April at the School Farm!

We went from winter to summer to spring this April, what a ride! But as we move into May, the plants are thriving, and the children, too! So much has happened, and here are some photo galleries of the activities.

The 4th graders have been learning about natural dyes, and have created beds to grow the plants with natural dyes. During Earth Week they dyed with some of them.

They’ve also planted radishes and turnips for observation and measurement, and eating!

The third graders have been planting peas, and are in the middle of planting a salad bar garden.

South Whidbey Academy students learned about the geometry of circles by tracing them out on the ground with a compass, and are now getting the circle beds ready for the scarlet runner bean teepees.

The 2nd graders have been creating a rain garden, and learning about the flow of water through a watershed.

The first graders have been building bird houses as they study bird habitats around the farm.

Last but not least the kindergarteners have been growing microgreens as they learn all the ways we grow food.

Of course, we’ve all been eating these marvelous fresh veggies, too! Now there are kale flowers to add to the garden tacos of carrots, lettuce, spinach, sour plant, pea shoots, kale, purple sprouting broccoli and spinach.

In addition to all the veggies being eaten on the spot by the students, lettuce, spinach, bok choy, carrots and kale have been going to the school lunches and Whidbey Island Nourishes.

Indeed, April was busy! We also had a terrific week-long celebration of Earth Day. Click HERE for all the activities!

Looking forward to the learning, planting and growing in May!

Posted in Children in the garden, Earth Day, Natural dyeing, pea shoots, Updates from the garden! | Leave a comment

Celebration of Earth Day at the School Farm!

Earth Day is April 22nd, and we celebrated the earth the whole week! Each Grade celebrated with their own activity. We all were grateful for the life our planet provides. We found ways to enhance the health and beauty of our school farm and community.

Kindergarteners heard a story about harvesting seaweed and farmers who farm from their boats! Their imaginations brought the story’s words to life in watercolor paint.

First grade stamped the front and sides of their bird homes with flowers and other found natural materials. They will finish building the bird homes as they study the habitats around the farm.

Who can’t resist the feel of wet clay? Second grade enjoyed the textures of clay and worm casting as they crafted seed balls and then planted them at the forest edge. Their work will entice pollinators toward the farm. This will enhance the production of the food grown on the farm.

Third Grade used their ingenuity and skill to fashion wreaths out of vines and branches. These add interest to the fence protecting the school farm. They also provide for a nice transition through the fence for small birds using the native plant space inside the farm.

Food is not the only product of the school farm. Our 4th grade used natural dyes to make tie dye bandanas in celebration of Earth Day. They also planted next years crop of marigolds so that others could enjoy the same fun process.

A perennial favorite for kids of many ages and adults is painting rocks which you can find beautifying the beds of our school farm.

It can be fun to give gifts which are living. These flowers will enliven many gardens around the South Whidbey community.

Happy Earth Day!

Posted in Children in the garden, Earth Day, Updates from the garden! | Leave a comment

Spring Equinox at the School Farm!

The plants are loving the light, and the students are loving being back at the farm!

Outside students have planted peas, radishes and potatoes.

The first graders explored and discussed the watershed with a water table kit! We talked about what makes up a watershed, from houses to farms to factories– and discovered what happens to waste, fertilizers, and chemicals after they are used.  Everything flows into the water cycle!  

Second and third graders have been learning about soils – including erosion, soil structure, perc tests and soil types, both farm, forest and wetland.

Stay tuned for our new worm bin! Our 7 year-old bin needs replacing but first we had to empty it and dig it out!

So much is happening both at the Elementary School Farm and the High School Gardens…here’s a slideshow with more photos!

Posted in Children in the garden, Hoophouse, Lessons, Updates from the garden!, Vermicomposting/Worm bins | Leave a comment

First veggie starts of the season!


HERE
is the first order form of the season.

Please submit this form by March 4th
so we have time to grow the starts:
bok choy, lettuce, spinach and kale!

They will be distributed late March, before spring break.
If that’s too soon, then get your garden ready during spring break
and we’ll have another distribution in mid-April!

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February at the School Farm


Read our February newsletter
HERE.

Here’s a slideshow of February activities at the School Farm!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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How do solar panels transform light to electricity at the School Farm?

How do solar panels work, and how are they installed? This short video, made for our science classes, shares how!

Jean Cravy, Grade 3 – 6 science teacher at the South Whidbey Academy, made a worksheet for her class HERE, based on the video. Next lesson will be calculating the kilowatts used by our grow lights, and comparing it to the kilowatts our solar panels are generating. Stay tuned!

 

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Solar panels at the School Farm Outdoor Classroom!

Thanks to our generous donors, and Whidbey Sun and Wind,
we now have solar panels on the School Farm Outdoor Classroom!

We are generating the electricity that we use to grow thousands of veggies starts
for the school farms and our school families in their home gardens.
Stay tuned for more in-depth details of the installation and how it works,
but we wanted to share the good news with this short video!

Posted in Solar energy, Updates from the garden! | Leave a comment

January News and Veggie Starts Survey

To read the January Newsletter, click HERE

To support student farmers at home,
we’ll be growing veggie starts again this year!

If you would like to receive starts, please help us plan.
Click on the VEGGIES STARTS SURVEY HERE.

Last year, we distributed over 4000 starts! 
We want to make sure that every student can grow food to eat!

Posted in Updates from the garden!, Veggie starts | Leave a comment

Helping our student farmers plan their gardens at home

As we start planning for the new season, we’ve been teaching the students the essential elements to consider when planning their gardens at home.

We have 5 videos to share the basics of garden planning:

  • MAPPING YOUR GARDEN – Essential for planning and record keeping!
  • WHAT VEGGIES CAN I GROW?  Learn about our climate
  • WHEN CAN I PLANT FOR SUCCESS?  It’s all about season and days to maturity
  • HOW MANY CAN FIT IN THE SPACE?  Need to know the size at maturity of the veggies and how they grow
  • WHERE SHOULD THEY BE PLANTED?  Knowing your plant families so you can rotate your crops is essential

Click on the videos below, and send any questions to cpeterson@sw.wednet.edu

  

 

Enjoy planning your garden!

Posted in Covid-19 school closure, School Farm YouTube | Leave a comment

Seeking an AmeriCorps Food and Farm Educator to join our team!

For the 2021 school year, the South Whidbey School District, in partnership with the South Whidbey School Farms Program and Whidbey Island Nourishes, is expanding its AmeriCorps team to help enrich the school district’s robust farm program and connect it to health and nutrition education.

Our School Farm CAFE (Culinary Arts and Farm Education) program is seeking one AmeriCorps Food and Farm Educator who is an enthusiastic, energetic and capable individual with experience growing food, and who loves working with kids, teaching, and cooking. For applicants interested in this position with South Whidbey School Farms click here.

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