Archive for February, 2013

400th blog post. Reflections in soil…

Well- it’s quite a pleasure to announce our 400th blog post! In almost 5 years, we have had 66,292 views from 118 countries. Thanks to everybody for their support and encouragement. The garden is truly a community affair- parents, teachers, & students. Thank you!

We are really lucky to do what we do- get students excited about food, gardening, environmental science, and sustainability. Orca is a place for all kids to practice being critical thinkers and to really develop a connection with the world that is meaningful and real.

So as we get set to grow and donate thousands of plants (as we do every year during our plant sale)- there are always ideas, thoughts, & questions brewing around here to conjure up bigger and better plans. How can we all practice having an impact on the natural world around us? What does it mean to truly give? How can we get kids excited about making a difference?? As we like to say here at Orca…

Growing the revolution, one plant at a time (& one kid at at time!)

Now check the stats for 2012 below- it was our busiest year ever…Dig it.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 21,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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Salmon obstacle course! Watch out!

Let the games begin!

It was a sunny glorious winter day as we slithered and swam our way through a mock salmon obstacle course. Real salmon have to dodge eagles, bears, pollution, AND humans of course. So we set up some fisherman with foam noodle fishing poles and let them catch baby salmon as they swim upstream. We set up hoola hoops and cones to simulate all the ducking and dodging salmon do in water. We even had kids throw scarves at the fish, to simulates pollution.


Why all this play acting? We do this because it’s a fun & interactive way to learn about the trials & tribulations our baby Coho salmon will endure when they leave Orca and go to Lake Washington.

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Orca Salmon swim again!

The tank where magic happens
It’s that time of year again, where we raise cute little baby salmon and release them into Lake Washington around Earth Day. This school wide project always generates a lot of excitement as students study salmon ecosystems, life cycles, and the Native historical significance of salmon. The kindergarteners got to work on showing salmon life cycles through art and science. The hallway looks like an art aquarium! It will keep growing more colorful as we learn more.
Stay tuned as we study the salmon more and more as they grow and grow. Today we learned about how they transform and grow. Here’s the order it happens.

egg> alevin> frye> parr> smolt> adult. They are frye now!

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Thai food & Asian slideshow


After 2 months of  being in Asia, it’s time to get back to work! We got down on some Mieng Kham Thai appetizers today after we looked at some photos from my journeys through Myanmar, Thailand, & Cambodia. I tried to show a lot of foods, eating habits, gardens, and markets- just to get that international perspective on what we eat & how culturally influenced that is.


I was trying to convey the sights, sounds, and smells of Asian food- the experience one feels in a foreign culture while in the not so foreign pursuit of what to eat!

the goods

Mieng Kham is one of my favorite Thai foods- I was just eating this off the street in Bangkok. It’s a lot of ingredients wrapped in a small leaf and eaten raw. It’s a flavor explosion! I laid out ginger, red onion, peanuts, cut limes, sweet & sour sauce, and shredded coconut (usually thai chiles & shrimps are added too). Students grabbed a chard, kale, or collard green leaf from the garden (leaves imported from Asia would be so un-Orca) to wrap all these goodies up. The students loved it and it really brought the slideshow of such foreign lands to a flavor they could understand. Here’s a recipe!

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