Orca Plant Sale May 21st 2022!

We are back IN PERSON this year on May 21st, 2022 for our annual plant sale! 5215 46th Ave. S. at Orca K-8 School. Get all your favorite veggies, fruit trees/bushes, flowers, native plants, and more! Check out our SHOPIFY SITE for more info and to learn about our AFTER sale the week after the sale. https://orca-k-8-ptsa.myshopify.com/

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ORCA SALAD: fresh, organic, local, & free (F.O.L.F.)

Our annual Orca salad foraging was a delicious and celebratory time in the garden! We chose between many lettuces, kales, chards, herbs, and other garden goodies. It was a resounding success with many exclamations of “GREATEST SALAD EVER!”. We have kids eating socially distanced after washing/sanitizing hands. We want this to be super safe AND amazing. We had a few organic salad dressings from PCC that the kids really enjoyed too. Many kids said they don’t like salad but when they picked our freshest of fresh salad from Orca, they kinda changed their minds.

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A Celebration of Carrots!

It’s an Orca tradition to harvest and eat carrots here at Orca! Rainbow carrots to be more precise! This is a delicious activity that the kids are really excited and inspired by. Yes we washed hands AND sanitized AND distanced when eating OUTSIDE (had to get that outta the way-we stayin’ safe here!). It is such a joy to see a kinder-gardener (!) pick the very first carrot of their entire lives. Never will they wonder where a carrot comes from, or think it comes from a store, or think it comes in tiny stubs in plastic prepackaged lunch sacks. No this is the real deal! Real crunch! Real joy! Some carrots were huge, others smaller, but “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit!” Also don’t forget the number one rule in the garden- “don’t yuck my yum!” Well I cna safely say that no yums were yucked and most of EVERY class got to pick a carrot of they wanted. It was a bountiful harvest and an awesome continuation of this tradition.

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A very sunny Summertime 2021 !

Bumble bee nestled in a artichoke flower!

It’s looking beautiful, fruitful, and DRY in the garden this summer. We have our eye firmly on September and the return to school. This last year was tough for everyone and the prospect of being outside exploring in the garden sounds better than ever. My name is Anthony & I have been the garden coordinator at Orca for 13 years. This next one will be the best one yet! I have been busy harvesting and collecting herbs and plants for fall/winter activities AND trying to keep this garden alive as possible for students to enjoy. Thanks so much to the parents helping with watering- you’ve helped so much!

Lavender to make balms, oils, & sachets with!

If you’re new to Orca- this garden program is a fun and interactive journey through the natural world. We grow, harvest, eat,and explore everything that we grow. It’s about having a connection with nature and particularly- FOOD! Stay tuned for updates, volunteer opportunities, and more info on our goals for the year.

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Tomato giveaways for non-profits! Free food!

We are always excited to share our remaining plants from our plant sale w/ schools, non-profits, & other organizations that will grow and give away the food for free. We wanna hook you up! Please spread the word! Folks can contact Anthony Warner, Orca K-8 School Garden Coordinator at apwarner@seattleschools.org and schedule a pick up time at the Orca Garden Greenhouse @ 5215 46th Ave. S. Seattle, Wa. 98118. They won’t last forever in this greenhouse though, so come get them! We have some Red Cherry tomatoes, Cherokee Purple, Delicious, Roma, & more cool varieties!

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2021 ORCA PTSA GARDEN SALE! STILL HAPPENING!

Hey Gardeners & Orca community members! We need your help getting the word out about our garden sale! It’s still happening! This is your last chance to pick up Orca Garden veggies, tomatoes, flowers, and cool garden swag!

https://orca-k-8-ptsa.myshopify.com/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/477275760366806

We have over 15+ varieties left of great tomatoes. We still have some veggies! And we still have some flowering perennials and beautiful garden additions left! We are reducing prices also! Please share w/ friends, family, community members, and any fellow gardeners you can. Remember that all the proceeds go to the Orca K-8 PTSA and help support our garden education program. Thank you!

Use the QR code on here to go directly to the site (Double click to make image bigger)!

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Orca K-8 PTSA PLANT SALE 2021!

We are back! Fully stocked and set up for a digital sale! We have an incredible selection of tomatoes (25+ varieties! Heirlooms, slicers, saucers, & cherries), veggie starts, native plants, perennials, annuals, Fruit bushes, trees, and more! We are very excited for our sale this year! All proceeds benefit the Orca K-8 PTSA & the school garden program. Plants will not be actually listed until May 1st!

https://orca-k-8-ptsa.myshopify.com/

Sat. May 1st: Sale Begins. This is when the selections will show up on the website!
Thurs. May 6th: Pickup plants 1-5pm
Fri. May 7th: Pickup plants 1-5pm
Sat. May 8th: Pickup plants 10am-3pm

We also have delivery available for a small fee, you can click it at check out.

Pick up will be at Orca K-8 School: 5215 46th Ave. S.

We have a Facebook event at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/477275760366806

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Salmon raised & released!

It’s official- we just released our Coho salmon after 3 months of raising them up from eggs in the greenhouse. Kids got be involved every step of the way (virtually of course). My teaching area was located directly in front of the salmon tank, so I had the most incredible “green screen” imaginable. Every class we would check in on them and observe their growth & changes. We also sent home some great salmon activity packs & a great board game about salmon migration. Thanks so much to Nancy at Salmon In Schools who always really helps us out with materials & inspiration. Evidently we were one of the only schools to continue this salmon program this year.

Probably one of the favorite parts of this journey was the naming of the salmon by kids- check out this board w/ all the names:

This all lead to our salmon release at Seward Park on a cold & windy day. Families signed up for staggered times w/ social distanced areas for the release. We had a great time and it was a fitting end to our pandemic salmon journey. Thanks to all the families for showing up and making it such a cool event.

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Digital Gardening in a pandemic!

It has been a mind blowing last few months! It’s been hard to step back from the action and compose even a brief summary of the blow by blow action. The Orca Garden program went fully online this Fall with each K-5 class still receiving their usual weekly garden class. But what to do when one steps in front of a TEAMS meeting on camera? I was wracking my brain in August wondering what could we actually do to create meaningful garden experiences digitally in 2D? Well we got to work quick! The first thing I did was come up with a list of awesome garden foods we could hand out in front of the school. Orca was handing out beginning of year packets for the first couple weeks so we got to work! Free food!

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Then we also harvested plants that we could bag up in compostable bags with worksheets and start distributing to kids & their families. So we started drying out plants! Pizza herbs, mint for tea, lemon verbena, calendula for balm, and more! Library pickups were on Tuesdays- so we piggybacked on this weekly happening and made sure there was a garden presence. Weekly goodies! Everyone wore masks and kept their distance- it was safe, fun, and beautiful to see people getting out of their houses and coming together safely.

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Then there was the minor task of actually teaching! In September it was a harrowing experience getting in front of a MS TEAMS class of kids and trying to be interesting. I didn’t want to be just a talking head! A typical class involved me making one of our infamous annual garden recipes live and having kids write down the recipe. We would also talk about the garden gifts that we were handing out. Add in some stories (I bought 13 new garden kids books), discussions, laughs, and the 30 minute class time actually went by pretty quickly. Michael Pollen’s FOOD RULES https://michaelpollan.com/books/food-rules/ book was a weekly discussion instigator for 4th/5th grade!

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Although it has been a wild ride- it was so important to keep this garden tradition and connection going. The kid & family feedback has been awesome! The thing I recognized about teaching online is the importance of putting on a show- an actual experience. It’s not uncommon for me to don a wig, flashing glasses, and props to introduce a character- sometimes referred to as my wild uncle or something. WE have music, sometimes dancing, jokes, laughs, and more. With the 4th/5th grade classes we also had really great discussions- you could just feel how students wanted to have real, meaningful interactions- which are so hard right now! IT WAS DEEP! 

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Lastly- thanks so much to the staff, students, and families for the support. No one wavered in their dedication to this program. I always kept the faith even when teachers asked, “what does online gardening look like”? Well I can attest that it looks pretty awesome. It is also important that I acknowledge all the support from the PTSA, it’s leadership, and the incredible families that banded together to raise the money to keep me around. Without much fundraising possibilities in the pandemic, they were able to come together and raise the money to keep me here through the rest of this school year. I can’t thank them enough!

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Foodbank Donations in Covid Times

 

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We were excited to drop off a lot of produce yesterday at the Rainier Valley Food Bank. Orca has had an awesome relationship with them for 10+ years and we are making sure that any vegetables & fruits in the garden get donated and eaten by our community- especially those in the highest need. We will continue this process until we get going in the school year and develop the means to get the Orca Garden in student’s hand (and dinners!). A lot of exciting garden developments coming!

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