K-5 Harvest Festival 2017

Harvest Festival was a smash hit this year! There were lavender sachets, corn husk dolls, face painting, awesome food, and our amazing apple cider press in full press mode. I heard many kids say it is their favorite school day of the year. It is a beloved ritual and tradition that brings everybody together in the garden. Thank you so much to the parent volunteers and all the families that brought food to share- we love you!



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Orca French Fries: A Delicious Tradition


It’s an amazing yearly tradition around here to dig potatoes out of the ground and turn them into the freshest french fries you have ever eaten.


The kids get shovels and commence with digging up purple, yellow, white, red, and fingerling potatoes. W3e bring them in, fry them up, and the kids go absolutely crazy for this fresh, organic, local, and free (F.O.L.F as we call it) version of their favorite snack.


Older students get the chance to use math to come up with a fraction number that shows the amount of ingredients they “know” in your local Mcfries. This is a chance to delve deeper into the critical thinking it should take to be a modern eater. Yes McD’s is an easy target but also a recognizable one that most kids can relate to.


And students can even take a look at the Mcfries I bought 4 years ago and have kept in a jar. Even though I have opened them periodically, they still haven’t decomposed. This simple visual tells you a lot- or at least makes folks think! Should we eat food this processed w/ 17 ingredients VS our 3 ingredients?


Delicious and fun!



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Room 101 & 102 revelations


It is pretty amazing to work w/ our medically fragile students in Room 101 & 102. Orca really prides itself on inclusion for all students. These two classrooms commonly interact and join with other regular education classes. These classes also come out once a week on their own and we have great small group sessions focusing on experiential learning and interacting w/ plants & the natural world.


We had them touching, smelling, and interacting w/ such cool plants as curry sage, mint, and lamb’s ear. It is really great that they have a space to come outside and enjoy themselves- or immerse themselves I should say, in a sensory rich environment. They seemed to enjoy it and become enthralled w/ each plant on this  amazingly sunny day.


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Pre-K & Kindergarten fun!



It’s always a fun experience to see a kindergarten or pre-k student dig a  carrot out of the ground for the first time (or for the 50th time!). Kids will never wonder where a carrot came from. To take a crunchy & delicious bite is to take a journey into garden flavors and yummy goodies.


We also harvested grapes, cherry tomatoes, fennel, mint, and more.


Kindergarteners harvested calendula flowers for a calendula medicinal balm we will make here at school. They all also got a sunflower if they wanted!


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5th,6th,7th, & 8th grade salsa!


Our Orca tomatoes are a big source of pride around here. They are grown from seed by students and the plants produce some of the most delicious tomatoes you have ever had. Multicolored salsa was made this last week: cherry, heirloom, & slicer tomatoes galore.


It’s a very fresh and delicious snack to make from scratch. We got some new “kid friendly” cutting knives and a plethora of new bamboo cutting boards to make this project more seamless.


It was a hit all around. It really is amazing to see new Orca students who have not had years of my “fresh, free, local, organic” propaganda. These new students really get their minds and taste buds blown wide open when they pick food w/ their classmates and prepare it in the greenhouse. They start as skeptics many times and end up as full blown chef participants. It’s great to start off the year by “breaking bread” together and having some delicious hands-on fun.

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It has been the hottest of hottest dry summers ever! Somehow through a lot of Orca family help watering and some extra time spent at the garden by yours truly, we have stayed alive and green (and just a tad crispy). We should have plenty to harvest in September when school starts again. Lots of kale, tomatoes, fennel, figs, apples, kohlrabi, chard, potatoes, so many herbs, and tons of flowers. Stay tuned for the best year ever of gardening, nutrition, sustainability, social justice, & deliciousness!

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Orca Garden Sodas: End o’ year epic epicness!

What an amazing year of fun, food, environmentalism, joy, & wonder!!!


We made incredibly delicious garden themed sodas w/ our trusty Sodastream, a collection of awesome garden ingredients, and a few lemons & limes.


It has been an amazing year- the activities, culture, and uniqueness of Orca make it truly a special place for learning.


This last week was sunny, fun, and full o’ bubbly beverages that the kids enjoyed a lot. There might have been a lil’ hose spraying too to stay cool.


It was also a lil’ sad too because of all the great Orca students I have known forever moving on to different middle schools after 5th grade. All those kids got awesome tote bags & I sincerely hope they remember the Orca garden and their experience here! This was the first year too where I had known some kids from K-8th grade: the entire run. Bon voyage amazing kids! You will be missed!


Most kids got cool Orca Garden & Kale Revolution prints if (if they didn’t get a tote) that we printed up on a screen press. They signed them and I hope they throw them up on a wall somewhere and enjoy them!




Peace out y’all- it’s been a great year! Anthony (I) will be back for my 10th year (!!?!?!) next school year and we are already planning incredible units, themes, activities, and delicious foods to harvest. Stay cool & stay fresh!


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