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!
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!