Summer is almost here

Our school garden has had a successful first year! The pilot project of working with a few classrooms during the school year worked really well.   Kids planted seeds, transplanted starts, created stepping stones and creative trellises out of bamboo and yarn, learned about importance of worms and created compost and a worm bin.  Garden volunteers also partnered with forest patron and parent volunteer Jana Robbins so the kids extended their learning of gardening to learning about the importance of the forest and the plants within them.

All students of Leschi and their caregivers are encouraged to swing by and grab and eat a pea or two from the pea plants that are in full bloom.  The strawberry plants are also looking great and have already yielded some scrumptous berries so grab a berry if you are in the garden.

Savage, Snyder and Tsutikawa’s classes will be having their annual End of Year picnic Monday 6/16.  Parent Kim Blakemore will make up leek potato soup using the giant leeks growing in the garden in front of the school.

Parent Syreeta Bernal along with Kim Blakemore and Jean Hicks will host a cooking class using the vegetables growing in both school gardens.

Summer plans include having CDSA summer camp take over daily watering maintenance.  Student teacher intern Chelsea Forberg will work with summer kids to learn more about gardening and growing food the remainder of June and all of July.  Our garden will be in good hands!

Parent Kim Blakemore will put together couple summer work parties to make sure our garden gets the TLC it will need during the fastest growing months of the year.

We’ve already begun talking about plans for next year.  We want to extend the garden food growing experience to different classrooms and are exploring ways on how we can do this.  We of course count on volunteers so heavily so if you have any interest in helping us next school year, shoot Kim Blakemore an email at kblakemo@uw.edu.  We plan to work with teachers to find out if there’s a way we can complement their existing science curriculums and use the garden as a lab.

Pictures of cooking and garden growth will be posted soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring 2014 gardening at Leschi has started!

Spring is upon us now and we have started spring gardening.  Our parent volunteer garden educators, Jean Hicks and Helen Shor Wong along with Curtis Knopf and Sophie, have taken on a few more classes to teach gardening to on Fridays.  In total, we have five classes who get to spend 30+ minutes outside getting their hands dirty:  Savage, Snyder, Tsutikawa, Gardener and Chin.

Our gardens now have wonderful seeds planted due to the hard work of all the students.  We will be growing peas of all kinds of varieties, raspberry plants, kale, chard, radishes, potatoes and some ornamental flowers.   Our younger students (Ms. Chin’s class) will be growing and caring for pea and bean seedlings in their classrooms which they will later transplant into the garden.

We have a wonderful volunteer, Bennett, who also visits every Friday to help our parent volunteers.  Additionally, our next door neighbor Anise will be helping us teach classes in mid-April.

If you have any interest in helping with the classes, please contact Kim Blakemore at kblakemo@uw.edu.  We always need more volunteers!

Some pictures for you to enjoy!

Teacher Helen reading a word or two about gardening

Teacher Helen reading a word or two about gardening

3rd grader learning about how to grow seeds.

3rd grader learning about how to grow seeds.

Snyders class getting ready to plant some seeds in cloche.

Snyders class getting ready to plant some seeds in cloche.

3rd graders using natural means to break up compost (food exercise)

3rd graders using natural means to break up compost  (exercise is good)

Kids helping teacher Jean figure out how to make compost.

Kids helping teacher Jean figure out how to make compost.

Now where was that worm?

Now where was that worm?

Raspberry plants. Yum!

Raspberry plants. Yum!

Adding potting soil to pea plants.

Adding potting soil to pea plants.

Pea seedlings, ready for planting.

Pea seedlings, ready for planting.

Kale and chard in our front garden.

Kale and chard in our front garden.

Team work!

Team work!

garden gloves lined up after a hard day's work!

garden gloves lined up to dry after a hard day’s work!

Volunteers needed: Garden Work Party Saturday 12/21 10:30a-12:30pm

What:         Leschi School Garden Work Party

When:        Saturday 12/21 10:30am-12:30pm

Where:      Leschi Elementary, meet in front

Who:          You!

RSVP:         Kim Blakemore, Parent Volunteer Garden Coordinator

kblakemo@uw.edu or 206-418-9467

Bring:         Something warm/water proof to wear

Good shoes/boots for mud!

 

 

What will be involved?

  • Move palettes in back of school to front of school
  • Shovel soil into a neat pile
  • Move burlap bags located in front of school to storage closet
  • Discard plastic bags located in front of school
  • Other tasks TBD

Why?

  • Great exercise and fresh air!
  • Help get our garden ready for winter!

Winter is coming and Fall is here!

We have made steady progress both in building the garden and in teaching the kids how to plant food, such as potatoes, herbs and raspberry trees.  More pictures will be added but in the mean time, check out the burlap bags full of potatoe starters near the CDSA garden.

See some of the 2nd graders after a garden experience with teacher Jean and Curtis.

Nove 2nd graders

Several Leschi students created some gorgeous stepping stones during “Open House” that the above 2nd graders put in place.  See the stepping stones here.  We are also lucky to have two community volunteers (Russ and Serenity) help us with the garden education every Friday.  They are indeed excited to work with the kids!

Nov class at work with commuity volunteers

Back in early October, a wonderful group of parents helped put shelving in the school closet located near CDSA.  The school graciously loaned us some space to put our gardening equipment.  See the makeover!

Garden storage

Finally, parent Sarah Dion submitted a grant to Whole Kids Foundation that if awarded, will give the school $2000 for our new school garden.  We will learn in March whether or not Leschi is awarded the grant.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Also, check out the raspberry trees in the circular garden bed located right outside CDSA.   Someone put an absolutely wonderful scarecrow there although I have not been able to find out who!  If anyone has leads on who this benefactor may be, please let me know so we can thank them at kblakemo@uw.edu!

New stepping stones

Thank you to parents Helen and Andy (mom and dad of Marigold) and teacher Julia Anders for coordinating garden stepping stone making for the garden.  They will truly make our garden beautiful!  Parents and students stopped by during Open House Th 10/17 to make the stepping stones.  They will be placed throughout the front garden.

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