Archive for September, 2009

Worms, worms, and worms!

To help celebrate and educate, we are visiting all the kindergarten and 1/2 classes to introduce them to our amazing wormbin and composting program. We have been gathering students in a circle, dumping wormbin materials on a newspaper in the middle, and letting kids touch worms and see what they are being fed in the wormbins. They are having a blast and so are we. Our VISTA volunteers- Beth & Briahn have really been leading this segment, and they are making amazing connections with the students. Students are making paper representations of wormbins using their artistic and scientific knowledge. Get your worm on!

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Planting Native Plants with 4th/5th grade

In an attempt to beautify the area around the garden, we planted Native Plants with Mr. C’s & Matt’s class. We concentrated on the areas around the science annex, garden, and flagpole. It also gave us a chance to really explore the native plants we will be studying. We planted snowberry, low oregon grape, dogwood, and more.

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More garden fun…

Another amazing week here at the Orca Garden. We have had most classes down to scavenge through the garden some more, discover new plants (over 100 and counting), and finally enjoy the fruits of over a years worth of labor. Fall is upon us and we look forward to our October 29th Harvest Festival– an all day celebration of the changing of seasons and the eating of quality organic local food!

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Orca Lunchroom Composting Program goes live!

We got an amazing grant from Seattle Public Utilities to create an on-site wormbin composting program (fruits & veggies). We also have started a Cedar Grove pickup of all non-wormbin friendly foods (meat, cheese, dairy, etc.). These two programs will make us the only school in the state of Washington to compost all lunchroom scraps. We basically have only one bag of garbage a day, and this approach moves us towards a ZERO WASTE Orca lunchroom. We owe a lot to Marletta- our resident matriarch and kindergarten teacher extraordinaire. She started this program years ago. She still washes all yogurt containers every day and really helps the recycling program. She is amazing!

Our first day of data collection from the compost equalled 19.8 pounds of food for Cedar Grove (future garden compost) and 8 pounds of food for one of our 5 resident worm bins (future compst for our garden). Math, science, sustainability- this project can be used in so many ways.

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Welcome Back!

We are just starting our first full week back and the harvest has begun! Most K-5 classes have at least visited the garden and sampled cherry tomatoes, green beans, mints, basil, cucumbers, and more. They all got to pick some of our gorgeous wildflowers and sages to make small bouquets. The garden is looking amazing. Come visit!

Heres Orca’s newly launched Youtube channel:

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Orca Youtube video about the plant sale

Note the tiny plants in the garden (compared to the lush jungle now). The date for the next plant sale is May 8, 2010. It’s coming up!

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Back to school…almost. September garden reflections.

It’s almost time for the students to harvest this incredible garden. We will have squash, potatoes, tomatoes, basil, cabbage, kale, collards, broccoli, and more. Get ready for an incredible year of an integrated garden program and delicious organic food! We have a lot planned for the school year involving trying new foods, food security, and the power of community gardening. We donated over 300 pounds of veggies from our garden and p-patch this summer. The Rainer Valley Food Bank was able to distriubte those foods to families in need. Beautiful!

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Whitehouse victory garden!

First Lady Michelle Obama and White House chef Sam Kass tell the story of the first garden on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden during World War II. This new garden was planted in the Spring of 2009 with the help of local elementary school children and has yielded a constant supply fresh produce for the First Family and White House events.

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