The South Whidbey School Farmstand is up and running!Thanks to lots of hard work on the part ofstudents, staff, and AmeriCorps service members, we are now open! It is a self-serve farmstand full of produce all grown and harvested by South Whidbey students. Please bring your own reusable bags to reduce waste and support the School Farm Program.
All proceeds go to the SW School Farm Program through Readiness To Learn. You can pay with cash, check, or by using the QR code posted in the stand or by visiting www.donorbox.org/high-school-farm-stand
Come check it out on Maxwelton Road right in front of the 7-12 campus (the High School)!
We love our new walk-in Coolbot cooler! We now have enough cold storage for our harvest!
The School Farm grows produce for the school lunches, Whidbey Island Nourishes and the snack program, culinary classes and events. The walk-in unit we were sharing with WIN and the school district was too small for our many bins of produce.
A big and warm welcome to the 2021 – 2022 AmeriCorps team who began their service on September 1st: Chad Fisher, Shayna Leibowitz, Lily Cowen and Rachel Nottingham. They join Mayme O’Toole (far right) who has been serving since Feb. 15th. Soon to arrive will be Riley Baker coming on October 1st. Read the farm team bios here!
September 1st was also the first day of school, and from day 1 the AmeriCorps team has been helping with the farm and culinary classes, farm cultivation and harvest, and snack program. We are so appreciative of their indispensable service!
We wrapped up our summer of work parties with a wonderful indigo dyeing party! Japanese indigo was harvested and transformed into a rich blue dye!
After the indigo leaves were stripped from the stems, Cheryl Lawrence, fabric artist and indigo-inspirer, blended the leaves into marvelous green smoothies.
Then rubber bands were tied in silk fabric to make a tie-dye resist. The fabric was massaged in the green slurry for at least 30 minutes. The indican dye molecules released through blending oxidize and turn blue, and bind with the silk proteins.
Rubbings are also possible.
After a cold water rinse and removing the bands, the beautiful patterns were revealed!
Here’s a slideshow of some of the designs!
In September, the 5th and 6th graders will be doing this as part of their school farm classes! The indigo we cut will grow back for another round.
For our video on the indigo dyeing process, click HERE.
We plant the School Farm to be peaking in September when the students return to school. There will be an abundance of veggies ready for them to pick and eat!
We also are growing a lot of flowers for the bees and other beneficial insects, as well as for botanical dyeing.
We are so appreciative of volunteers! Thank you to all those who have helped this summer at our work parties – we couldn’t do it all without you! We can still use help – come to a work party on Tuesday or Thursday morning, or let us know when you can volunteer!
We are growing a lot of Japanese indigo at the School Farm because it is so much fun to dye with! On Tuesday, August 10th, starting at 9 am, Cheryl Lawrence, fabric artist, will be showing how to dye with Japanese indigo using a water-based process that results in beautiful blue designs on tie-dyed silk. To register, email email@example.com
HERE and HERE is what we’ve done in years previously. HERE is a video of the process.
This workshop takes place during our Tuesday work party, so if you’d like to stay and help at the farm after you have dyed your silk, we’d love your help!
We have four new AmeriCorps Food and Farm Educators coming to serve at the School Farms program and Whidbey Island Nourishes this September. They will be needing affordable housing from September 1 – July 15th!
If you would like to help a young person coming to Whidbey to serve our school district and community, and have a room, cottage or apartment to rent, please contact Cary Peterson, School Farms Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.