Archive for October, 2014

SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR

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We have been getting DEEEEEEP into food chemistry with our study of sugar.

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Sugar is known to be associated with a heap of health problems and this activity of measuring the amount of sugar in products has been both eye opening and very disturbing.

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We used our increasing food label reading skills to ascertain the amount of sugar in a serving and sometimes in a whole box/container. We then measured it with teaspoons.

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When we get a visual for the amount of sugar in a product, it is a great reminder of the actual amount we eat (and many would say- overeat).

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Check out this graphic and get a understanding of American consumption.

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Soon we will be measuring salt & sodium in common products and doing these same measurements. Hopefully these activities can help us become educated consumers and conscious eaters- an ever increasing necessity in this world of corporate food culture that hopes we never educate ourselves about what we eat. Viva la Orca!

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Native Plant Studies

Our native plant studies have reached new levels of awesomeness- this usually happens though when we combine garden science with art. This allows the scientific and artistic mind of students to combine and cross streams (like Ghostbusters). They are preparing their books for our annual meeting of the minds- the ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE NIGHT on November 20th in the lunchroom.

Low Oregon Grape & Scientific Art

Low Oregon Grape & Scientific Art

The teachers & I are really able to engage the kids and help them when they need it. They are studying sword fern, snowberry, low oregon grape, thimbleberry, salmonberry, kinnickinick, alpine strawberry, and more. It’s been great to really examine how Native peoples from the NW used these plants medicinally and as a resource.

Examining the finer sapects of a Salmonberry leaf.

Examining the finer aspects of a Salmonberry leaf.

Plus the coolest trees of all time- the Western Red Cedar- are conveniently located in the back of the school. We sustainably stripped bark pieces that were traditionally used by Native peoples for clothes, baskets, and even diapers?! No need to chop these beauties down to use them again and again as a natural resource.

Who can strip the longest piece of Western Red Cedar?

Who can strip the longest piece of Western Red Cedar?

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Harvest Festival Funnnnnn!!!

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What an amazing Harvest Festival this year! Our annual two day event was filled with fresh pressed cider, home baked goodies, corn husk dolls, leaf crowns, fort building, salsa making, & an endless supply of Orca French Fries. Whew!

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Thanks to all the AMAZING parent volunteers and community members who are the unsung heroes of this cool event. We love you!!!

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Most fries of alltime!

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Harvest Festival on the horizon!

With our legendary Harvest Festival on the horizon (Oct. 15th & 16th), we have a lot of work to do to procure all the goodies we grow in the garden. It’s a huge celebration and we worked hard to grow massive amounts of food in the hope of sharing & eating as much as possible. We hit up the Hillman City P-patch and our plot there to get our pumpkin on (a record pumpkin harvest for us!).

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We picked enough mint to brew tea for decades…

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And enough purple, red, white, and fingerling potatoes to ensure french fry goodness during the festival.

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Ain’t no squashin’ our harvest…

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And we were feeling grape, errr great!
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