Helping busy parents and families grow a veggie garden

kale eating fifth grade3 IMG_20150916_105552269The students at the South Whidbey Elementary School are loving their fresh-picked veggies from the school farm! Garden nibbles are part of every class, and fresh produce is being delivered to the school lunches and salad bar. And now your child comes home and asks you to grow kale, or another delicious garden vegetable!

Cary Peterson, School Farm Coordinator, will be teaching a class on top tips for growing a simple and successful vegetable garden here on South Whidbey.

Tuesday, April 19th, from 7 – 8:30 pm
SW Elementary School Community Room

Open to all gardeners, not just parents or grandparents!

Come with your questions! Topics included will be preparing your garden soil, protecting from critters, fertilizing and amending, best veggie varieties and times to plant, crop rotation, succession planting and composting.

Donations to the School Farm program are welcome.

Lettuce, kale, brokali, and tomato starts can be pre-ordered for delivery on Earth Day.
$2 each.

Email schoolgardenswhidbey@gmail.com with questions, or call 360-221-6046.

Beets_8461We are rebuilding this site to improve its function as a resource center for successfully growing veggies on Whidbey Island. Stay tuned!

Note on the drop down menus under Reference Materials, and also in the right hand column, you can find information about what to do each month, and also growing practices and skills.

pruning fruit trees_6495Sarah Birger will be sharing fruit tree pruning basics on Wednesday, Feb. 25th, from 1 – 3 pm at the Good Cheer Garden Wednesday work party. You can practice your new skills by pruning the Good Cheer fruit trees! Bring your pruning tools, you’ll also learn how to sharpen and care for them. Class is by donation to Good Cheer, but no one turned away for lack of funds.

Come early for lunch if you’d like, or join the garden work party in the morning. This class is weather permitting!

A season of growing!

broccoli starts_4818

starts to distribute good cheer_2100

lissa with bok choi_camille photo

This season the focus of Growing Groceries has been to help food bank clients at the Good Cheer Food Bank gain skills in growing their own vegetables.

We grew hundreds of starts – lettuce, tomatoes, squash, bok choi, kale, and broccoli – for food bank clients to take home. Garden clinics were held at the Food Bank to answer questions and distribute the starts.

Here Lissa Firor, Produce Manager at the Good Cheer Food Bank, shows off one of the bok choi donated back to the Food Bank by a very successful Growing Groceries gardener!

butterfly sage_8593  bee in poppy_9307

Beneficial bugs abound in our gardens and you can create a diverse garden ecosystem to encourage them! You can attract not just pollinating insects, but also the insects that will eat pests. The soil, too, is alive with billions of organisms that help to create a fertile soil.

On Saturday, April 5th, from 10 am – 12 noon learn about the

  • amazing web of life in our soil and how to nurture it
  • pollinators that are essential for our gardens, and our community
  • predators and parasitoids that keep our garden ecosystem from becoming unbalanced
  • flowers and herbs we can plant to attract beneficial insects, and when to plant them
  • garden practices to help our garden ecosystem become diverse and thrive

wasp with umbell  ladybugs  beetle

Presented by Cary Peterson, Community Gardener.

Location: WICEC (Whidbey Island Community Education Center) at the historic Bayview School, 5611 Bayview Road, Bayview Corner, Langley.

Fee: $15, or donation. No one turned away for lack of funds. For more information and to register go to www.wicec.us or call 360-221-5020
PDF info HERE

WICEC Logo cropped1

5611 Bayview Road, Langley, WA
Located in the historic Bayview School at Bayview Corner (next to the Good Cheer Garden)

growinggroceries may banner @ WICEC

spinach starts judy_2593_2  

growinggroceries may banner @ WICEC

A new season is beginning! Do you want to be eating fresh salads and stir fried veggies from your garden in April? Would you like to know what to do now to grow lots of veggies later?

On Saturday, February 22nd, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am learn about this early part of the growing season with

  • practical and timely tips on garden planning
  • soil preparation
  • seed selection 
  • growing starts using soil blocks

We will also have locally grown seeds available for sale from Deep Harvest Farm and other Whidbey seed suppliers.

The best coir fiber for making your own potting soil will also be available for sale so you can make the “Good Cheer” super simple potting soil.

Presented by Cary Peterson, Good Cheer Gardener.

Location: WICEC (Whidbey Island Community Education Center) at the historic Bayview School, 5611 Bayview Road, Bayview Corner, Langley.

Fee: $15, or donation. No one turned away for lack of funds. For more information and to register go to www.wicec.us or call 360-221-5020

WICEC Logo cropped1

5611 Bayview Road, Langley, WA
Located in the historic Bayview School at Bayview Corner (next to the Good Cheer Garden)

pruning fruit trees_6495Sarah Birger will be sharing fruit tree pruning basics on Wednesday, Feb. 26th, from 1 – 3 pm at the Good Cheer Garden Wednesday work party. You can practice your new skills by pruning the Good Cheer fruit trees! Bring your pruning tools, you’ll also laern how to sharpen and care for them. Class is by donation to Good Cheer, but no one turned away for lack of funds.

Come early for lunch if you’d like, or join the garden work party in the morning. This class is weather permitting!

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