Archive for September, 2014

Organisms in the garden

1st grade is studying organisms for their SPS science unit & we went on an organism hunt throughout the garden. Spiderwebs are of particular interest because they are prevalent this time of the year (and super awesome to look at). Just grab a simple plant mister water bottle, spritz the webs, and they come alive.


The scientific drawings they did turned out fabulous.


They found many other organisms in the garden: worms, centipedes, millipedes, potato bugs, beetles, flies, spit bugs, stink bugs, & of course our mortal enemy aphids!


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Let the frying begin… Orca french fries!

& their 3 ingredients VS. the 17 ingredients of….


Lets get local, organic, fresh, free, & delicious. We harvested potatoes, washed them up, fried ’em, & enjoyed the fruits of our labors (or should I say tubers).

Of course this is a crowd pleaser, but the lesson here in this annual tradition is clear- know what you eat & where it comes from. Grow it, harvest it, eat it.

It was an awesome harvest of purple, red, yellow, and fingerling potatoes.

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What’s in our food? McD’s vs. Bent Burgers!

McDonalds is always an easy target, I know….BUT! It is a recognizable fast food restaurant and an American institution that deserves to be looked at critically. In the 6th grade garden science class, we are comparing local, fresh, organic food systems w/ industrial food systems. Let’s get critical & scientific.

it has been a long time....

it has been a long time….

Though I can never recommend going into a middle school classroom w/ a bag of Mickey D’s and a bag of locally based Bent Burgers (Orca’s Peach Pit)– this did happen. What will happen if we let McD’s & a fresher bag of local hamburgers decompose in jars? Will one break down (No cheating, but check out this Supersize Me outtake) faster than the other because it uses fresh ingredients? Many are aware of the 17 ingredients in McDonalds fries but will they break down like a 3 ingredient french fry? How about a fresh meat burger vs. a frozen processsed one? Should we eat something that won’t decompose? Lots of questions, so lets get some answers.

Will it smell? Lets hope not.

Will it smell? Lets hope not.

It make take a while to make some moldy goodness, so we got down on reading the nutrition facts & ingredients on your average industrial food snacks & meals. We will be learning how to decipher serving sizes, ingredients, and the ins and outs of the maze that is a food label & nutrition facts box.
Again- beware walking into a room of middle schoolers w/ this box.

Again- beware walking into a room of middle schoolers w/ this box.

We will keep you updated on our findings….

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Amazing first week of garden delicious fun


We have been having a great back to school harvest after our first week back to school. There have been tons of greens, cherry tomatoes, sorrel, mints, carrots, beets, and so much more.

Can you find 3 kales?

We have started many units in the garden that are centered around the science that students will be studying in their classrooms this quarter. Check out 4th grade learning about food chemistry by comparing nutrition facts:
The hyroglyphics of nutrition facts

We have doing some serious harvesting for projects such as lavender oil and medicinal calendula balm- all grown here at Orca.

harvest time

And look how much mint this class harvested:

massive mint

Most primary classes got to do a fun garden taste test:

harvest time

And of course- some delicious mint tea:


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Garden Work Party Saturday 9/13 11am-3pm

garden party

You know you love this garden! Come help us weed, fix up the beds, tidy up, and connect with other parents & staff to make our garden look that much more fabulous. Bring your kids too! Just meet us in the garden on Saturday 9/13 and we will have a blast. It takes a village to feed this village…

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Welcome back! It’s a jungle out here…

Dino Kale!

Dino Kale!

Welcome back to all you fabulous Orca students & families! After this sun fabulous summertime, the garden is looking more bountiful and vibrant than it ever has. Huge crops and delicious harvests are awaiting us.


Get ready for huge units on nutrition & local foods as we explore the fabulous world of urban farming & sustainability. This is garden teacher Anthony’s 7th year at Orca and he promises the best one yet. There will be monthly work parties & many chances for parents to be involved any way they can.
Heirloom goodness

Heirloom goodness

The addition of these cool laminated garden signs made by students will help self-guided tours and inspire kids to show their parents around for some tastings. Come hang out & visit.

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