Archive for October, 2013

Free leaves= Free mulch

Why not use a free, organic, local resource to help protect our garden this Winter? Mulching protects against frost, snow, & ice, while also retaining moisture and keeping down weeds. The leaves were in abundance here and we collected them with an Orca fervor and a passionate quest for sustainability.

I’m not the biggest fan of rewards, but……How about a carrot for all that hard work piling and mulching? Sounds fair!

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Local, organic, fresh soup- Eat it.

What better way to explore fresh, local, organic food than to harvest, cook, and eat some soup from the garden?

Why yes, it's good

Why yes, it’s good

The deliciousness kept coming as students asked for seconds and thirds of that infamous Orca soup. What’s the secret? Tons o’ veggies from the garden, lots o’ love, and a few bouillon cubes (we don’t want to ruin a soup experience with a watery taste!).

Art, Science, Nutrition, & more.

Art, Science, Nutrition, & more.

We really get a chance to explore so many different areas of study- local food systems, nutrition, science, and art. These diversified subjects help keep lessons & concepts dynamic and interesting. Local & organic Orca soup helps keep us warm on these cold fall days also.

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Wormtastic adventures

Check it out!

Check it out!

Exploring the slimy world of worms is a fascinating, fun, and dynamic sensory experience. At Orca, we get the kids started early in exploring a vital part of the concept of sustainability- food waste. Orca alone diverts thousands of pounds of food to be composted vs. being left in the garbage dump. We compost about 1,000 pounds a year in our wormbins. We send all the lunchroom cooked food and non-wormbin waste to Cedar Grove Composting.

Worm poop is the best

Worm poop is the best

We talked a lot about the difference between red wigglers (composting worms) & earthworms (standard outdoor garden residents). We also discussed how amazing that worm poop/compost is for our garden. Then we shredded newspaper bedding for the worms while we drew imaginary 2 dimensional worm bins on brown paper. Now lets share that info with our families at home!

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Pesto, garden exploration, & mint tea

Dino kale!

Dino kale!

It’s been a rip-roarin’ first week back in the garden complete with pesto from scratch, independent garden exploration w/ our nifty new signs (thanks UW volunteer Stephanie!), and our trusty chest warming mint tea. The signs allow kids to independently wander the garden nibbling with their friends and enjoying snacks at every turn.

pesto face

pesto face

Let’s eat, then eat some more- even if it’s a lil’ scary and looks like green slime. Pesto tastes delicious.

makin' it rain olive oil, surrounded by kiddo drawings

makin’ it rain olive oil, surrounded by kiddo drawings

More kindergarteners came out and enjoyed carrots and had a fabulous time too.

First day of kindergarten garden: priceless

First day of kindergarten garden: priceless

There is still much to harvest as we dig into the cabbages, greens, and potatoes that are off the hook this year. That means our trusty Orca stone soup and french fries are coming. Stay tuned.

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Welcome back! Let’s get to munchin’

Okay- it’s been a long hard fought road but we have reached an amazing milestone. I (aka Anthony) have become the first official Seattle Public Schools Garden & Science teacher. Thanks to everyone for all their support of this program which has been a around a lot longer than I have. Now it’s time to get our feet in the garden, harvest like crazy, and get our garden ON before the rains set in.

Carrots for all!

Carrots for all!

Today, kindergarteners came out for their first garden class. There is a tradition here that they get to munch carrots on their first day outside. What’s crazy this year is that so many students are either coming from the Orca Pre-K or are siblings of many students here. It seems like I know them already, which is pretty cool. We got right to eating carrots, kales, and sour sour sorrel.

Delicious!

Delicious!

It’s never too early to get kids started on local, fresh, & organic foods. And it’s delicious too!

The garden from above

The garden from above

Things are looking good around here- thanks to all the parents who stepped up to help!

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