In the news!

Several articles recently in the local press about the School Farm and Garden program!

In the Pacific Northwest Magazine of the Seattle Times, an article from local writer Valerie Easton HERE.

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screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-11-41-20-amFrom the website “Getting Smart” website about Place-Based Education click HERE for “Four Ways Kids Learn from School Gardens” by Liz Wimmer.

 

In the South Whidbey Record, read about the Goosefoot campaign to raise money for the program HERE.

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In the Whidbey Weekly, there is an article by Kathy Reed about the School Farm and our fundraising campaign on page 8. Click below to read.

 

Posted in Updates from the garden!

Summer at the Farm

We’ve been growing all summer long getting ready for the children to return in September. The scarlet runner bean teepee has now reached the top of the 15 ft bamboo poles! Cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, basil, kale, beans, zucchini, basil, cabbage, peppers, broccoli, ground cherries, pea sprouts and spinach… we’ll be ready for the classes, for garden tacos at the end of class, and also for deliveries to the cafeteria!

The pizza camps were great fun and quite delicious, with the children preparing the tomato sauce, pesto, dough, cheese and veggies they created the pizzas with.

Tuesday morning work parties will continue though the last Tuesday in August, and then… school begins!

Here are some photos of one of our work parties taken by Kathy Reed, who wrote about the School Farm in the Whidbey Weekly (pg 8).

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Posted in Updates from the garden!

Goosefoot launches school garden fundraising campaign for the 2016-2017 school year!

The Goosefoot Community Fund has kicked off the fundraising for the School Farm and Garden Program for the coming school year… with a match from the Goose Grocer up to $30,000!

SGPBrochurePage1 SGPBrochurePage2Donate on-line at goosefoot.org, or send a check to Goosefoot, PO Box 114, Langley, WA 98260. Thank you for your support!

Posted in Funding support, Goose Grocer, Goosefoot, Updates from the garden!

Pizza Camp

Pizza CampGarden Pizza Camp was a tasty hit!

Over the past two sessions we worked hard to harvest and create garden pizzas from scratch. Camp started by making dream pizzas Modeling Clay Pizzausing modeling clay to get creative juices flowing. We played around with different colored sauces and all sorts of topping ideas with the clay. Everyone participated in making and gathering the pizza ingredients from harvesting the basil for pesto, tomatoes for pizza sauce and both peppers and squash for toppings. We even learned a song all about pizza!

The farm had two pizza circle beds that grew almost all of the necessary ingredients for making a pizza! In these beds we harvested our basil, pepper, and zucchini and the beautiful tomatoes came from the hoop houses where they are growing like crazy. We were just missing the wheat.

Making the DoughKarl, a professional baker who sells at the Bayview Farmers Market, taught us how to make pizza dough with both yeast and sour dough starter! We worked with both types of dough and hypothesized which one we would like better. We learned how to make paneer cheese from goat milk as a group. Everyone was amazed to watch the whey separate from the milk curds and Cheeserealize how easy it would be to make at home. On Friday we had all hands on deck and created around 20 different pizza’s using our home made pesto, raw pizza sauce, cooked pizza sauce, our home made cheese and all of the amazing vegetables from the garden to top with.

The camp taught the kids about where pizza ingredients come from and everyone was very adventurous in trying all of the different recipes we worked with.

You really can’t beat eating fresh garden grown pizza outside in the sun paired with a fresh garden salad! We are lucky to have access to all of this fresh and healthy food. The school farm is here for the whole community to enjoy. If you have not yet attended please join us for our Tuesday morning work parties through August 30th.

Posted in Children in the garden, Harvest, Hoophouse, Summer camp, Updates from the garden!

Pizza Camp at the School Farm

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Posted in Summer camp, Updates from the garden!

Cultivating Kids – a short film about the School Farm and Garden Program

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Whidbey Island filmmakers Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin of Moving Images have
created a short film about our School Farm and Garden Program! Aptly titled “Cultivating Kids” the film documents the classes, events and eating that the children at the South Whidbey Elementary School and Langley Middle School enjoy throughout the season at the School Farm and Middle School Garden.

Here is a preview of the film https://vimeo.com/17144375 .We will post a link for the full-length version as soon as it is available online for viewing.

Cultivating Kids screen shot

Much appreciation to Melissa and Mark for this delightful and educational film which will be distributed nationally!

Moving Images also made the film Good Food about sustainable food and farming in the Pacific Northwest which was broadcast on PBS.

Posted in Children in the garden, Fresh Food for Lunch

May and June growing, eating and learning

Pardon the late summer posting of this spring news!

The School Farm is bursting with spring growth thanks to the warmer temperatures and sunny skies. Greens such as kale, spinach, bok choi, and lots of different kinds of  lettuce are being harvested regularly for use in school lunches as well as providing classes from the Elementary School plenty of garden nibbles and garden tacos after our lessons.

All the students have been helping the garden grow by planting, watering, mulching and weeding the garden beds. Grade one and two students have planted some of the lettuce and salad greens that we’re harvesting now.

They have also observed the hearty kale plants go through their final stage of growth. The kale has been our mainstay for garden nibbles providing us with leaves all through the fall and winter, and with sweet flowers to munch in the spring. Students had fun looking at the aphids that took over some of the the kale stalks this month. They observed them through the field microscopes and took the time to draw them in detail. Finally, students pulled up the whole plant to make way for new plantings in the kale beds. Many of the students noticed that the kale plants were taller than them!

Grade two students have a new section of garden space near the north gate of the garden that we call ‘the cove’. New starts and seeds of radish, lettuce, spinach and some bright sunflower were planted by the students and are now growing very nicely.

Along with the grade one and two students, grade three’s have looked at seeds, planted starts in pots and nestled the little starts into the garden beds where they are growing into a salad garden of jeweled colors showing off red and green lettuce, purple kale and deep green spinach. Spicy mustard greens and swiss chard can also be found in the salad bar bed and the students took bowls and gathered up the tender greens to make little salads that they happily ate with some pea shoot pesto dressing. Little squash seeds were also planted in small pots for future planting in the garden beds. Grade threes will harvest the squash they planted this spring next fall when they are in fourth grade.

The engineers and designers in grade four have been working in groups to design trellis’s for the peas. Their project started long before planting and many designs were discussed, sketched and modeled before the trellis’s were built in the garden. With some great ideas in mind for trellises, the students then planted the peas. Once they had sprouted, it was time to construct the trellis designs using bamboo poles and heavy twine. The peas grew steadily up the trellises and resulted in delicious peas in June!

Great energy and thought was put forth by the grade five students as they plotted out eight circular beds in the new section of the garden. Using a center pole and six foot rope as a compass students figured out how to plot the circle and make a 3 food wide raised bed. Motivation was high as students know that the circular beds will hold the plantings for a pizza garden and a much loved bean teepee. Stay tuned for late summer photos of the bean teepee and pizza gardens!

The students have continued with their group projects of growing pea shoots, radishes, and logging the weather on a daily basis. They have noticed some of the variables that the weather has had on the growth of their radishes and most excitedly, grown many pounds of pea shoots! They’ve eaten the vitamin packed greens for snacks and also learned how to make pesto using the shoots.

On June 2nd the grade five students offered fresh green salad and pea shoot pesto at the Orca Picnic. The families attending also visited the School Farm. Parents were delighted to have their children share their favorite veggies, how to grow them, harvest them and eat garden tacos. Everyone descended upon the strawberries, very juicy and delicious!

Posted in Updates from the garden!