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Archive for the ‘Curriculum’ Category

Lisa Taylor - School Garden CoordinatorWe are delighted to announce that Lisa Taylor, former Seattle Tilth Education Program Manager, has accepted the position of Garden Coordinator for our school garden!  Our PTA has generously funded her position from February through the end of June!  She will be working with the third grade team to develop a garden activity calendar and to lead exciting outdoor-classroom activities.  Her leadership will guide both teachers and parent volunteers to become more confident in our garden. Lisa has over 20 years of teaching children and adults in garden settings.  As a certified parent educator for Positive Discipline, she will provide a calm and positive influence.  She has a deep understanding of composting and permaculture and has written and spoken on urban farming and children’s gardening throughout the northwest.  Her books, “Your Farm in the City” and the major update to the “Maritime Northwest Garden Guide” belong on every gardener’s shelf. We’re really excited to be working with Lisa and look forward to your joining us in the garden this spring.

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Connecting your School Garden and the Classroom

Date / time:            Saturday, February 7, 2015, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Location:                  West Woodland Elementary | 5601 4th Avenue NW (front door is on 3rd Ave NW)

Hosted by:              Seattle School District, Seattle Tilth, Slow Food Seattle, and West Woodland Elementary Garden Committee

Featuring:               Workshop Format:

·         Assistant Professor Megan Bang, from University of Washington, College of Education, will be joined by Dan Gallagher, Seattle School District’s Science Program Manager, to explain Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and discuss how to use school gardens as a tool to engage students in Science and potentially other subject areas.

·         Time allocated to ask questions, share ideas, become inspired.

·         Small group sessions are being planned in response to what you told us you’d like to learn.

·         Garden-related organizations will be invited to share information on their available resources they to help with your school garden.

The full program will be distributed after Winter Break

Please RSVP:          Sean McManus, smmcmanus@seattleschools.org , 206-252-0619

 

 Other Important Names:

Gretchen DeDecker | Seattle Schools, Self Help Projects Program Manager |  gdedecker@seattleschools.org

Sean McManus | Seattle School Self Help Projects Coordinator, | smmcmanus@seattleschools.org

 Sharon Siehl | Seattle Tilth, Garden Program Director | sharonsiehl@seattletilth.org

 Philip Lee | Slow Food Seattle | philip@readerstoeaters.com

Rick Swann | Slow Food Seattle | rickswann@me.com

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Bulb Museum!

We were delighted when the Hardy Plant Society of Washington donated over 500 bulbs to our school garden. We even got a display box of many different kinds of bulbs. Rather than try to plant single bulbs around the garden, we made a Bulb Museum from some scrap wood.

I found this funny box frame:

scrap wood box

scrap wood box

And added some more scraps to complete the box:

completed box

completed box

We filled it with dirt and placed the bulbs:

Placing the bulbs

Placing the bulbs

And now they’re up! Crazy tulip, you’re supposed to wait until after the daffodils!

They're Up!

They’re Up!

Here’s the list:

Row 1 (Closest to the big rock)

Narcissus ‘Surfside’ (6)
N. ‘Quail’
N. ‘February Gold’ (4)
N. ‘Green Eyed Lady’ (2)
N. ‘Stint’
N. ‘Professor Einstein’
N. ‘Sweetness’
N. ‘Snipe’
N. ‘Ice Follies’ (3)
N. ‘Dutch Master’
N. ‘Angel’

Row 2 (Middle)

Tulipa ‘Holland Chic’
T. Zurel
T. clusiana ‘Cynthia'(4)
T. kaufmaniana ‘The First’
T. ‘Elegant Lady’
Eremurus
T. ‘Artist’
T. ‘China Town’
T. linifolia
T. humilis ‘Persian Pear’
T. ‘Heart’s Delight’
Allium ‘Avalanche’

Row 3 (path)

Nectarscordium siculum subsp. bulgaricum (2)
Allium christophii
Leucojum ‘Gravetye Giant’
Allium ‘Purple Sensation’
Crocus ‘Pickwick’ (2)
Muscari armeniacum ‘Saffier’ (2)
Fritillaria meleagris
Crocus ‘Vanguard’
Corydalis solida (2)
Galanthus nivalis (2)
Calochortus superbus
Colchicum ‘The Giant’
Allium ‘Molly Jeanne’
Allium schubertii
N. ‘Yael’
N. ‘Ambergate’

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Bulb Planting

It’s hard to have an outside garden lesson in November, but we lucked out with brisk sunshine for bulb-planting day.  A lot of prep-work went into this lesson, including several days of dirt-delivery, and shrub pruning, but the site was finally ready.  We were lucky to obtain a donation of over 500 Narcissus and Tulip bulbs from the Hardy Plant Society of Washington, and used some of the unique ones for a display during the lesson.  These will go into our first “Bulb Museum” so the kids can see the differences all together.

Bulb Display Box

Bulb Display Box

We started the lesson with a potato from last month’s lesson, and described that the plant stored its energy in a tuber.  We then held up an onion and compared the bulb to the tuber.  We sliced them open so the kids could see the rings when cut horizontally, and the newly growing stem when we cut it vertically.   It was delightful when Ms. Burke’s class jumped up and used body language to model Horizontal and Vertical!

Horizontal

Horizontal

Vertical

Vertical

We then compared it to a Tuberous Root (using the strange, spidery Eremurus root).  Some kids drew what they saw:

Eremurus x Isabellinus Ruiter Hybrid

Eremurus x Isabellinus Ruiter Hybrid

 

drawings

Other kids made some stamp-art with the cut onions:

Onion stamping!

Onion stamping!

And the last group planted the bulbs.  Then everyone switched so each kid got an opportunity to do everything.

PrepWork_IMG_12648

Marking out the bulb placement

Planting Bulbs

Planting Bulbs

Getting Crowded

Getting Crowded

We were even helped out by some 5th graders who constructed and painted some “No Feet” signs to remind everyone not to stomp on the sleeping flowers.

Construction Helpers

Construction Helpers

I can’t wait to see what all of the different bulbs will look like next spring.  Here’s what Tulipa ‘Zurel’ will look like!

Tulipa 'Zurel'

Tulipa ‘Zurel’

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Food Day 2013

Food Day October 24th Logo

October 24th is the Third Annual Food Day.  Last year, thousands of schools celebrated Food Day in the cafeteria and in the classroom, by serving up local and healthy meals and hosted special activities.  Bentonville Public Schools in Arkansas created a “Junk Food Hall of Shame” art contest and a “Fear Factor Vegetable Tasting Challenge”.  In Nashville, TN, they matched 100 chefs with 100 schools to fight obesity with healthful meals to encourage good eating habits.  Even in Seattle, we had a Game-Show Taste Test at Chief Seattle High School to add Cowboy Caviar to the school menu, and have our own head of Nutrition Services, Eric Boutin, adding whole foods to our menus.  Read more on the Food Day Curriculum for Schools [PDF].

What shall we do here at our school?

  • Plant radishes, spinach and green onions to add to an easy quinoa salad?
  • Kid-powered recipe contest using only 5 ingredients?
  • Publish our own “Lincoln Fresh” cookbook?
  • Make our own tortillas and fresh salsa?
  • Invite a local chef to give a cooking presentation, with student sous-chefs?
  • Create a Sugar Search, and chart the amount of sugar per serving in a variety of items kids bring from home.  “Power” a car on the number of calories per item and see which classroom can go the shortest distance?
  • Create our own Perfect Menu based on the new Choose My Plate diagram?
  • Invite our parents to a special meal?
  • Have a Lincoln Food Festival to combine all of our ideas?

Comment here with your ideas!

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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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As every student at our school knows, our winters are wet, followed by periods of damp, and soggy.  This was the climate that Spanish explorers encountered when they spent the winter of 1791 in Neah Bay.

Makah Ozette fingerling potato

Makah Ozette fingerling potato

Spanish captain, Salvador Fidalgo, after exploring the NW coast up to Alaska on earlier voyages, led an expedition from San Blas, Mexico, to establish a Spanish post at Neah Bay, WA.  The explorers built the fort and planted a vegetable garden.  After the severe winter weather, the Spanish abandoned the post, in part due to the treacherous moorage.  The Makah people either traded for, or adopted the thin-skinned potatoes from the abandoned garden and have kept them in continuous cultivation for 200 years.    The seed from these potatoes were identified in the 1980s and named after one of the 5 ancient Makah villages (Waatch, Sooes, Deah, Ozette and Bahaada), as the Ozette Potato.  Phylogenetic studies (analysis of the DNA genome) indicate that these potatoes were directly imported from South America.

Slow Food Biodiversity

Slow Food Biodiversity

Identified as a heritage potato, the Slow Food USA added the Makah Ozette Potato to the Ark of Taste in 2005.  “The US Ark of Taste is a catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. By promoting and eating Ark products we help ensure they remain in production and on our plates.”  It has carefully propagated and made these rare potatoes available to cultivation and they have been shared among backyard enthusiasts and small farmers who bring them to restaurants and farmers’ markets.  The potato was added to the Slow Food Presidiato improve the infrastructure of artisan food production. The goals of the Presidia are to guarantee a viable future for traditional foods by stabilizing production techniques, establishing stringent production standards, and promoting local consumption.” 

The Oregon foundation, Eat. Think. Grow. developed a lesson plan around the Makah Ozette Potato, which is included here for download [PDF].  A 5 minute video is available [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyXmVQMST80].

Recycled materials

Recycled materials

On the last day of school before Spring Break, our students planted this heritage potato in potato-towers.  Potatoes are traditionally planted in rows that are hilled up as they grow, so that more tubers will grow along the stem.  Due to lack of space, many home gardeners grow potatoes in towers, to which you attach boards and fill in, as the potatoes grow.  We pre-cut and pre-drilled some recycled lumber, and provided the screws and drills for the kids to put together the towers. It is so empowering to let the kids use the power tools themselves.  As our program grows, I hope we will have more construction projects.  Here, Mr. Bass helps a student align the screws.

Building the Tower

Building the Tower

Once the tower was constructed, the students filled up to the first board with dirt, planted the potatoes, and covered them up with the remaining dirt. We will continue to add dirt after 6″-12″ of the potato leaves are above the surface, and add boards as the potatoes grow. Once the tower is complete, the potatoes will be left to flower and die. In the fall, we’ll unscrew one side of the tower, collecting the dirt and potatoes as the whole thing is emptied. I can’t wait until our fall feast, served with lightly buttered Makah Ozette potatoes. Don’t forget to save some for next year!

Tower in progress

Tower in progress

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