Welcome 2018 apprentices!

We welcome Kathryn Ruesch, Tran Hoang, Annie Pitts and Grayson Hunter to the Grow Whidbey apprenticeship!


We’re hiring! Come apprentice with us in 2018!


Grow Whidbey is a collaboration between the Good Cheer Food Bank Fresh Food on the Table Program, South Whidbey School Farms, and South Whidbey Tilth offering apprenticeships in community food production and farm-based education. Our goal is to train the next generation of growers and teachers in the field of sustainable community agriculture.

After a great 2017, we are are now planning for next year. If you are interested in becoming an apprentice with us in 2018, read more about the program here.

There will be five apprentice positions in 2018. We are seeking:

  • Two Good Cheer Apprentices who will focus on food production and farm cultivation in the food banks’ two gardens and new acre farm, and a
  • Two School Farm Apprentices who will work with teaching staff at the school farm to bring garden-based education to elementary and middle school students.
  • One South Whidbey Tilth apprentice

Please contact each program directly, and feel free to contact us with any questions you might have!

Delicious food and live auction Friday 5/12 at Useless Bay Coffee Company for a GREAT cause!

Grow Whidbey is a collaborative apprenticeship program between Good Cheer and South Whidbey School Farms that trains motivated individuals to grow food for community and teach youth through experiential garden and nutrition classes. Of 20 alums of the apprenticeship program, seven have stayed on South Whidbey to continue work in the field of sustainable agriculture and education.

On Friday, May 12 at Useless Bay Coffee Company please join us for a fun and delicious night filled with generosity to raise the match and fund this essential program! 

  • Fantastic food donated by Useless Bay Coffee Company
  • Live auction featuring items donated by Boatyard Inn, BugaBay Company, local artists, and community members
  • A $10,000 matching grant from Hand in Hand Partners doubles your dollar!

The apprentices are a key part of the Good Cheer and School Farm programs! Your contribution supports educating South Whidbey youth with garden-based education, feeding community members with fresh, local produce, and training the next leaders and teachers in sustainable agriculture.

Tickets are $100 and available at Good Cheer Thrift Stores as well as at growwhidbey.brownpapertickets.com. With a generous $10,000 matching grant from Hand in Hand Partners, your dollar goes twice as far to Grow Whidbey! You can also make a reservation by calling Good Cheer at 360-221-0130 (ask for Anh) or e-mailing anh@goodcheer.org. Thank you and hope to you see you there!

Grow_Whidbey_Fundraiser_Flyer_v3 1may17a

Welcome new apprentices!

A big welcome to Ryan Viscito, Corey Wills and Mike Ferncase, the 2017 Grow Whidbey apprentices!

  • Corey is the Good Cheer Food Bank apprentice, growing produce for the Food Bank at the Good Cheer Garden and the Big ACRE.
  • Ryan is the School Farm Curriculum apprentice teaching the students garden and culinary classes and developing curriculum, and
  • Mike is the School Farm Production apprentice, growing the vegetables the students eat during the garden and culinary classes, at school lunch and at events.

We welcome them to our community!

We are growing! New apprenticeship available

The South Whidbey School Farm and Garden Program is expanding and we have an opening in our apprentice program. Two gardens at the High School are being created! Add them to the School Farm at the Elementary School South Campus and the 6th and 7th grade gardens at the Middle School, and we have a lot of growing, teaching, harvesting and eating with our K – 12 program.

Click HERE for more information about the Grow Whidbey School Garden production apprentice.

Launching our 2017 Fundraiser!

As fall rolls in, we enter our 2017 fundraising season!

We are so fortunate again this year to have received a matching grant from Hand in Hand Partners for $10,000 that enables every dollar we raise to be doubled. Isn’t that fantastic?

If you’d like to support our work and enable another crew of amazing apprentices to join us next year, please visit our donation site!

Thank you!

Reflections on the season

It has been a wonderful season here on Whidbey Island; full of fun work parties, big harvests, and thought provoking classes. We’re incredibly grateful to our wonderful crew of apprentices who contributed so much time and energy throughout the year and to the larger community who supported us all along the way. Keep reading to hear more about what we’ve been up to.

It has been a busy and productive season over at the Good Cheer Food Bank Garden. The most exciting new development is the creation of the Big ACRE (Abundant Community Resource for Everyone), a new full acre of land that is in cultivation on school district land next to Good Cheer Garden. It has become a collaboration between the Good Cheer Food Bank and the South Whidbey School District and is growing produce for both organizations. It is an amazing feat and we’re all excited to see how much more local food will be produced because of it! Some large work parties throughout the season have helped make that project possible, and the regular Wednesday work parties have continued throughout the season as well. Between the growing spaces they’ve already grown 13,465.75 lb of produce and that number is expected to increase significantly over the next few months!

While things are always a little bit more quiet over the Westgarden, it has still been a beautiful and productive season. We’ve continued to have some lovely work party lunches under the apple tree and brought a few new volunteers out on Thursdays to help. Our apprentice, Anna, brought with her an impressive skill set in agriculture and helped the garden thrive. We tried a few southern treats from her native South Carolina like sourgum, okra, and cow pea which, as predicted, did not do so well but the tomatoes and root crops were abundant. Anna and Abigail, the Westgarden Steward, will both be moving on next season but they’re excited for the medicinal herb section of the garden to expand and hopeful that the space will stay in good care.

It has been an energetic and colorful season over at the South Whidbey School Farm and Garden Program. Garden apprentices, Liza and Devin, have helped teach an incredible amount of classes to primary and middle school students while growing food for the school cafeterias and Whidbey Island Nourishes. An exciting new development has been the addition of culinary classes which allows students to become involved in the cooking component of gardening. The children are always excited for garden nibbles out in the field so it’s a natural transition to bring that excitement into the kitchen. Our apprentice Liza even started a Pizza Camp this summer. Each day of camp the group of students made a different component of pizza like pesto, tomato sauce, cheese, and dough, and at the end of the week had a big pizza party. Stay tuned for more exciting stories from the SWSD Farm and Garden Program!


From left: Liza, Stoni, Anna, and Devin

Thank you Liza, Stoni, Anna, and Devin for all your hard work and for making us laugh all season long! It’s been a good one!