Archive for May, 2015

Massive Orca plant donations!

Have veggie oil car: will travel

Have veggie oil car: will travel

It has been a truly awesome experience to rumble around town in my bio-diesel veggie mobile delivering free tomato starts to schools. I have connected with so many organizations and schools, gotten to see their garden spaces, and really gotten to rub green thumbs with some amazing people doing and growing amazing things. We are at about 20 organizations that we have donated to. To have students growing plants and sharing them, is something that fosters empathy and caring that can only come through direct service to others.

Bailey Gatzert Elementary

Bailey Gatzert Elementary

Visiting Bailey-Gatzert Elementary after the removal of their garden via bulldozer was particularly humbling. The district thought the rat problem here near Little Saigon aka The International District was because of their garden. They proceeded to destroy an amazing space that was so important to a school community in need for organic, local foods. They have only a tiny space now but are still proud of it. I was informed that since they have no PTA or much parent involvement at the school, that students were just going to tend to the plants we donated and take them home in a few weeks. We were honored to hook them up and wish them the best in growing their garden again. This is another example of how our giving program really benefits other schools and students.

YMCA Earth Service Corps at Foster High School in Tukwila

Former UW Pipeline volunteer Stephanie w/ YMCA Earth Service Corps at Foster High School in Tukwila

A full list of organizations and schools we donated to (it’s growing too!):
Elementary and Middle Schools: Bailey Gatzert, B.F. Day, Wing Luke, Greenwood, Laurelhurst, View Ridge, Hawthorne, Graham Hill, Sandpoint, Eckstein,  Salmon Bay K-8, & a brand new elementary school in West Seattle, and more!
Organizations: Magnuson Park Children’s Garden, Jardincitos preschool on Beacon Hill, Pinnacle Explorations Outdoor School, Danny Woo Community Garden, Seattle Farm School, and more!

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3rd grade tomatoes make it home!

Two for the price of one

Two for the price of one

Maybe you remember our 3rd grade plant growth project? Students grew a tomato from seed and monitored it’s growth every week for over two months. We learned measurement w/ rulers and how to care and love for our plants. Many plants had cool names like Bob & Mitzy.

They like their hard work

They like their hard work

Finally the plants were ready to go home and they looked amazing. There is a special kind of pride in a student’s face when they take that much time to create something alive, while monitoring it and taking care of it. Good job 3rd grade!

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Native American folktales & Douglas Fir pinecones

We revived an oldie but a goodie activity here at Orca by infusing a popular Native American folktale w/ art & an amazing sunny day. Douglas Fir trees are renowned for their ability to survive forest fires and this folktale tells the story of a mouse who escapes the fire by climbing in a pine cone (you can see their tales & feet sticking out!). Read it here!.


A funny side note is that I wanted to look for a link to this story and what popped up first in the google search?!?!? Well it was an old blog post from us from over 5 years ago! Look at it here!


Students were able to find a sunny or shady spot in the garden and create their story on paper. We talked a bit about the oral tradition of storytelling and folktales- this artistic rendition will help them retell the story. They took the pinecone too so there should be some fabulous stories being told tonight.


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Fresh Orca salads- as local as you can get


We had a fabulous week of salad making. Every K-5 class was able to harvest, wash, and prepare a salad using the freshest ingredients possible. Everything (except the various dressings) traveled a total of 25 feet to get to the salad bowl.


It’s kinda corny- but I constantly ask students to pay me a dollar for the food. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” because it’s free. I ask them how much gasoline was used to bring this salad. “NOOOOOOOOOONE!” Then I ask them how much pesticides or chemicals were sprayed on our food. “NOOOOONE!” What’s the word for that? Organic. Cool- you got it kiddos.


It was really nice to sit banquet style and pass the dressing and even our day old bread that Columbia City Bakery donated to our school on Tuesday. Success!


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Wow! 100,000 blog views! Thank you!


After 7 years, we have reached an incredible milestone. We officially have over 100,000 views of the blog, 493 posts, and views from almost 100 different countries. We are proud to have this blog as a resource for progressive garden education inspiration around the world. Thanks to everybody who has supported us over the years- this blog is a testament to the community we have created here at Orca. It is a community that I hope to be a part of until the end o’ time.

Anthony Warner
Orca Garden Coordinator

P.S. Remember to use the search box on the blog and look up cool posts like how we planted gardens in India, how we create our infamous Orca french fries, measuring sugar in food products, and our partnerships w/ food banks and other schools. 7 years of activities is all there in an easy searchable format.

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2015 Plant sale success!


The plant sale was a rousing success w/ a stunning turnout and even more stunning weather. The plants were looking almost as amazing as the people’s smiles that were carrying them away. Hundreds of gardens are going to be teeming w/ plants and we are proud to be a part of that!


Thank you to all the amazing volunteers, parents, and community members who truly care about this school and the garden education program. So many volunteers made this event happen! We raised a lot of money through this social enterprise event and it is a great partnership w/ the community. Also, through this event, we can donate hundreds of plants to various schools, non-profits, and community organizations that need free plants. Orca students are told through this whole process of planting for months that this project isn’t just for us- but for people in need.


Much thanks to the Orca band for coming out and performing too!

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Orca Plant Sale Sat. May 9th 10am!

This Saturday May 9th from 10am-3pm! A fundraiser to support Orca’s legendary public school garden & sustainability program. Check out our Facebook page!

plant sale 2015

An amazing collection of organic veggies, native plants, perennials, annuals, fruit trees/bushes, and more await you here Saturday. Food! Music! Fun! Crafts! Mother’s Day gifts!

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

We have so many great lilacs, peonies, and other amazing flowers and natives courtesy of Rosebriar Gardens here in South Seattle. We also have an incredible assortment of organic veggies courtesy of Cascadian Edible Landscapes. You can also pick up some amazing native plants from Go Natives. Need garden books? Then come get something from Readers To Eaters.

Flowers galore!

Students have helped grow an amazing assortment of tomatoes- 16 varieties! They look as fantastic as ever!

16 tomato varieties!

16 tomato varieties!

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