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Multi-Age 1, 2, 3 at Chautauqua Elementary

The Garden
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The Garden
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Come visit our beautiful our garden!

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Why are school gardens a good idea? Click the photo to find out more...

Our goals for the garden are...

Short Term Goals

1. Help kids participate in a healthy past time
2. Foster our sense of community through shared achievement
3. Grow flowers and food items that can be shared and eaten and studied
4. Integrate hands-on science into our learning in the outdoor classroom

Long-Term Goals

1. Help kids make healthy choices about their food
2. Encourage the school district to buy food from local farms
3. Grow food that can be served in our lunch room
4. Create a beautiful space usable as an outdoor classroom
5. Increase community involvement in our schools by sharing our outdoor classroom

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This is our Enthusiast 6' x 8' greenhouse.  It blew away in the big winter storm of 2006 but we have a replacement. Come see it!

Here is our long-range garden plan.  It has something for everyone including meeting spaces, vegetable beds, flower cutting gardens and many charming nooks for writing, reading and contemplation.
This beautiful design was hand drawn by Jil Stenn, a parent volunteer and landscape designer.  Click the photo to go to her garden design business's website.

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We would like to say a heartfelt thank-you to following people and organizations who have supported our garden program with their work and donations:

*King 5 and the Washington Potato Commission for the greenhouse and $1,000

*Vashon Partners in Education for their 2004-2005 grant of $1,000 and their 2005-2006 grant of $2,000 to pay a garden coordinator/garden science teacher

*Loren Sinner Cedar for $500.00 in building materials

*Trish Howard for her unflagging support and innovative genius

*Alice Orr for her grant writing help and persistence

*Pat and Dayna Cunningham for the high quality fertilizer
30 pickup loads @ 25.00 a load = $750.00

*Frank Zellerhoff of Zellerhoff Construction
2 hours of backhoe @ $80.00 an hour = $160.00
2 hours of dump truck @ 80.00 an hour = $160.00

*Clark Garrison
4 hours of excavation @ 60.00 an hour = $240.00

*Jil and Howard Stenn of Stenn Design
Design and installation of the garden

70 hrs @ 80.00 an hour = $5,600
Irrigation system-design and install
10 hrs @ 80.00 an hour = $800.00

*Trish Howard
Constructed table and benches
40 hrs @ 30.00 an hour = $1,200
Assemble cedar shed
20 hours @ 30.00 an hour = $600.00
Garden Design
20 hours @ 30.00 an hour = $600.00

*Boy Scouts of America for building a new raised bed

*Local tree cutters have donated loads of chips

*Vashon Garden Club for $500.00 of irrigation system parts

*Vashon Master Gardners for $100.00 for children's shovels

*Mark Meyers of Pacific Cedar Cabins and Sheds
our shed kit = $3,000.00

*2006-2007 PIE grant for $3,000 to pay Trish Howard to continue her work in the garden

*Winter 2007-Vashon-Maury Island Garden Club donated $1,000.00 to help replace our greenhouse.

*Winter 2007-VISD gave us $1,500.00 from Minor Capital Projects to help replace our greenhouse.

*We expanded the garden thanks to permission by the district to use 15 more feet and the wonderful parent volunteers and friends of the garden who helped with the labor.

*We planted an heirloom pumpkin patch thanks to Linda Petersen's Cinderella Pumpkin seeds (10 years and counting).

The list is still growing!

Awards and Recognition

2007 King County Earth Heroes at School

The History of the Garden

Fall 2003

We held a planning meeting with parent volunteers.
Volunteers and students weeded the beds.
We harvested (and ate) potatoes and poppy seeds.
We topped off beds with composted manure
Wonderful parent volunteers rototilled the upper garden beds and we planted 200 flower bulbs.
We planted herbs in lower beds and learned about the medicinal uses of herbs during out Colonial studies.

Winter 2003-2004

We plotted with our parent volunteers and planned our next moves. We gathered more parent volunteers and core group of garden experts.
In February and march we eeeded and fought the battle of the Morning Glory and the Tansy!

Spring 2004

We planted a variety of crops including Scarlet Runner Beans and sunflowers. We built a "bean tunnel" for the beans to climb to provide some shade for our students.
In June we weeded and weeded and weeded!

Summer 2004

We worked out a summer watering schedule and volunteer families watered the garden and harvested the riches.
The garden was able to thrive throughout the hot summer days and there were wonderful crops to pick when we arrived back in fall.

Fall 2004

We implemented a Garden-based Science curriculum for our multi-age students. Our wonderful parent volunteers continued to make the whole thing possible. We harvested and ate tomatoes, beans, zucchini, nasturtiums, and much more.
We be gan planning a new entrance and gate and worked with the school lunch program to encourage new and healthy items on the lunch menu.
We celebrated Halloween with our own pumpkins!

Winter 2004-2005

We celebrated Thanksgiving with our own pumpkin pie and continued the Tansy battle with plastic sheeting and wood chips.
A well-attended manure party loaded the garden with nutrient rich dirt and volunteers from Washington Mutual helped out.
In November we won a grant from KING 5 for a greenhouse and $1,000!
We moved and spread more wood chips...and more wood chips
Our plans for the shed and/or covered area moved forward
We were so happy to receive a PIE grant to pay a garden coordinator to plan and implement garden-based science lessons and coordinate garden activities.
In December and January we dreamed and wished for spring.
Jil and Howard Stenn, professional landscape designers, drew us a beautiful garden plan which we were eager to begin implementing.
We graded a section of the garden for a seating area and
purchased gravel for the flat section.
Parent volunteers assembled the Greenhouse
In the new greenhouse we sprouted some seedlings to begin planting in our raised vegetable beds.
We continued to enjoy excellent garden-based science classes with Trish Howard.
The teachers and Trish visited IslandWood and the Bloedell Reserve on Bainbridge Island for inspiration.

Spring 2005

We moved one bed to make room for our new learning areas.
Our hard-working kids transported all the dirt to the other raised beds. With the advice and help of our landscape experts we urchased many landscaping plants.
(We got a great deal thanks to Jil Stenn and Trish Howard who had wholesale connections!)
Several parents attended a planting party in the middle of a rain storm and planted all the beautiful plants.
We started brainstorming ideas for our new garden gate.
In April and May Trish Howard worked with the kids on the gate design and guided students in creating artwork on copper panels.
Howard Stenn planned and help install a drip irrigation system to maintain our garden over the summer.
Kids, teachers and parents planted many kinds of produce and flowers.

Summer 2005

Trish Howard built a beautiful harvest table (from cedar donated by Loren Sinner) that's large enough for an entire class. Kids continued to spread chips, weed, and plant new crops.

Fall 2005

The irrigation system worked perfectly and watered our garden all summer
Parents, students, Gerie and Glenda gave their time to maintain the garden and plant tomatoes.
We harvested a bumper crop of tomatoes as well as some chard, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and a wide variety of flowers.
We have planted a cover crop of fava beans in some beds and a crop of garlic in several others.
We welcomed Mr. Swan's 5th grade class to the garden. They have planted a bed of experimental crops to investigate the possibilities of a winter growing season.
Wonderful parent volunteers have been working on our new cedar shed.
Copper Panels made by students were installed on the shed to add some art to our natural beauty.
Mrs. Wilson's class created beautiful flower arrangements to share with people around the school and to send to the Vashon Garden Club.
PIE once again generously granted us money to pay Trish Howard, our fabulous garden coordinator. She continues teach us garden-based science and keep us moving along on our garden plan.

Spring 2006

There is plenty of weeding to do this spring in the garden! We planted lettuce, peas, broccoli, calendula and many more items. Mrs. Wilson made new supports for our pea crop. One will provide green leafy shade later in the season.

The roof is on the shed and we are waiting for stairs and doors as well as the new gate to the garden.

We have new neighbors in the garden. We have introduced gentle orchard mason bees into our garden to help with the pollinating and to study during our insect unit. Mrs. Wilson's class made a great display for people to see during the Science Fair. Many people visited the garden and were impressed with the beauty and complexity found there. Also our guests were able to see the beautiful signs created by Mrs. Wilson's class thanking all of our generous donors. These will be on permanent display in the garden.

The Vashon Garden Club and Sustainable Vashon visited our garden this April.

Next up we will be planting two theme gardens in the upper terrace-an Asian garden and a Colonial-style potage garden. There is much more to come...

Summer 2006

The shed was finished by Trish Howard and Dean Andrews. Our shed doors and stairs are practical and beautiful too! Two more sets of stairs were added to access the rear terrace of the garden.

Gary Adams slaved in the hot sun laying down a beautiful brick cruciform shaped patio with recycled brick donated by Mrs. Johansson. Gerie Wilson worked very hard installing a beautiful Japanese rock garden assisted by Tina and Bob Taylor and Glenda Berliner. Meg White designed and installed some beautiful bamboo lattices. Plants for the Asian garden were purchased at whole-sale prices thanks to Ava Gardiner Design.

We were interviewed by Peak Moment, a Southern Californian TV show. Sustainable Vashon included us as part of the piece being filmed about them.

Fall 2006

We started off the fall season with a fabulous and well-attended work party. The weather was sunny for once and many people helped clear out the weeds and dead plants left from the summer growing season.

We planted herbs in the Colonial Garden donated by Fran Brooks and Jil Stenn. We made lavender sachets during our Colonial unit and the kids were delighted.

Winter 2007

Tragedy struck during the big wind storm. Our greenhouse blew up and over the fence and smashed into pieces. Unfortunately it was not salvageable. We are currently working on soliciting donations for a replacement.

We had a garden meeting with parent volunteers to plan the final steps for finishing the garden and to strategize for the spring planting season.

PIE is again supporting our science program by providing a small stipend for Trish Howard, our accomplished teaching partner.

Spring 2007

We received another huge donation of composted horse manure to enrich our soil. We have installed a new greenhouse with a sturdy foundation to prevent damage in the next storm thanks to Gary Gray! We planted a new pumpkin patch of heirloom Cinderella pumpkins in our expanded garden area. We also made room to build a beautiful pavillion that will become an outdoor classroom in hot sun or rainy weather.

Fall 2007

We harvested and sold our Cinderella Pumpkins in our first annual sale. We gave some of the proceeds to the Vashon Food Bank as well as a bumper crop of potatoes.
Two solar panels were donated by the Stahl Family for installation on the roof of the shed.

Winter 2007-2008

Our solar panels were installed thanks to Joe Yarkin.  We purchased a marine battery and planned for spring.
The first garden bed, badly in need of repair, was replaced with a round Pizza Garden, suggested by our volunteer landscape consultant, Jil Stenn. The new garden is constructed of durable concrete block.

Spring 2008

Weeding and planting busily are our major activities in the spring.

This year we installed solar-powered timers to keep our crops watered and impact our environment a little less. The timers were purchased thanks to a grant written by Fran Brooks and Joe Yarkin.

Summer 2008

Thanks to the power of the sun our new solar-powered watering system kept the garden alive throughout the summer months. Multi-age families, friends and teachers stopped by to pick produce and check on the progress of the crops.

Fall 2008

It was another successful fall for our pumpkin crop! The multi-age donated $100.00 each to our local charity; the Vashon Food Bank; and to an international charity; UNISEF.
We are very pleased that our local efforts can help others and the kids are very proud to be contributing money to good causes through their hard work.

Winter 2008-2009

This winter our garden was given a beautiful, hand-made compost bin from Guy and Irene Stricherz.

Students also dug out all of the morning-glory-ridden dirt from the second bed and filled it back up with a 50/50 mix of composted manure and top soil.  Great crops will grow there soon!

Spring 2009

This spring we learned how to use our new compost bins to make nutritious dirt for our garden thanks to a very informative lesson by Howard Stenn.

Our solar-powered watering system is almost back up and running thanks to help from Amy Bogaard and Fran Brooks.

We’ve been sprouting seeds in the green house for lettuce, peas, pumpkins, and more. Also we’re working with Amy Bogaard and the Vashon High School Horticulture Program to sprout kale, beets, tomatoes, basil and more in their greenhouse. Thanks Amy!

We’ve planted two beds for the Vashon Food Bank with assorted lettuce. We’ve also planted radishes, carrots, peas, beans, kale, more lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, bok choy and beets with more to come!

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We don't like zucchini...but we like roasted zucchini!!
Go figure!