/ some Orca plants.
Hundreds of tomatoes, greens, chard, and more went to our good buddies Alleycat Acres. We are happy to see this amazing volunteer collective use these plants for the vacant lots that they use for new urban gardens. All of their food is donated to local food banks. This is another example of the kind of community connections that Orca is making.
6th grade math & science trekked down to the Hillman City p-patch, where we have our community giving garden & personal Orca p-patch. Urban farming becoming real for these students! We grow a lot of food for the food bank down there- and some goodies for us. They had an amazing time today in the sunshine- sometimes those school florescent lights suck the life out of ya! Diggin’ in the dirt, turnin’ soil over, playin’ in compost- all in a days work….
All the students have been doing so much work to get all these plants ready to sell and/or donate. So I thought it would be cool to hook them up with a present. How about a beefsteak tomato plant? Large and in charge! Every student will get one in their very own decorated pot! Yes!
Another amazing Orca plant sale! Not only did we break our sales record, but I honestly feel we sold the best plants we have ever grown here at Orca. THANK YOU so much to all the volunteers who really made this happen! All the amazing parents who helped with setup, cleanup, signage, pricing, EVERYTHING! And lets not forget our fabulous student volunteers who have spent the last 2 months growing these incredible plants. NOW it’s time to give the rest of the plants away to local community gardens, school, & non-profits. This is really the legacy of this project- social change through local, sustainable, organic, and DELICIOUS food grown for us urbanites. Sometimes it seems insane to live in the city and consume the way we do. It is only through community building and partnerships, that we can work together to make it all a little more sane. These plants will produce TONS of local food, absent of the petroleum and monetary issues that arise from industrialized food systems. Students here really know that they are having an impact on their community- isn’t that what schools should be all about????
22 varieties of tomatoes, chard, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, basils, herbs, AND SO MUCH MORE! All grown by Orca students!
We will also have a lot of perennials, annuals, flowers, fruit bushes, native plants, AND MORE!!
It’s madness, it’s out of control, it’s green chaos, and it is definitely ORCA! Meditating on this amazing opportunity to engage youth in growing and donating plants, I felt a need to show these pontifications in words. This is beautiful- Orca students really learn a lot about what it means to both grow your own food & grow plants for others. Is this not as important as Math, Social Studies, and all the myriad other subjects that the “system” believes is important for students to learn? This is important and there is a definite sense of purpose & joy in what we do here. Hands dirty, soul happy- I see it everyday. And this greenhouse?! It’s organized chaos! But the greenery is contagiously uplifting and the fun type of chaos that we rarely get enough of. We ARE getting ready for the plant sale May 14th, BUT we are also getting ready to give away thousands of plants and even plant our own garden. Let the magic continue!
So much fun today to get outside in the sunshine, get our hands in soil, and give our giant tomato babies a new home! We transplanted Early Girl & Red Cherry tomatoes- which of course will be available at our incredible plant sale May 14th! Look at these smiles and see all the love that has gone into these plants….