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Archive for May, 2013

5122-250Slow Food USA is focusing on school gardens as a way to promote its mission. Slow Food Seattle would like to serve as a resource for creating, maintaining and teaching youth through gardens.  At a recent Slow Foods Seattle School Garden Meeting, Philip Lee hosted the Keynote Presentation:

WHOLE KIDS FOUNDATION
Dorothy Mankey, Pacific Northwest regional coordinator of the Whole Kids Foundation, spoke about its program, which includes:
1) School Garden Grants

2) Salad Bar in Schools

3) Nutrition Education
More information is at http://www.wholekidsfoundation.org. A few key points to note: • Schools can qualify for a $2000 school garden grant as well as a $2000 salad bar grant

• Grant application is October 1-31. This is also when Whole Food stores will fundraise for the program. Money raised will stay locally for schools in the region. Let’s explore ways to help generate publicity.

• Nutrition education program is new. Whole Foods team member may visit schools and give presentations on nutrition.

The next meeting will be:

6/3 @ Pathfinder K8. 4:00-5:30 pm (http://pathfinderk8.seattleschools.org/) Guest speaker Gretchen DeDecker, Seattle Public Schools, Self Help Program Manager, who oversees school gardens, will discuss the district’s guidelines or creating and maintaining gardens.

Follow Slow Food Seattle on Facebook.

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We are delighted to form our new Garden Steward Program to support our teachers using our new outdoor classroom.  Parents and volunteers who have completed the background check and paperwork (see Kathy in the office) are welcome to join us.  Our goal is to have at least one volunteer from each classroom to help with garden related duties.

clip art of farmer with shovelWe will have a kick-off meeting in the fall as School starts to outline the myriad tasks and responsibilities.  As a Garden Steward, there are both small tasks and big ones.  Please contribute as much as you are comfortable with.

  • You can weed and water.
  • You can work with your teacher to set up, assist with, and clean up after any garden activities.
  • You can blog right here about the activities you participate in.
  • You can discuss outdoor-classroom curriculum ideas with any of the teachers, and work with us (our principal, Rina, and Kimberly, Grace, Amy and Julie) to get these ideas implemented.  We might write a grant, scrounge craigslist, or ask for donations to fund the projects.  We can help you get dirt delivered or organize construction parties.

For now, the most important thing is to come up with a Summer Vacation Watering Schedule for the 14 weeks school is out.  We have created a Signup Genius Calendar with tasks.  Once you have been invited to the calendar, you can sign up for a watering slot.  If you can, volunteer to water three times in one week, and then you’re done!  Of course we can get 14 volunteers!  There are rain barrels (which can be filled from the hose), or you can just use the hose and nozzle.  A key can be obtained from the storeroom, and we’ll make it available outside in the garden (in the worm bin!)

Contact Grace at methylgrace at yahoo dot com to get full access to the calendar, and I’ll meet you at the garden to show you what to do during the summer.  We’re looking forward to seeing this garden grow!

[Update 05/28/13:  Google Calendar doesn’t allow multiple people to add things, so I have created a Yahoo Calendar, and updated all of the links ]

[Update 06/06/13: Ugh, Yahoo Calendar also isn’t ideal since you have to have a yahoo email account.  Moving to Signup Genius for this summer.  I’ll post a whole spreadsheet soon.]

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Garden Update

Today, Mrs. Adams/Kleinhanz’s third graders and Mr. Bass’s first graders were able to spend a lovely afternoon in the garden. We removed the cloche and taste tested our lettuce, spinach, and kale. We love seeing how enthusiastic our students are about eating their greens straight from the garden! We also transplanted our radish starts, added dirt to our potatoes, planted more peas, weeded, watered, and re-planted our corn and beans. Of course, there were several worm rescues and relocations!

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Students examining the progress of our lettuce.

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Pea planting along the fence

Mr. Bass had extra pea seeds leftover from his science unit. Rather than throw them out, we decided to plant them along the fence in our garden area!

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