Progress at the High School Garden!

What a difference a couple months can make! Back in April the asphalt was torn up in front of the entrance to the garden and we were just beginning to turn under the cover crops. Fast forward to June and the asphalt is gone – thanks to Moving Earth – and the rows are flourishing!

The high school food bank garden is unique in that during the school year students are able to volunteer and learn about growing their own food – and some of the produce ends up in the school cafeteria. During the summer when there are no students, all of the produce is donated to the food bank. This garden is managed by Food Bank Farm and Gardens (FBFG) President, Lys Burden, and brand new FBFG garden coordinator, Joanne Pontrello.

Before and After rowsTurning cover crop, April 2015 (L) and Peas, Broccoli, Chard and Kale growing in those same rows, June 2015 (R)

Before and After asphaltBroken asphalt, April 2015 (L) and New Garden Space with asphalt removed, June 2015 (R)

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April 2015 (Above) June 2015 (Below)

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Many thanks to all of the volunteers that have helped develop this garden! If you would like to find out more about this project or get involved, contact garden coordinators Lys – [email protected] or Joanne – [email protected].

A Visit to the South Whidbey Good Cheer Garden

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Recently the members of the Food Bank Farm and Gardens had the opportunity to visit and network with the South Whidbey Good Cheer Garden!

“The South Whidbey Good Cheer Food Bank has created a large vegetable garden in front of their facility on Bayview Road. Growing fresh vegetables and fruit has provided nutritious produce directly to the Food Bank, increased food security and expanded Good Cheer’s capacity to serve more people. The garden was started in 2009, and has been providing over 5000 lbs of produce to the Food Bank annually. The vegetables are grown using organic methods.”

Because the food bank gardening efforts in Jefferson County are relatively new, we found this an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge and ideas from a similar project that has been such a success! Thank you to the Good Cheer volunteers for hosting and sharing ideas.

For more information on volunteering at the Good Cheer Garden please visit their website.

If you are in the Port Townsend area, please contact our Garden Coordinator, Karen Kastel at [email protected] to volunteer at one of our three local locations.

Photos by Mike Mullin


It’s time. Tomorrow we’ll start doing a big garden clean up, pulling out most of the tomatoes (we can still let the green ones ripen off the vine!), and replanting the greenhouse beds with hardy winter greens. Afterwards there’ll be another VOLUNTEER LUNCH at NOON, complete with a big, beautiful garden salad and other goodies. Come on by! P.S.- Have you seen our spiffy new worm bin?? This isn’t it, but it looks exactly like this one and was installed during last week’s vermiculture workshop presented by Jefferson County Public Works and WSU Master Gardeners. We can’t wait to start some serious composting!

Time for Reflection

We had our first real sit-down volunteer lunch last Wednesday, in an effort to do a little reflection and planning as the season begins to wind down. Thanks to everyone who was able to be there–your input and insight was very helpful. (check out the new “Wish List” page on the top of the blog…updated after our discussion!)

The number of things we wanted to talk about as a group, as well as how much fun it was to sit down and eat good food together inspired the installation of bi-monthly volunteer lunches. So mark your calendars, these gatherings will take place every two weeks this fall! Next up: September 12th at Noon! See you there (new or aspiring volunteers welcome!!)

Field Trip!

Last Thursday, we (a group of food bank volunteers and gardeners) took a little field trip over to the Good Cheer Food Bank Garden on South Whidbey. Our little garden in Port Townsend is hugely inspired by the garden at Good Cheer and by Carey, their amazing garden coordinator.

Good Cheer Garden Coordinator Carey Peterson explains her garden systems…

She does lots of intensive plant rotations over the course of the season, thanks to rich compost from the worm bins–fed by the food bank  food waste!

Good Cheer has a spiffy commercial kitchen where they can prep and freeze the summer bounty…zucchini anyone?




The layout of the Good Cheer Food Bank looks a lot like a grocery store. Check out that produce! A lot of it comes from the garden, but also from home gardeners and farms.

The staff and volunteers at Good Cheer have done a lot of educational outreach regarding how to prepare and cook less popular but super healthy veggies. Now the kale and chard just flies off the shelf! We liked these nutrition/recipe posters for bok choy and beets.

Thanks Carey and Kathy at Good Cheer for taking the time to teach us! We are so inspired by your work!

Thanks to everyone who came out for the garden grand opening! And to all of the volunteers who couldn’t make it, we are so so grateful for all the hard work, time, and expertise you’ve dedicated to this little garden!

5/2 food bank harvest! Chard, kale, lettuce, and rhubarb!

Moving Right Along!

Thanks to this little stretch of warm sunshine we’ve had, the little starts have been jumping out of the soil like crazy in the greenhouse! Pictures will be posted soon…it’s hard to keep up with documenting all the changes this time of year!

Last Wednesday we had a great first work day, and really made some headway, putting up the fence and moving the gate, and moving dirt every which way. THANK YOU to everyone that came out!

This week we have more dirt to move, garlic to transplant, and an assortment of planting to do inside and outside! Stop by anytime, 10-3ish.

Wednesday Wash Out

The forecast is calling for another wet Northwest winter classic tomorrow, and since really there’s not much left to do (pictures coming soon of the newly built outside garden beds!), we’re calling off the 2-4 Wednesday work party. So stay inside and rest up for the grand greenhouse raising in just a few weeks… we’ll need all hands on deck!