Archive for November, 2009

Another successful month of worm composting!

Our Orca wormbins processed 77 pounds of food scraps. Our Cedar Grove collection was 296 pounds!!!

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Garden winterizing-Let the compost begin!

The focus, determination, and enthusiasm was in full force today as first graders chopped plants for the compost bin. After a brief discussion of the cycles of the garden, we got to chopping and tearing away like wild Tasmanian devils. We even dug up some more potatoes.

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We won a cooperative spirit grant for $500!

This amazing grant will allow us to purchase extra seeds and compost to grow organic starter plants to donate. Orca students can have a hand in the growing of hundreds (or thousands) of pounds of produce that will be donated to foodbanks. Watch the video announcing our win at:

This grant was sponsored by Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union. Out of over 100 submissions, only 4 organizations received cash awards. Go green team!

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Green Team kick off!!!!

The middle school garden & science enrichment class hosted their first monthly green team meeting. All classrooms in the school sent a student representative to the meeting to discuss the changes in the culture of recycling here at Orca. Our goal is to not only improve our recycling skills, but to really move towards being a zero waste school. Middle schoolers are leading this charge with great leadership and positivity. They will be going into every classroom on Thursdays to check if the recycling bin is being used properly. Will classes get a green check or a red check, hmmmm, only time will tell. Classrooms will also have friendly monthly competitions to see which class has the most success. November’s challenge is to separate garbage and recycling! We will keep you updated on the progress of this really cool intiative!

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Changing of the season. The garden prepares for Winter.

Two 4/5 classes came out to the garden and had an absolute blast tearing out dead plants and chopping everything down. As we prepare for what we think is probably going to be a freezing Winter, we are getting the garden ready. These classes got to be part of an activity that showcases the natural evolution of seasons. To some it seemed violent to be tearing, breaking, cracking, and basically destroying the garden. But this experience was a great first hand encounter with how Northwest gardens do basically hibernate and go to sleep in the Winter. We are using our 3 stage compost bins so we can turn all this garden waste into yummy compost! Sustainability! No students complained of being bored, all were engaged, and it couldn’t have happened on a more beautiful sunny November day.

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Harvest Festival

Our first Harvest Festival in our new garden (last year nothing was growing yet). Even in the cold and rain, we were able to have a blast bringing everyone together to celebrate the Harvest time- one of the oldest celebrations on the planet. The cider press was turning out fresh apple cider all day. We had classrooms bring their own potluck foods and eat an abundance of amazing and fresh homecooked foods. We had face painting, pumpkin painting, arts and crafts, and more. Although we were forced to move the event inside, the rain didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits.

Many students brought their own plates and utensils. We were aiming for a zero waste event, but this is really hard with over 500 students. We did compost probably over 100 pounds of leftover food and apples. We also had compostable plates and utensils.

Thank you so much to all the volunteers. And especially the middle school students! These amazing young people took an incredible leadership role and really shined and made the event special!

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Kindergarten gets in on the carrot harvest

Beautiful day, beautiful kids, beautiful garden- perfection. A visit to the Hillman City p-patch and Orca’s plot there today. They got to pull up their own carrots and eat them for snack! Delicious!

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Last of the carrot harvest in the p-patch!

Another beautiful Fall day here in Hillman City. We ventured with Supaydah’s class to visit the p-patch and harvest the last of the carrots there. About 15 kids said it was the first time they had ever picked a carrot from the ground- that’s a beautiful thing! The next day, the carrots were washed and delivered to the class for snack time. Delicious.

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Winterizing the garden & more green tomatoes

The first step in winterizing the garden was to collect the last of the green tomatoes and tear those plants out. Our soil needs a rest after producing some of the most incredible tomato plants we have ever seen. It was a jungle of organic goodness! Melanie’s class had a blast collecting and pulling! Tearing up a garden for Winter is almost as much fun as growing the food…

For all their hard work, they were allowed to take home a giant tomato to share with their family. Although we here at the Orca Garden are not reward centered, we appreciate hard work and believe harvesting does have it’s rewards.

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Lavender sachets with the Pre-K!

Mmm, the relaxing smell of lavender. The Pre-K was able to fill little cotton teabags with lavender from the Orca P-patch, to place somewhere in their home. Maybe a pillow or a dresser drawer? They all walked away sufficiently relaxed and at peace…

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