Total Pageviews

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Party in the Garden, CSA, and picnic-potlucks

McKinley's Farm to School initiative does 2 community dinners a year, both supported by generous donations from Bon Apetit. We have the 100-mile Fall meal and the Spring Garden Party. Here are some pictures from the party in June.

Here are a few of our dedicated garden committee volunteers. Did you know that our Farm to School program is completely volunteer-run? We have a pretty amazing and talented school community! This is a school-wide program and we want to invite and include anyone that is interested, so come to the next potluck and get involved. (more info below)

Speaking of volunteers, look at these awesome McKinley graduates that always come back and help out. Not to mention the teachers! Here is Mrs. S working with some students to create crowns decorated with flowers and herbs. And ribbon!

A finished crown, delicate little lavender flowers.

What are these kids looking for? Bugs?
Somebody lose their keys?
No!! They are releasing ladybugs!

In case you are wondering, the insect world can be divided (not exactly cleanly) into beneficial insects and pests. Beneficial insects do good things for the garden and our plants. Pests eat our plants and can wreak havoc on a lovely garden. Ladybugs (beneficial insects) love to eat aphids (pests!), which love to eat juicy green leaves. More ladybugs, less aphids, more of our garden crops for us to eat. Here, students got a handful of ladybugs to release into the garden.
I think it was the high light of the night!

McKinley CSA
You know, maybe it's time this garden started paying for itself, pulling it's own weight a bit. This June at the Garden Party we raffled off a "CSA box" from the McKinley garden. Last summer we donated quite a bit of our produce. This year we thought, why not have McKinley families enjoy it, since it's McKinley students that are planting and starting the garden. Since the garden is small, the raffle winner will be receiving 3 boxes of plenty from our school garden. (We hope it's plenty.)
This is the first box for our lucky winners.
They received:
romaine lettuce
red leaf lettuce
parsley, oregano & rosemary

Wouldn't you love to get a box of yummy garden goods like this? Well pay attention because you may have the opportunity to  buy some of the garden's bounty in the next month. There will be more lettuce, peas, radishes and tiny carrots (maybe).
Later in the summer we will have green beans, tomatoes (there are several heirloom varieties!), potatoes, herbs, herbs, herbs, squash will just have to see what grows!

Don't forget!!
Next garden picnic-potluck is July 25th, 5:30-7:30ish
Come and reconnect with school friends and families for a casual, easy dinner in the grass.
Bring a dish to share, blanket, frisbee, guitar...

Friday, June 8, 2012


Hi, I'm a guest blogger for the Mckinley School Garden. This is Mr J's  3-4  class's handiwork. Overflowing with Anemones, this bed has been replanted with peppers, tomatoes and nasturtiums. It got a makeover-cucumber facial mask, body cleansing, pedicure and manicure plus a deep tissue massage. A new hairstyle of choice was also thrown in. The 3rd and 4th graders (soon to be 4th and 5th graders) have been working in the garden a lot this year.  Rebbeca and Erica have been generous enough to volunteer their time to work with them every Thursday. One great thing is that everyone wants to help.
Bye Bye, Anenomes!!

What's happening in the garden

Look at all that stuff growing! Broccoli and peas to eat soon. Nasturtiums and marigolds to keep the bad bugs away. Those yellow little petunias in front are from Mrs. S's class and their Georgia O'Keefe art project. Remember what I said about the hogsfuel? Well the South Salem cheerleaders did an outstanding job of making our garden look a little more tidy.
Thank you thank you!!

This, my friends is a work in progress.
All those little stakes indicate a historical companion planting: The Three Sisters Garden. Native Americans used to prepare a mound and plant corn in the middle. Then some pole beans, that would climb up the corn and use it as a support and fix nitrogen into the soil. Then a squash plant at the base whose leaves shade the roots of all the plants and help retain moisture. A perfect combination! So Mrs. Nelson's K's saved their pumpkin seeds from October, sprouted them in the classroom and here they are in the garden. Those little gardeners can come back in the Fall to pumpkins (hopefully)!
The 2nd graders planted the corn and beans for the other sisters. They will come back in the Fall and see the cornstalks, and maybe even some beans--depending on the summer weather. Don't worry, I will keep you posted on the gardens progress all summer. 

This is another project of Mrs. Nelson's kindergardeners. If you didn't know, Mrs. Nelson loves sunflowers. Really loves them and likes to plant them every year. These are sunflower seeds recently planted that will create a bright sunny yellow curtain of welcome along the fence as kids come to school in the Fall. Won't that make for great mornings? 

This is a very blank wall, isn't it? Well, not for long! If you haven't heard, Lynn Takata has been working with McKinley students to create a garden mosaic that will be installed on this very blank, boring wall in July. She is the artist extraordinaire that created the mosaic downtown on the YMCA building. Every student in McKinley has helped create the mosaic in some way, the ideas all come from our kids. Have I mentioned how great SKSD Facilities Dept. is?  They heard about our project, looked at this wall, and said, "We should replace that siding and get that wall ready for your mosaic." Well, maybe they didn't say that exactly, but they are replacing the siding so that it will be ready for the mosaic. This is not just a school project, this is a community art project.
So please come down to McKinley the weekend of the Art Fair
in July and help install our mosaic