Frijole Friday Taco Picnic at the School Farm on May 17th, from 5 – 7 pm

Frijole Friday Fundraiser poster_1604 copyWe give thanks to our partners and sponsors for Frijole Friday!
Readiness to Learn

Hand in Hand Partners
Slow Foods Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island Nourishes
the Learning Lab in Langley
Goosefoot and the Goose Grocer

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Earth Day at the School Farm!

The School Farm began a week of Earth Day classes with 5th and 6th graders learning about regenerative agriculture, pollinators and native mason bees, and how to make home-made masa harina tortillas topped with scarlet runner bean frijoles and greens fresh-picked from the farm.

For a full report with more photos, read the article in the South Whidbey Record HERE.

Here are some photos of the taco making and eating!

Posted in Culinary, Earth Day, Events, In the news, Updates from the garden!

Frijole Friday School Farm Taco Picnic and Fundraiser on May 17th!

Frijole Friday Poster copy

Frijole Friday Fundraiser poster_1604 copyWe give thanks to our partners and sponsors for Frijole Friday!

Readiness to Learn
Hand in Hand Partners
Slow Foods Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island Nourishes
the Learning Lab in Langley
Goosefoot and the Goose Grocer

 

 

 

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Spring!

 

The seasons let us know when the time is right for planting and we’re off and running into the busy spring season at the School Farm. The first plants that we put out are peas and  the characteristic green leaves and tendrils beginning to grow in the garden beds encourage us into more planting and trellis building.

Fourth graders took time to discuss the features of peas and observe how they grow in order to design trellises. They worked in groups to discuss, design, draw and then model a pea trellis that will support optimum growth. Planting peas in the terraced beds was the next logical step in the process.  Soon the fourth graders will be building their models with bamboo poles out in the garden.

Second graders and SWA students have also joined in the early spring pea planting fun. They’ve planted peas in clear plastic trays that allow them to observe both the shoots coming up out of the soil and the roots growing down into the soil. It’s always a revelation to see how long the roots are and how they form a network under the soil.

A diversity of seeds and plants challenges the third grade students this spring as they examine and plant a variety of seeds. Kale, lettuce, bokchoi, spinach, and arugula seeds were displayed in trays for students to observe and then plant in small pots. The pots will be planted out in a special bed reserved for their very own Salad Bar. When the variety of leaves mature, they will harvest them into bowls for a fresh garden salad, grown and tended from seed to bowl by their own hands.

Kindergarten students have been working on the terraced beds and getting them ready for planting an herb garden. They have watched how the strawberry plants send out little shoots to produce new plants while cleaning up the bed and getting them ready for planting herbs. The herbs will provide a variety of smells and textures for the students to observe and enjoy. A circle to gather at the start of class and a crunchy garden nibble at the end of class insures smiles and enthusiasm!

First graders have been learning all about wireworms, and how they like to eat our vegetables!  They’ve made wireworm traps out of potatoes and put them in the ground. The idea is that they catch these pesky little worms before we plant our vegetables.

 

All the students have been working on preparing the farm for spring planting. Along with focus lessons at each grade, every student gets the chance to learn how to work the soil and do the work of the farm to produce the abundance of fresh vegetables that students love to eat. All the students know what the four mysteries are and can repeat the chant:  ‘Sun, soil, water, and air! Everything you eat and everything you wear, come from: Sun, soil, water and air!’ Knowledge along with cooperation, communication, and teamwork are all part of the plan that keep students at the heart of our farm.

Posted in Updates from the garden!

School Farm and Farm Team awarded South Whidbey Garden Club grants!

The Grade 5-6 Farm Team received a $500 grant from the South Whidbey Garden Club! The students requested tools and seed starting supplies, and are delighted that their grant will help other students have the equipment they need to work on the farm and grow lots of veggies.

Here is the 6th period Farm Team at work in the Garden Resource Center, writing the grant, gearing up for the Farm Stand, planting scallions and transplanting starts.

The School Farm was also awarded a $500 grant that will fund new hoophouse plastic, irrigation supplies, and more seed starting supplies.

Thank you SW Garden Club for your generous support!

Posted in Farm Team, Updates from the garden!

Crazy cold winter – is spring finally coming?

So much snow and cold this winter!

But we’ve been doing our best to work between the storms, and also grow lots of starts inside.

When the weather was just impossible to bear, we took some buckets of soil into our CAFE(culinary and farm education) portable and looked closely with magnifiers to see what was living in the soil. We found an amazing array of fungus, bacteria(although we couldn’t see it) and invertebrates(lots of these wiggling around)!  Everyone ended the lesson by learning the song The FBI(Fungus, Bacteria, Invertebrates) by the Banana Slug String Band.  Was great to see these same students out in the garden the following week connecting and remembering what the FBI is all about and finding evidence of it at the School Farm.

And when the weather permits, the students have been turning over cover crops and preparing the beds, sifting compost, harvesting carrots, moving hoophouses, digging up our stash of seed potatoes, planting peas to examine root structure, trench composting and trapping wireworms by burying potatoes.

And thank goodness for our hoophouses where we could plant a little earlier than outside and get those veggies growing!

Yes! Spring is coming!

Posted in Updates from the garden!

Farm to Table with Culinary Arts

 

Students at the School Farm have enjoyed attending culinary arts classes in the CAFE(culinary and farm education) portable during the cold winter months. Luckily, there are sweet carrots in the ground ready for harvesting and using in recipes. Our first culinary lesson was tied into Chinese New Year. February 5th ushered in the year of the pig and with it students learning a little about traditional Chinese foods and customs.

We made spring rolls with shredded carrots and cabbage from the Good Cheer and School Farm gardens. The traditional filling was prepared by shredding the cabbage and carrot and then cooking it with some soy sauce to make a sweet/savory filling that students wrapped in paper thin dough and then fried in oil. The final critique from most  of the students was evident as they hungrily ate up the rolls and asked to make more before returning to their classrooms.

Our next recipe was all about learning to cook flatbread. The recipe is simple and easy to follow, and gives students the ability to participate and experience the results of following a recipe and sharing the finished product. Of course flatbread needs something to go with it, and students followed recipes to make carrot, beet, and traditional hummus. There were a few complaints at the beginning of the lesson as some students said they didn’t like hummus. Interesting to note that at the end of the lesson the overwhelming opinion was ‘I don’t usually like hummus, but this is really good!!’  It was just great to see the students sitting down together at the end of class and sharing their flatbread and hummus at the big long table. There was a hush in the room as they sampled their work, and then comments about which recipe they liked the most.  At the end, there was nothing left except empty plates. A satisfying lesson for both students and teachers! qǐng màn yòng (請慢用) Enjoy your meal!

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Posted in Culinary, Updates from the garden!