Archive for May, 2010

Take home a beefsteak! (tomato)

With our abundance of beefsteak tomatoes this year (The seed packets were LARGE for some reason), we decided to share the bounty with students. We donated a lot of these tomatoes to local organizations and schools, but we still have some left to share with students. We made labels to wrap around them, and talked a bit about tomato care. Slice away!

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Pumpkins in our dry creek bed

Kindergarteners got to work finding a use for this “dry creek bed” in the southern part of our garden. Originally designed as a drainage area- it has turned into more of a fun, climbing area for students when they visit the garden. Now they will traverse over mountains of pumpkins. The pumpkins will grow down into the dry creek bed and spread out- making for a magnificent harvest this fall of Cinderella pumpkins.

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Getting in the dirt and planting!

Tomatoes, basil, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage- oh my! Food is being planted- it should be a bountiful harvest this summer & fall. The hoophouse went up thanks to the 4th graders. Kindergarteners got to plant baby lettuces, broccoli, and cabbage today. Spring fever is in the air- the kids are little squirrely, the smell of summer freedom in the air, the hibernation of Seattle’s long cold seasons is coming to an end- hopefully?

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Hillman City P-Patch Food Bank Garden

Orca is proud to be part of Seattle’s amazing p-patch foodbank connection. Seattle donates tons of produce every year to foodbanks across the city. Our Hillman City p-patch has agreed to let us take charge of their foodbank garden, in conjunction with the plot we already have there. The food goes to the Rainier Valley Food Bank.

A lot of Orca organic starters went in the ground there today. Jeff’s 6th grade math/science class is continuing the good work they have been doing all year around gardening and food. We got tomatoes, zuchinni, broccoli, and cabbages in the ground.

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Orca plant giveaways on a massive scale!

Part of the focus of our garden education here at Orca is to grow starter plants for local schools, community gardens, and neighborhood groups. These plants are free! If you want to grow food for students or people in need-we got you covered. Dig?

This is social justice that you can eat, food security that fills your belly, and environmental stewardship that is delicious. Orca is trying to be fresh, local, and all about the people. We are donating hundreds, maybe thousands of plants to all types of organizations this year- you could be next. Contact us at to get involved with us in any way.

These lucky folks and more will get tons of tomato varieties, squash, herbs, chard, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, basil, and much more- all grown organically by students.

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The beginning of summer?

Finally we start getting some heat and then BAM! it rains like crazy, a blustery midwest type storm rolls in and drizzles on our parade. But right before it did, I observed 4 different types of bees sucking on nectar on our overgrown collard greens. It was a great chance for a discussion on pollination. It was also a reminder of the coming of summer, as we constructed a beanpole teepee from bamboo that came from a friend’s yard- kids will be able to play in it- how fun!

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Kent’s INCREDIBLE sustainability fieldtrip!

Walking the Oregon Trail

Kent’s 5th grade class spent a week travelling around Washington exploring the many worlds of sustainability. From landfills to dams to organic permaculture farms- they had a once in a lifetime experience. Read all about it at the links below.

Here’s the link to the wiki:

Here’s the link to the blog that they kept going while on the trip:

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We got those raised beds that much closer to being fully realized today. All in the pesky rain- we got soaked. Thanks so much to Matt’s class for helping us get closer to almost doubling our growing space- more gardens= more food.

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Eating more and more goodies

1st & 2nd grade got in on the eating today- collard green flowers (tasty!), Moroccan curly spearmint, chard, and radishes. Lets get the succession planting going, so we can eat and eat and eat.

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Finally, FOOD!

Spring is sprung and the eatin’ has begun. Kindergarten got to pick sweet cicely pods, giant chard leaves, Moroccan curly spearmint, & delicious red and white radishes. The warm weather has really spruced up the garden and we are excited to finally get to eating some garden bounty. They planted the seed, watched it grow, harvested the goodness, then cut and ate it up. Amazing!

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