A new snack garden!

When kindergarten teacher Diane Burgess retired, her garden needed new caretakers. The little raised beds were hard to maintain and had gotten a little overgrown. So the School Farm and Garden program got the go-ahead from the Elementary School to transform the little garden into a larger growing space that would grow snack veggies for the students to pick. A $1000 grant from Kidsgardening.org provided the funds for tilling the ground, and purchasing fencing, and seeds and supplies for planting and making starts.

The old beds were removed, native plants were relocated to the Second Grade garden cove next to the School Farm, and the kindergartners helped spread the soil in preparation for tilling.

Fifth grade students helped with the design of the garden as well as the vigorous work of spreading compost and making the paths and the beds. They also planted peas, broccoli, kale, radishes and french sorrel which grew beautifully, and were eagerly eaten!

Everyone is looking forward to the carrots, beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, ground cherries, kale, broccoli and sorrel that will be ready for more snacking in the fall!

We find that the students love to fill their pockets with veggies to snack on later, or to bring home to their family… they just have to be careful with the tomatoes!

 

Posted in Updates from the garden!

Summertime Gardening at the School Farm and High School Garden

Summertime Gardening!

Join us at one or both of these work parties and picnics weekly through the summer…


School Farm on Tuesdays

from 9 am – 12 noon
with picnic lunch at noon
starting June 20th

High School Garden on Thursdays
from 9 am – 12 noon
with picnic lunch at noon
starting June 22nd

 
 

Enjoy salad from the garden and garden “tacos”

Bring your parents, grandparents, friends, and family members.
Help grow vegetables for the school and our community!

All ages and skill levels are welcome!
Join us at any time during the morning.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.

The School Farm is located at 5476 Maxwelton Road, Langley, WA.
To the south of the Elementary School, behind the South Whidbey Academy.

The SW High School is located at 5675 Maxwelton Rd, Langley, WA.

Questions? Contact Cary Peterson (360) 593-2725 or email schoolgardenswhidbey@gmail.com

Posted in Updates from the garden!

Whidbey Island Garden Tour on June 17!

The Whidbey Island Garden Tour is on Sunday, June 17th this year and once again showcases five spectacular Whidbey gardens.

Over the years, the tour has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to local nonprofits that benefit our environment and community.


This year the new High School Garden is a beneficiary of garden tour funding! 

Enjoy a day of touring the gardens while benefiting the community. Your purchase of a ticket supports the school farm and garden program and many other community organizations on Whidbey Island!

Posted in Updates from the garden!

Munching through the Spring Garden

The oft asked question, ‘Can we have carrots for garden nibbles?’ is now being met with a resounding ‘YES!’ from the garden staff.  Our first crop of carrots are ready for harvest and the students have been happily munching them after each garden class.  Carrots are the most popular garden nibble and we suspect there is an element of magic that can’t be ignored. Pulling the carrot out of the soil is almost as satisfying as eating them. Munching every last bit of orange goodness ends an hour in the garden with smiles from the children. Carrots, lettuce, spinach, kale, and peas are all ready for eating. Happy students walking the garden paths this spring with handfuls of green and bright orange.  Carrot taco anyone?

Learning about Pollinators, bees specifically, and digging deep into the soil to see what’s living there has been an inquiry that the First Grade students have done very well.  Their enthusiasm and straight forward connection to the living world of the garden is always a delight to see.

 

The much beloved kale was harvested by the Second Grade students recently.  After the harvest, students studied the entire plant, noting the green seed pods forming on the stem and drawing the plants in their journals. The kale plants have provided endless garden nibbles for the students throughout the year. As the kale plants go to seed, we keep them in the garden to watch them flower and grow seed pods. The students love to eat the kale flowers as well.

Third Grade students have learned about seed families by hands on experience with sorting, naming, and then planting seeds in the soil.  They enjoyed learning the different ‘family’ names and learning how the plants produce seeds. The final, and most popular step was harvesting and preparing a fresh salad bowl that was dressed with freshly made dressing. Liza Elman, our culinary arts instructor, was on hand to support students in making the dressing.

Fourth Grade students have designed and engineered trellis’s for peas. They are now observing as the peas they planted are climbing on the trellis’s and beginning to produce peas for eating. Recently, they also planted beans around the poles of our bean teepees and took the time to notice the differences in the ways the peas and beans grow and how we support growth of each plant differently.

Growing micro greens through the dark, cool days of early spring has been a task that the Grade Five students took charge of. The pea shoots produced were eaten fresh, and also made into pea shoot pesto that was used on Earth Day as a condiment for veggie snacks.  Many students (and teachers) have become pea shoot converts and prefer pea shoot pesto to the traditional basil variety.

A new garden has grown up near the first grade wing, on the West side of the Elementary school. The fifth grade students have helped dig out pathways and prepared the beds that are now producing some fresh peas, kale, sorrel and broccoli.  Fifth graders will continue to check in and work on the easily accessible SNACC garden. It’s just a hop, skip and jump away from the play field and they can come over during recess to help and nibble.

This spring has kept us busy with cold, wet weather however there’s no stopping the growing. Just like the children who come to garden classes each week, enthusiastic, hungry and full of surprises the garden has provided a wealth of learning and eating.   Children, gardens, eating and growing, a winning combination!

Posted in Updates from the garden!

Summertime Gardening at the School Farm and High School Garden

Page has moved! Click HERE to find out about our summer work parties!

Posted in Updates from the garden!

Great progress at the new High School Garden!

It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago, on March 8th, the first tilling of the High School Garden was launched. Since then we’ve spread over 30 yards of compost, tilled again, made raised beds with 150 High School students on Earth Day, continued the work with 30 UW Urban Agriculture students, put up a fence and planted strawberries, potatoes, lettuce, corn, kale, flowers and herbs! The work continues with beds being prepped for squash, cucumbers, tomatoes now that the warm weather has finally arrived.

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Posted in Updates from the garden!

Growing veggies your kids love to eat!

Cary Peterson, School Farm Coordinator, will be teaching about how to grow the veggies your child loves to eat.  Langley Library on Tuesday, June 5 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Posted in Events