Farmer Randy donates 700 pumpkins to School Gardens

There were even-happier-than-usual kids in many Kelso and Longview School Gardens last week as After School Garden Clubs had the opportunity to carve locally-grown pumpkins. 700(!) pumpkins were donated by Woodland farmer Randy Behrendsen who was happy just to know they were going home with kids. Members of the LCSG board, LCSG staff and a slew of volunteers met in Woodland early on a Saturday to load pumpkins into trucks and deliver them back to school gardens in Longview and Kelso.

 

 

A young volunteer helps decide on the best pumpkins for loading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the following week, kids in elementary and middle school gardens throughout the area got the chance to carve, decorate and take home their donated pumpkins. Students also enjoyed freshly roasted pumpkins seeds and made-from-scratch hot cocoa with their pumpkin carving.

 

Kids carve pumpkins and enjoy homemade hot cocoaCarving pumpkins at StH #2

 

 

 

 

 

Students carving pumpkins at MMS Carving pumpkins at HMS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audubon partners with School Gardens

Willapa Hills Audubon supported local school gardens in an important way in the 2014-2015 year – they sponsored a garden AmeriCorps position for $5,000!  This allowed Lower Columbia School Gardens to increase our reach significantly, and connect hundreds more kids and families with real food and hands-on learning in school gardens.

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Willapa Hills also partnered with Lower Columbia School Gardens on a bird-box building event in January, when 28 Monticello Middle School students learned about birds and habitat, then assembled a cedar bird box to take home.  We see these kids as future advocates for a greener world because of these experiences – thank you Audubon!

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Thank you for matching The Health Care Foundation grant

DSC_0640Thank you for making this happen – your donations totaling $10,000 have poured in over the last few months.  We will now send that to The Health Care Foundation who will in turn write a check for $20,000 to support local school gardens.
As you may know, everything we do is made possible by private donations (40%) and grants (60%).  All the weekly garden and cooking programs that we design and run (serving 2900 students last year); all the sheds, fences, raised beds, irrigation lines, and trellises that we install; all the tools, microscopes, fruit trees, seeds, plants, fertilizers, soil, etc that we buy; all the harvest festivals, Earth Day, STEM events, volunteer trainings – all this is made possible by the generosity of people like you.
$RBD9MW7 The success of this matching grant puts us closer to what we need to bring in this year to continue to provide and expand these services (still seeking $21,000 more in general donations and $20,000 from our Fall Harvest Event).
You’ve heard this before, but can I say it again?  5 years ago there was one school garden in these parts; today there are thirteen.
$RVFQV7QThis was not a federal, state, or district initiative; rather, this was our community saying “This needs to happen.  This kind of hands-on learning centered around nature and real food is not just kinda neat, it is essential.  And every child deserves to have the opportunities and experiences that a school garden provides.”
GARDEN SUMMER 2010 080Lower Columbia School Gardens formed in 2010 to answer that call, and we have been going full tilt ever since. Thank you for partnering with us every step of the way.

Gratefully

Ian
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Kellogg Gardens donates compost and soil

kellog1Steve the Rabbit’s crew just picked up the first part of a HUGE DONATION from Kellogg Gardens in Longview: two and a half pallets of really good organic compost and planting soil (that’s $1,300 worth)!
kellog2Another great example of a local business helping to make a healthier community.
Thank you Kellogg Gardens – we will need to fill about 30 new raised beds in the next few months, so this is the perfect gift for school gardens.  kellog3 kellog4