It has been great to finally get outside! The garden teacher’s dilemma is what to do in the winter that is not too cerebral & boring, yet still hands-on, interesting, and delicious (eating garden food is popular around here and expected). Let’s dig!
Well we get a lot of joy from feeling the sunshine while digging up and turning over the soil. The worms, the critters, the roots, the smell of fresh soil in the air- it’s an immersive experience. Just digging is a simple yet engaging experience. Dig it….
These 6th graders are a pure inspiration. In my quest to pull kids away from screens of all kinds & experience some serious nature, we got down and dirty w/ some tomato transplanting. They planted the seeds originally and are seeing them through the next phase.
They have such green thumbs and a tender touch w/ these tiny transplants. I’m looking forward to this Spring when we can see, eat, and experience all this hard work in the garden. For now we focus on the process of gardening, getting our hands in the soil, and coming to a place where we all belong- The Orca Garden.
Last week was the birthday of my hero- the matriarch of Orca, the high priestess of Orcan traditions- Marletta. Your favorite kindergarten teacher’s favorite kindergarten teacher. She has been a part of Orca for over 40 years since it’s start as a small alternative school in Fremont and then it’s eventual journey down south here.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t visit Marletta in her classroom when I am at school. She is THE inspiration for everything we stand for- progressive education, love & caring, individualized teaching, and pure awesomeness. Retire?? Never! I went and got her favorite cake (carrot) at Borracchinis on Rainier and served it up w/ the 4th grade class I was teaching at the time. Then the band came in and serenaded her. It was a worthy celebration of someone I have learned from and been inspired from over and over. Viva Marletta!
We drink a fair amount of tea in the greenhouse. Students harvest it all fall and we let it dry and store it for the winter. But….
After the crazy amount of illnesses and sickness going around the school, it seemed pertinent to let kids bag some tea up and take it home. Now they can heal themselves and their families with some organic mint goodness. It’s the best medicine for many ailments!
We got some empty tea bags at Uwajimaya in the International District. They are fairly inexpensive (along w/ our tea leaves).
For the first time ever, my two favorite gardening organizations team up to help you plant your gardens! Orca & Tilth together at last for a fantastic early spring plant sale at Orca K-8 School. We will still have our May plant sale but you should come to this one too to get an early start on planting.
March Edible Plant Sale
- Sat., March 18; 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Orca K-8 School (5215 46th Ave S 98118) – Get directions
- FREE to attendees
Choose from a wide selection of organically, sustainably and locally grown veggies, herbs, edible flowers, fruit shrubs, fruit trees, seeds, supplies and knowledge galore — perfect for planting in March. You will find:
- Easy-to-grow plants for beginners such as lettuce, greens and peas.
- Favorites such as collards, kale, Swiss chard and strawberries.
- Exotic, rare and heirloom plants that will excite more experienced gardeners including asparagus, horseradish, artichokes, onions, and broccoli.
- Irresistible highlights for foodies include edible flowers, bulbing fennel, Romanesco broccoli and culinary herbs.
- Fruiting shrubs and fruit bearing trees available from Burnt Ridge Nursery.
- Pollinator plants to support ecosystem and agriculture health
What a stellar Orca academic science night! Each grade had different themes that they explored in the classroom and in the garden. The event was well attended and awesome.
The students really developed fabulous projects that educated and entertained folks at the Enviro Night. 5th grade AMAZING animations of how dams affect salmon. 4th grade made powerpoint presentations about alternative energy sources. The use of technology was a nice addition this year. Plus all the other incredible projects of students were well researched, dynamic, artistic, and creative also. Kudos Orca!
I wanted to assist our fabulous 1st grade teachers & students w/ their environmental science projects. It was about the solar system and especially our planets. I have not done paper mache’ too much w/ students because of the time & mess of it all but……we got inspired around here and got to work making an absolute mess of the greenhouse. A fun mess I should say! One class paper mache’d the balloons….
The other class painted…..
It’s hard to tell who made a bigger chaotic mess. But it was beautiful chaos and well worth the clean up time once the efforts paid off and the planets made it to our enviro night.