Delicious food and live auction Friday 5/12 at Useless Bay Coffee Company for a GREAT cause!

Grow Whidbey is a collaborative apprenticeship program between Good Cheer and South Whidbey School Farms that trains motivated individuals to grow food for community and teach youth through experiential garden and nutrition classes. Of 20 alums of the apprenticeship program, seven have stayed on South Whidbey to continue work in the field of sustainable agriculture and education.

This year, Grow Whidbey is blessed with three lovely individuals–Corey Wills, Good Cheer Garden apprentice; Michael Ferncase, School Farm Production apprentice; and Ryan Viscito, School Farm Curriculum apprentice–who have come from all over the country to grow food for and provide garden-based education to the food insecure and youth in our community.

On Friday, May 12 at Useless Bay Coffee Company please join us for a fun and delicious night filled with generosity to raise the match and fund this essential program! 

  • Fantastic food donated by Useless Bay Coffee Company
  • Live auction featuring items donated by Boatyard Inn, BugaBay Company, local artists, and community members
  • A $10,000 matching grant from Hand in Hand Partners doubles your dollar!

The apprentices are a key part of the Good Cheer and School Farm programs! Your contribution supports educating South Whidbey youth with garden-based education, feeding community members with fresh, local produce, and training the next leaders and teachers in sustainable agriculture.

Tickets are $100 and available at Good Cheer Thrift Stores as well as at growwhidbey.brownpapertickets.com. With a generous $10,000 matching grant from Hand in Hand Partners, your dollar goes twice as far to Grow Whidbey! You can also make a reservation by calling Good Cheer at 360-221-0130 (ask for Anh) or e-mailing anh@goodcheer.org. Thank you and hope to you see you there!

Posted in Funding support, Grow Whidbey apprentices, Leadership Training

Signs of Spring

Between the rain, wind and unpredictable weather, students have been courageously working on spring garden tasks. Some days, we’ve had to move our classes indoors to the greenhouse or the Garden Resource center. However, beds have been weeded, cleaned, and planted. Students love working and watching the garden transform as a result of their efforts. We’re learning each and every week what it takes to make our garden grow strong and healthy with all the vegetables we love to eat.

The hearty kale is still providing garden nibbles for students along with the sorrel plants with their new green shoots. Grade five students have been learning how to grow micro greens indoors and the lush growth of pea shoots and lettuce mix have provided green nibbles for the whole school.

Grade two students have worked together to plant an entire bed with field peas that will grow into a bed of sweet green shoots for delicious garden nibbles.

First and second graders have been getting up close and personal with the soil by learning all about wire worms. We prefer to keep this garden pest out of our garden. Students made their own wire worm traps with skewered potatoes and flags with their names on them. Carefully checking the traps when they come to the garden and placing the caught wireworms in a big tin can saves our vegetables and provides endless fascination with the soil as students notice all the creatures therein.

The diversity of seeds from beans to lettuce is a topic that third graders are beginning to know well. They’ve learned about seed families along with shape and size of seeds while examining, sketching, sorting and finally planting seeds to be placed in a mixed salad bar garden after spring break.

The engineers of grade four and SWA have been creating designs for pea trellis’s based on the peas habits of growth. Students have worked in groups to sketch and model trellis’s that they will build outside. SWA students have built their trellis’s and the Grade Four students have planted peas and will build their trellis’s after spring break.

Everyday, we hear someone say “I love the garden”.  We all know, that’s the magic ingredient that makes the garden grow.

Posted in Updates from the garden!

New High School Garden launched!

We have launched a new garden at the High School! John Patton, HS Principal, asked us if we could turn the lawn out front into a garden that would grow vegetables for the students, flowers for pollinating and beneficial insects, and herbs for culinary classes, as well as provide a wide range of garden-based curriculum opportunities for the High School students and incoming Middle School students. Yes!

On March 8, the only sunny day in weeks of rain, Chris Korrow came with his super shovel spader and tilled the field that had been staked out with beds for growing and a large area for picnic tables and gatherings.

 

On Earth Day, over 300 HS students will be helping to install the fence, amend the beds with compost, terrace the slope, and plant veggie starts. Stay tuned!

 

Posted in Updates from the garden!

SNACC Time with the Students

In January the school garden expanded into the realm of fresh food preparation. We are now teaching cooking classes for the third though fifth grade students. There have been four successful classes so far where the students made a delicious pumpkin dip. We used the pumpkin puree that was processed and frozen from our all school Thanksgiving Feast. Our goal is to source food directly from the school farm and  increase the connection from garden to table.

This new program is called SNACC (Student Nutrition and Culinary arts Community). It integrates the importance of fresh food and community through cooperation and sharing the food that the students have grown and prepared.

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Here is the recipe if you want to try our Pumpkin Dip at home!

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Posted in Goosefoot, Lessons, SNACC, Updates from the garden!

Winter’s Rhythm Gives Way to Spring

January 2017 saw the first students making forays into the winter garden with exclamations of  ‘The bean teepees are gone!’, ‘The garden looks empty.’  Then on closer examination, they found wiggling worms in the soil and a world of wonder in the seemingly empty garden scape.

They noticed that the cover crops they planted in the autumn have created a bed of green on the garden beds and the pumpkins they placed in November have decomposed at the base of the fruit trees in the orchard.

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Finding the different types of cover crop in the garden beds

During garden class time the students are learning that winter time is all about letting the garden rest and building the soil through cover cropping and mulching the garden beds that provide the much loved vegetables that we eat throughout the year.

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Sharing in the Garden Circle

 

Grade Two students rolled up their sleeves and flipped the cover crops they planted this fall in their new little cove garden. We said a thank you to the cover crop before flipping it into the soil and noted that the green growth that we planted will now decompose and invite worms and micro organisms to feed and build the soil.

In anticipation of spring planting, the Grade One and Grade Two students have planted peas in clear plastic trays that have been placed in light boxes in the hallways at the Elementary School. Students can watch as the peas germinate and sprout inside and then continue the cycle by planting the little plants in the garden when the soil warms up.

Students found the tall bamboo poles that made the bean teepees with dried vines and bean pods still attached. Piles of dry beans, ready for pulling from the vines were pulled, opened and sorted into big bowls of purple and black scarlet runner beans, black and white orca beans and brown and white rockwell beans. Students from SWA, and grades two, three and five participated in opening the magic beans and sorting them into type. We took the dried vines and empty pods to the compost bin.  Due to the enthusiastic students, we were able to get our entire crop of dry beans ready for storage and potential cooking.
Finally the energetic Grade Three students took buckets and shovels to move a big pile of leaves to make way for the load of rich compost that was delivered last week outside the western side of the garden fence.

The garden may look empty, however it’s just a moment in time as we prepare for spring planting. The students are learning to care for the land and grow food by participating in activities that honor the rhythm of the seasons all year long.

As we sing in our garden song:

It’s all in the rhythm of the earth…

It’s all in the rhythm of the sun…

It’s all in the rhythm of the moon…

It’s all in the rhythm of rain…

It’s all in the rhythm of our heart…

 

Posted in Updates from the garden!

The new season has begun!

It has been a ferocious winter with lots of rain, freezing weather and snow, but in between the gusts and downpours, the students have been helping to turn over cover crops and get the School Farm ready for the new growing season. We’ve started all classes K-5 and the students sowed peas to examine before being planted out.

The pumpkins fertilizing our fruit trees are decomposing quite nicely. The dwarf scotch curly kale is quite sweet and delicious, a favorite with the children. And quite spectacularly, Val Twomey’s class helped move the veggie tunnel! Never underestimate the capacity of 20 second graders!

Posted in Updates from the garden!

We met the match… and more!

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From L to R: Kevin Engstrom, Linda Racicot, Jo Moccia, Sandy Whiting, Cary Peterson, Marian Myszkowski, Charlie McKissrick

big-check-cake-heart_8591A happy crowd gathered at the Goose Grocer to celebrate the generous $73,575.36 check that Goosefoot and the Goose donated to the School Farm and Garden Program!

A lovely cake with a heartfelt wordle, and carrots and kale harvested from the Big Acre rounded out the festivities.

A huge thank you from all the farmers, teachers and volunteers who work to make this program happen. We couldn’t have done it with Goosefoot and the Goose!

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BREAKING NEWS!
Thanks to the wonderful generosity and support of our community, Goosefoot has met the match… and more! $36,787.68 was donated and the Goose Grocer is going to match it all!

Come to the big check ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 2nd at 4 pm at the Goose Grocer. Goosefoot will be presenting the South Whidbey School District with a check for $73,575.36 for the School Farm and Garden program!

Read the Press Release HERE.

An enormous thank you to Goosefoot and the Goose Grocer, and to our community!

Posted in Funding support, Goose Grocer, Goosefoot