Pre-K springtime joy!

Awesome visit yesterday from our fabulous Pre-K here at Orca. Many of these kids will move onto kindergarten here and having this extra year to enjoy the garden is a great start to a lifelong love of plants. They haven’t had garden classes since November so they were really excited to get out and enjoy some plants. We tasted tons of plants & herbs and picked flowers, sages, and cool leaves.

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Salmon Release 2018!

What an amazing day, as the sky cleared, and students walked to Lake Washington to release our baby Coho salmon at Seward Park. We had a lot of fun at this annual event- our 10th in a row! Thanks to the Salmon in Schools program for hooking us up w/ salmon eggs. They grew up for 3+ months here before we released some of the strongest fish we have ever had here at Orca. Thanks to all the families who came too, it was well attended and people had a blast.

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Annual Orca Salmon Release April 5th 2018!

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It is time to release our baby salmon into the wilds of Lake Washington on Thursday April 5th! Students will walk down w/ their classes after lunch and meet up in the swimming area of Seward Park to release them. This is our 10th year releasing Coho salmon into the wild! Join us if you like at the park for the release!

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We have played salmon games, learned about salmon life cycles, studied the environmental effects that humans have on salmon, created a giant salmon art mural in the greenhouse, and always kept in mind the importance of salmon in Native American culture here in the PNW.

 

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Spring has sprung 2018

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What an amazing last week in the garden as we have begun to unearth the garden from a long, damp, cold, depressing, and downright frigid Winter. The best part of garden education is…….gardening! So when we are locked up for the winter doing what we can in the greenhouse, it feels liberating to finally be outside in the garden. We got busy taking the mulch off the garden and getting rid of weeds. We might have played with some worms too!

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We have even started growing seeds in the greenhouse to get ready for the spring. We are ready! This week, students in the younger grades got a chance to wander around, exploring the first signs of spring. Combining art & science is a winner every time.

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Of course our garden still has some food growing in it, so we got down on some munching of kale & chard.

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Lavender Oil Magic!

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We harvested lavender in the Fall & have had it soaking in organic olive oil for months now. The olive oil pulls out all the lavender oils and aromatic goodness to create a very fragrant oil. We bottled it up into these really cute jars and gave each student one.

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This process was delightfully messy! Students also were told that if they want a refill, they can just bring it back and I will fill it. Orca never smelled so good.

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Hummus & greens!

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What a week here in the Orca Garden where we made delicious hummus from scratch and combined it w/ kale, collard, and chard leaves. We used organic ingredients to make a fresh batch of hummus for each class. It was delicious!

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This vegan, gluten free snack was a hit w/ the kids. There were dozens of kids that tried hummus for the first time and loved it. They returned to our amazing monster kale plant over and over to have many servings again and again.

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We are on an eternal quest here to get kids eating greens! Sometimes it takes months, sometimes it takes years, but eventually most kids end up tasting & loving the food from the garden. Tasty treats like hummus make it a little easier to love fresh food from Orca.

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Orca Garden chapstick & balm!

With all that cold & windy weather, it’s a perfect storm for dry & chapped lips. Orca garden to the rescue!

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We have done balm for years here but this year we added chapstick- the formula is a little different w/ a tad more coconut oil & peppermint oil. We use beeswax, coconut oil, and olive oil. We grew all the mint, lavender, & calendula flowers used for this balm though. Calendula has some serious nurturing & healing properties.Mint is refreshing. Lavender is relaxing & a great scent. All these ingredients combined is an amazing combination.

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Students have been collecting and drying out these flowers & herbs since the beginning of the school year. We are also offering free refills when they get used up!

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