Archive for June, 2012

Hay Mulching & ladybugs!

Final day of instruction. Hangin’ with kindergarteners is the best.  Releasing a bag of over 500 ladybugs is a lot o’ fun too! these natural “predators” in the garden are cute, yet vicious to those nasty aphids that eat our plants.

kinda creepy, yet really cool

Mulching a bale of hay!

Hay for fun, hay for mulching

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Mojito’s in effect!

Every last drop!

We gathered mint, picked a few raspberries and headed to the greenhouse for some mojito fixins (minus the rum of course!). We added some fizzy water, simple syrup, limes and VOILA! Instant refreshment. We have just been celebrating a  great year with some music and refreshments in the greenhouse. This lousy weather has not effected our spirits at all. Thanks for an incredible year. Viva Orca!

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End of the year garden reflections 2012

It’s great to hear from students what they really enjoyed about the garden during the school year. This helps me really figure out what they “dig”. It also gives them a chance to reflect on what they learned and will carry with them outside the garden.  In these pictures drawn by students, my afro has reached ridiculous heights. Ha!

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Over 5,000 cans & packages donated to food bank this year

We made it!

We really connected with the Rainier Valley Food Bank this year. Orca Teacher Mr. C took the lead with his class to organize “A Kid, A Can, A Month” food drive. This garnered over 5,000 items of food. This is also coupled with hundreds of pounds of organic produce from our garden that we donated too. We love RVFB. This connection to the food bank has been an amazing lesson in poverty, social justice, & food security. Thanks Mr. C and his class for all the hard work of organizing, collecting, and tallying all the food. June 21st is the final day to donate & try and get us to 6,000 before the year ends!

June 21st celebration!

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Tomato hoop house & cages

tomato planting and cage work

Finally getting our tomatoes in the ground here. We constructed a hoop house to keep those tomatoes nice & toasty. We cover our tomatoes through July- they go crazy over the heat.  Inside these hoop houses, the temperature of the soil and air is a lot warmer and they love that. Tomatoes come from Latin & South America (which is a tad warmer than Seattle). Check the crop origin history here:

Tomato cages really help support the weight of the plant as it grows and grows. The cage really helps hold those giant juicy tomatoes that have the power to capsize a whole plant.

hoop house complete


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So many plant donations!

We have donated hundreds and hundreds of plants to various schools & non-profits in Seattle.  Growing food and change, one plant at a time.  We still got tomatoes left! Hit us up at

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Salad and tea time


Anytime you see youth eating fresh salad and enjoying it- it’s a beautiful day. Now if the youth GREW that salad, i think it’s even more beautiful. Our butter crunch lettuce finally came into fruition, so we  harvested it, along with radishes, chard, and kale flowers. Lettuce is so easy to grow!

lettuce garden

I made an easy vinegarette with olive oil and apple cider vinegar. I even put some pinches of curry I brought back from India if they wanted a little spice in their life.  After we ate up the salad, we drank mint tea from this season’s harvest. Delicious.

yum yum

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Squash, Pumpkins, & Cucumbers OH MY.

plant or kid?

We finally got our pumpkins, squashes, and cucumbers in the ground. What some call a dismal, gray, wet,  Seattle June-I call a boon for the garden! Most of the plants love this mild, wet weather (sorry tomatoes).

The cool kids

We used a bunch of random burlap sacks as a mulch cover to keep weeds down around the plants, increase soil moisture, and maybe even keep the soil insulated a bit. This is all in preparation for a great Fall harvest 2012.

Burlap & squash goodness



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NEW Orca Garden Soup Video on youtube!

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