Archive for October, 2015

Harvest Festival 2015 !!!!!

Post Festivus

Post Festivus

Our annual Harvest Festival celebrates everything fabulous about the Fall season. We had an amazing potluck for each class that featured many home prepared dishes and garden snacks (carrots, lemon cucumbers, & more). Every class came down for a 40 minute session. We had the coolest activities.

Lavender picked from the garden, dried out and put into empty tea bags makes for a nice smelling sachet to take home. Students could also make mint tea bags from our own dried mint also.

Lavender Sachets & Mint Tea Bags

Lavender Sachets & Mint Tea Bags

We also had our cider press in action! This is such a great team activity as the students are involved through the washing, cutting, and pressing of the apple cider from fresh apples.

Cider press in action!

Cider press in action!

Our face painting was so much fun. We had some great parent volunteers that stepped up to get creative.

Face Painting was very popular

Face Painting was very popular

Corn husk dolls!!

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Thank you to all the INCREDIBLE volunteers who stepped up to make this such a annual celebration that is remembered for the entire year. Did you have Tamara’s tamales??? Awesome!

Tamara shares her always amazing tamales

Tamara shares her always amazing tamales

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Peru: Land of the origin of french fries

Art, history, creative writing, and potatoes.

Art, history, creative writing, and potatoes.

3rd-5th grade students explored french fries in a different way. They learned about crop origins and the fact that all potatoes share a genetic ancestor in Peru. Though there are over 1,000 varieties of potatoes now, they originally came from Peru. We got the chance to write imaginary postcards from Peru that hopefully students will mail to someone real!

Imaginary travel

Imaginary travel

I checked out a handful of books on Peru from the Orca library and we got to exploring this ancient majestic land of Incan ruins, diverse culture, and incredible mountains. These books were an added resource to our conversation about crop origins and Peruvian history. This project is really about fusing the garden with creative writing, cultural exploration, and art- a recipe for success.

machu Pichu postcard

Machu Pichu postcard

Of course the first thing we did was dig up purple, red, white, yellow, and fingerling potatoes. Farm to tummy in the matter of 15 minutes. Bam!

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Kindergarten “potato to french fry” FUN

potato farmers

potato farmers

Kindergarten got the chance to go outside, dig up their own potatoes, and come inside to watch them turned into french fries. This is an annual tradition here that takes a common food that most people enjoy and puts a local, fresh, organic twist on it.

more potato farmers

more potato farmers


While we don’t want to fry everything in the garden , this is a fun activity that gets kids excited about what we grow and understanding the garden origins of common delicacies.

Oh the joy!

Oh the joy!

They got a chance to make their own “fry boxes” that display their interpretation of this activity.

Yum!

Yum!

They get to use art to display their learning and get as creative as possible.

Yes!

Yes!

They really love this activity and usually always ask about it all year. It’s really special to see kids excited and engaged in such a “foodie” activity.

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Growing seeds

We always talk around here at the garden about all the ways that we can be SUSTAINABLE. This means reducing energy consumption, growing our own organic food, recycling & composting, and using less of those pesky fossil fuels. One of the many ways that we have been exploring this concept has been through the collection of seeds in the garden. Students this week got a chance to get their own radish seed pod that I collected this summer. They carefully broke it open and found the tiny seeds. We then went straight to the garden and planted them.

There's a tiny radish seed somewhere in there.

There’s a tiny radish seed somewhere in there.


We also had a lot of dried beans from the tragic blowover of our amazing bean pole teepee after that crazy wind storm this summer. We harvested bean seeds for next season’s planting.
The musical fruit

The musical fruit


The more seeds we collect, the less we will buy. This experience helps them understand how we act sustainably and provide for ourselves, most of what we need.

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Worm-mania sweeps Orca

Up close & personal

Up close & personal


One of the most fabulous aspects of Orca’s environmental and sustainability focus is our collection of red wiggler worms. They compost hundreds of pounds of lunchroom fruit & vegetable waste every year. We are still using worms that we started growing here generations ago (7 years and counting!).
Oh the joy...

Oh the joy…


Getting up close and personal with the worms every year is a good reminder of a very easy practice that lowers waste & also creates fabulous garden soil (worm poop aka vermicompost). Plus when you can say “poop” in class and it’s part of an actual lesson, that’s pretty cool.
Virtual 2D worm bin

Virtual 2D worm bin


The kindergarteners created their own 2 dimensional worm bins on paper, showing what goes in there on a daily basis. It’s a great piece of art that they can share with their families.
Worm share

Worm share


All of the K-5 classes get a chance this year to get reacquainted with the worms, so we can be reminded of the fabulous work the worms do.
We gathered the worms from our main storage area and started up a new bin
that will be full of worms that students collected. This bin on wheels can be rolled around school and even has a lift up front lid w/ a plexiglass front to see the worms in action.
Have worm bin, will travel

Have worm bin, will travel

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