Archive for June, 2015

Summer 2015 updates

All is green and alive around here. We are already preparing for September with intense watering, pruning, and a complete reworking of our native plant garden. It’s been great to be here in June and really try to visualize and meditate on how to use the space better and better. Lots of changes coming in signage and the planting of more and more diverse plants.

Healthy and vibrant.

Healthy and vibrant.

First food bank donation of the summer was 20 heads of incredible lettuce!

Foodbank donation.

Foodbank donation.

The tomato garden is looking incredible and might break Orca records for size!

Tomato madness!

Tomato madness!

You need music right? How about the summertime classic ” Everybody Loves The Sunshine”

It’s hard to ignore all the buzzing out here- the bees are swarming beautifully around the lavender, mint, and of course the awesome artichoke flowers..

Bee burrowing in artichoke flower

Bee burrowing in artichoke flower

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

Amazing end o’ the year celebrations

DSC_0586

It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate all the hard work and learning that was done in the garden this year. It is a yearly tradition here to muddle up limes, strawberries, ice, simple syrup, and MINT to make a delicious bubbly drink (a faux-jito?), toast each other, and take one last stroll and hang in the garden.

Our favorite kindergarten matriarch MARLETTA!

Our favorite kindergarten matriarch MARLETTA!

There might have been a couple dance parties too. Will MJ live forever??? Yes, at least in the garden.

DSC_0608

It’s a time of reflection too as many students (especially in the 5th grade) are moving on and are saying goodbye to their friends. Adios!

See ya 5th grade!

See ya 5th grade!

And here are many of these fine youngsters 6 years ago! To be able to hang out and learn with them for 6 years has been an honor!

A mere 6 years ago!

A mere 6 years ago!

Leave a comment »

500th blog post: A dedication to Gloria Martin, my grandmother.

500 posts & 100,000+ views by over 10,000 visitors in 7 years- it seems like a dream. In a way it is because what we do here is so unique, so outside the box, that we seem to be existing in our own world of organic gardening, delicious plants, and progressive education. Peruse the search box on this site and see all the things we have done over that 7 years. All the support over the years has meant so much, Orca is truly an amazing place.

I just might owe the original inspiration for what I do to my grandmother Gloria Martin. She was a tireless supporter of women’s and human rights, a radical socialist feminist, an AMAZING gardener, and an all around rabble rouser that inspired so many people to march in the streets and create change. She was the co-creator of the progressive activist group Radical Women. She also owned a bookstore that housed the largest collection of radical literature in Seattle. We are rapidly approaching the 20th anniversary of her death and her 100th birthday.

Gloria Martin: My grandmother

Gloria Martin: My grandmother

You can buy her book Socialist Feminism: The First Decade at The New Freeway Hall bookstore just blocks from Orca. When I was 13 I saw her give a speech there at a dinner dedicated to her. She spoke of all the work we have to do as a community to keep changing, keep growing, and keep evolving. Then she waved a handkerchief in the air and yelled, “Let’s get to work!!”. The crowd cheered w/ a standing ovation and a seed was planted in my mind to be a part of that change.

The revolution: One plant at a time

The revolution: One plant at a time

The family home that had the most amazing garden ever is just blocks from Orca too- there are deep roots in this community for myself and my family. That’s why it means so much to grow food here at Orca for the people that need it. My grandmother was the most amazing harborist and plant aficionado, as well as being a radical progressive activist. It’s hard not to be sentimental after all these years- for both Orca & my grandmother. Thank you for all the support.

Comments (4) »

Pizza & Spaghetti herbs w/ kale pesto on the side

DSC_0493

Our weeks long project of harvesting and drying out rosemary, thyme, and oregano has finally come to fruition. We took some of our mixed pizza herb blend home to enjoy the Orca bounty all summer long.

DSC_0490

Students were involved in the entire process including some last minute thyme harvesting off of their dry stalks. A word of advice to prospective garden educator herb activity creators- make more than you think you’ll need! A little of harvesting that is blended up in my ninja food processor becomes smaller and smaller with each twirl. You’ll need a lot!

DSC_0500

I made some kale pesto using 3 kinds of kale, olive oil, and a lil’ salt. Reactions were generally positive..

DSC_0494

Leave a comment »