Archive for April, 2012

Kale flowers, school gardens, and a soggy day


The art of improvisation comes into effect when it rains around here. With the greenhouse full o’ plants, we must hope for good weather or do a combination of indoor and outdoor activities.

story time!

Today we took this rainy day to stay inside for a bit and read a new book we just got. It’s called Our School Garden– it was published by our friends Readers to Eaters based out of Seattle. The author did some research here at Orca and was nice enough to thank me in the book credits. Before I read the story I passed out some kale flower “lollipops” to munch on while we heard the story. We then took a quick jaunt outside to fill our potato garden up w/ some more purple & fingerling potatoes. A day in the life.

Leave a comment »

Fresh salad- Orca style

kid chefs

Ahhh the joy of seeing kids eating up delicious salad that they grew. We harvested lettuce, kale, chard, fennel, kale flowers, and more and mixed up some delicious salad that they absolutely loved (all right- a few turned their noses up- but hey! we had a 90% success rate). Parents come up to me every year and say that they are shocked when their kid starts eating greens and salads & how happy they are that the Orca garden got them hyped about eating fresh garden food.

It was a delightful sunny day (almost summer like) and the students got to do all the harvesting and preparing. I love those kid friendly plastic knives that we use. Kids feel a sense of pride & ownership in growing and preparing food they eat. Throw a little olive oil and apple cider vinegar on it and YUM! Plus it’s local, organic, fresh, and FREE!

Leave a comment »

Salmon released!

What a beautiful spring Seattle day. We all trekked down to Seward Park and released the salmon parr that we have raised since they were eggs. it’s been a great three months of studying salmon and salmon habitats. What a great activity for the day before spring break! The salmon will be back in two years to lay their eggs in the same spot. Keep a look out!

Leave a comment »


May 12th 10am-3pm at Orca- 5215 46th Ave. S.

Our legendary plant sale for all your veggie needs! We will also have native plants, flowers, fruit shrubs, and mother’s day plant gifts. We will have so much going on at this sale- games, a “craft”ery area w/ Lily Hotchkiss, live music, a bake sale by First Base, and more. Check us out on facebook too at:

Did I mention that students grew all these plants AND we donate thousands of plants after the sale?

orca 2012 plant sale

Comments (4) »

Garden Burritos!

Awhile back, some students in 3rd grade started making “garden burritos”- a delicious handmade concoction of 3 different kales, chard, mint, lettuce, fennel, and more. Now it has become a weekly tradition. Kids eating greens like crazy?!?!? Who’d a thunk it?


Comments (2) »

Instant potato garden

Matt’s class got into digging out our back concrete garden bed and planting 20 feet of potatoes. We got the potatoes from PCC- they were sprouted. The PCC staff was nice enough to hook us up w/ the bags for free. I also got some purple & fingerling potatoes from a friend. French fries here we come!



Comments (2) »

Blog reaches 50,000 VIEWS!

tasting sorrell

It’s taken almost 4 years and 346 posts to reach this cool milestone. The blessings are many and the joy is shining as brightly as this spring sunshine. Thanks to all the readers and cool folks out there who are interested in garden education, urban sustainability, and food justice. Orca really has this reputation of progressive education and real social action- that is easy to forget when in the trenches of the everyday public education experience.

This blog was set up as a diary and digital document of all the great things that happen here on the daily. In fact we broke our daily viewing record the other day w/ 506 views! Thank you everybody!

Leave a comment »

The greenhouse is officially GROWING!

The season is changing, the Orca plant sale is approaching- and once again we are in the midst of growing thousands of plants in this small greenhouse. We have a dozen schools to give plants to, lots of non-profits to grow for, and much to supply our own MAY 12th plant sale. Students grew all of these plants, but we still have another month of planting MORE! It’s crazy town in here, but the buzz of students focused and purposeful makes it all worth it.

The madness of Orca plants

Comments (2) »

From potatoes to French Fries….

Dig trench, plant

We finally got our potato patch planted w/some free sprouted potatoes PCC gave me the other day. Pre-K came out and got their groove on in the soil. These potatoes supply our annual Orca french fry feast! Check out the french fry activity that we did earlier this year: HERE!

Comments (1) »

Highlight: UW Pipeline Project

Shiny happy people w/ Andrea

Big big thanks to our UW partner- The Pipeline Project. Multiple UW students come out and volunteer with us every quarter. I also go visit their class each quarter for a seminar on education & sustainability. It’s a win/win for everyone. extra special thanks to our volunteer Andrea who just spent her last frenetic, crazy, soil filled day with us in the greenhouse transplanting tomatoes & then hanging out in the garden tasting delicious foods. Our other volunteers Jesse & Maya finished up a couple weeks ago. Thanks UW! Check out the Pipeline Project here:

Comments (1) »