Welcome Rowan

Rowan w carrots053

Hello gardeners and parents! My name is Rowan Maya Lang, and I am looking forward to an exciting year of adventures and learning in the Snappdragons Garden. Some of you may remember me as an intern with Cohort A in last spring’s garden program. I am thrilled to take on the role of Garden Educator this year. I love to garden, and I love to share my knowledge in fun and engaging ways with kids and adults. I am a lifelong learner and hope to instill curiosity and joy for the natural world into my students. The third grade classes at Cascadia Elementary will be meeting every other Friday from September-November, and February-June.

A bit about me: I am an urban homesteader in South Seattle, where I grow food in my organic garden, keep chickens, and work as a community activist to support food justice and organic urban farming. I’m a core volunteer at Beacon Food Forest, a public permaculture project that is transforming public land into an 7-acre regenerative food garden. At Seattle Tilth, I have volunteered with the Adult Education program, and worked as an outreach educator for their Master Recycler and Master Composter program. In 2014, I interned at Tilth’s Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands for 6 months, where I grew vegetables from seed to harvest for their annual plant sale, CSA, and community food bags programs.

I hold a certificate in Permaculture Design from the Permaculture Institute USA, taught by Toby Hemenway; Master Food Preserver, Seattle Tilth; Master Composter and Recycler, Seattle Tilth. In late 2015, I will be adding to my education as a Fruit Tree Steward through City Fruit. When I’m not teaching and volunteering, I work as a Fine Gardener at private homes, and grow organic vegetable seedlings for the Second Use Handmade and Homegrown Spring Sale in South Seattle.

Now, let’s get our hands dirty and have some fun!

Rowan Maya Lang
Snappdragons Garden Educator
Cascadia Elementary School

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APP@Lincoln Elementary School in Wallingford seeks interns to work alongside our garden educator, Lisa Taylor (formerly the Seattle 2may3Tilth Children’s Garden Coordinator), in hands-on lessons with third graders in the school garden. Interns will gain experience in outdoor education and organic schoolyard gardening while helping to lead small groups of students during spring gardening sessions.

Our garden season runs from mid-February through June 5th. Students will be grouped into two rotations and will have garden time every other week. Interns may choose to follow one cohort, and thereby work every other week, or follow both cohorts and work weekly. The time commitment is 11:30-3:15 on Fridays.

If you would like the opportunity to get some hands-on experience working with students in garden-based education, please email your letter of interest to KimberlyChristensen@live.com. Please include either a resume or summary of relevant education/experience.

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.

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

Planting Bulbs

Planting Bulbs

Thanks to a generous grant from our PTA, APP@Lincoln is hiring a part-time (approximately 4-5 hours a week) garden educator to work primarily with our third grade classes. Please read and share the job announcement and job description!

Job Announcement: Part-time Garden Educator (1 day onsite/4-5 hours per week, 18 weeks from February-June)

APP@Lincoln Elementary School seeks a part-time garden educator to work primarily with our third grade classes as we establish a school garden program. The garden educator will also help us raise the visibility of the garden in the school and local community. He or she will additionally facilitate a partnership between our school and the nearby FamilyWorks Food Bank, to whom we hope to donate a share of our produce. This position will be offered a stipend of $2700. Garden supplies will be funded separately. Please see attached job description for more information.

Please email resume and cover letter to Kimberly Christensen at KimberlyChristensen@live.com by January 9th. Position open until filled.

School Garden Educator Job Description

Thank you so much for helping to tend to the SNAPPdragons garden! I think we have a full complement of volunteers signed up on our ‘master’ list online: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0f45a5ad238-school1.

Firstly, the gate to the South Entrance has a blue combination lock on it. The gate will be OPEN during school hours 7am-3pm, but if you come in the evening and it is closed, you can open it with the combination: Blue Lock: 34-08-30 When you lock up, make sure you do it properly: Lock our Blue Lock to ONE end of the chain and only to the OTHER lock. The other lock will be locked to the other end of the chain, so that the two locks together are links in the chain. If you forget, and someone needs to get in, they will CUT the lock.

Please water the native garden first, ideally for a full hour once a week. There are free-standing sprinklers in the deck box around the corner, along with several watering cans. You can leave the sprinkler-head on the end of the hose if that is more convenient. I’m mostly concerned about the small trees on the mound; the strawberries are doing a great job as a ground cover. Feel free to weed, if you have time. Any strawberries can be eaten!

The combination to the deck box, with the Red Lock is 38-16-30.

The key to the hose bib is an inset square-headed 1/4″ Heater Key that we have placed in the hose-reel box. I have delivered one to Family Works, and I have another for Jordan if he needs it. Keep the one you have, and if you lose it, you can get replacements from Stoneway Hardware for about $3. There should also be one in the worm bin, but as Kimberly so unfortunately discovered, there are bumblebees currently nesting under the worm bin, so please avoid that until they are moved. [update:6/18/14] Bees have been relocated!

Please water all plants in the raised beds near the blue rock. Everything should get a good soaking twice (that is, water everything, then go through once more after everything has had a chance to soak in.) If you bring kids with you, hand a watering can to each kid and have them fill the cans from the rain barrels. You can fill the rain barrels from the hose. Send the kids across the driveway to the strawberry mound on the East wall, too. But that won’t need as much water.

Harvest and donate to the Family Works Food Bank anything when it is ready, except for the obvious – the potato tower is harvested in late September with the kids, and the 3-Sisters Garden, which contains corn, beans and squash. One of the raised beds has snapdragons, so if they bloom, take a photo, then it’s OK to pick. I dropped off a bag of seeds to Family Works that we had left over from this fall that Pam can use to plant new crops. We’re delighted that anything can be put to use.

Finally, feel free to call or email if you have any further questions or problems. My email is methylgrace at yahoo.com and my cell is 206-388-6955, and Kimberly can be reached at KimberlyChristensen at live.com or 206-852-8030. Keith, our custodian, can also be reached at 206-793-8757 if there is an urgent problem with vandalism or problems shutting off the water.

Best wishes for a happy summer gardening!


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’
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’

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!





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



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.


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’