Among the many beautiful gardens here on Orcas Island, our school garden was selected by the Orcas Island Garden Club, to be on their annual summer garden tour. This was such a treat for us because the garden club has been a huge supporter of the school garden! Their grant program has awarded us the funds necessary to purchase garden tools, supplies to build a greenhouse, a three bin composter, and a handful of their members have donated plant seeds and flower bulbs over the years.
The tour was scheduled to take place in early summer (June 25-26). This meant, tis the season for lots o' produce! Guests were welcomed to the garden with big hello's and smiles from Miss Mandy, Colleen, and the Farm to Cafeteria Program coordinator, Ashley. The sugar snap peas, garlic scapes, fava beans, wheat, and sunflowers were standing tall to welcome our garden guests. The calendula flowers were in full bloom and a few of the artichokes were beginning to flower (a beautiful and mesmerizing sight). The amaranth plants were still only knee high at the time, but a few chard plants we were letting go to seed, stood taller than our guests. Student decorated signs were placed next to various plants for easy plant identification.
Student artwork hung along the fences with signs reading "Student Art For Sale by Donation!" The watercolor images of flora in the garden was a big seller. When purchasing their selected piece, Colleen would speak about the student who painted the artwork, which of course made the piece even more sentimental. Strips of Indigo-dyed fabric hung from a clothesline over the colorful geo-dome that would eventually (and intentionally) be wrapped in bean vines. The 6th grade art class's modern take on the "Barn Quilt" hung from the cob oven structure above a bed of newly blossoming Dahlia bulbs.
During both days of the tour, the fire in the cob oven was burning strong for those who wanted garden pizzas. Yes, the same rule applied to our garden guests as they do for our students: "You must have SOMETHING from the garden as a topping on your pizza." Just like with the students, the pizza was a big hit. For those who didn't want pizza for lunch, but desired a quick snack, we encouraged them to taste the edible flowers, berries, herbs, sorrel and various leafy greens that were in abundance.
Thank you so much to the Orcas Island Garden Club for selecting the school garden to participate in the Annual Garden Tour! And thank you to Steve Smith for the beautiful photos of the garden. Please connect with Steve at https://www.facebook.com/orcasart/ to see more photos of events on Orcas!