A recipe for Pizza Dough

Many folks have been asking for the recipe we use to make pizza dough…

  • 6 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 TBSP kosher salt

Mix flour and salt together in a large bowl using a whisk or a fork.

  • 3 cups luke warm water (if water is too hot it will kill the yeast)
  • 1 TBSP yeast
In a separate bowl or pitcher, mix water and yeast together and let sit until yeast gets happy and smelly (15-20 min).
Just before pouring liquid into flour/salt, mix 1/8 cup olive oil with the yeast and water, using a whisk.
Pour liquid into flour/salt and mix together with bare hands or wooden spoon. Don’t over-mix, and  you don’t have to do any kneading of the dough.
Cover bowl with a dry towel or loose lid and allow to sit on the counter for a few hours, then place in fridge, covered, until you are ready to use it.
For pizza made at home, take a piece of the dough out of the fridge (it’ll last around a week in the fridge but after that it starts to get a little more on the sour side) and let it sit for a few minutes before working with it. Use a decent amount of flour and a rolling pin to roll it out and then put it on a baking pan, or stretch it out directly on the baking pan. Then add toppings, etc. and bake at 450 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes. You can also par-bake the crust if you want to add more substantial amounts of toppings.
For our big events, we make many trays of dough balls:
After dough has risen on the counter for a few hours and then has spent some time in the fridge, form the dough balls. With floured hands, grab a baseball-sized hunk and cut it off with scissors.  Instead of trying to wad and squeeze it into a ball, you want to stretch and pull the sides around, forming a tight round skin. The underside, where the stretched sides come together, will look messy and ragged. Watch this guy do this with a larger loaf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDBJkxoNpE8
Space the dough balls, smooth side up, on an oiled baking sheet. Use these balls in a few minutes, or cover w plastic wrap and return to fridge for later use (up to a week).  We like to stretch the dough to form thin crusts, but occasionally use a roller.
(The original recipe from “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” is here. The only difference with turning it into pizza (instead of a loaf of bread) is this: instead of shaping it into a loaf, you simply shape it into a thin flat disc, using as much flour as you need to keep it from sticking to your hands or to a pan. Add minimal ingredients on top and throw it into a 450-degree oven for about 10 minutes – could just be on a sheet pan, or a pizza stone if you’re fancy.)

Back to Basics ~ tips and techniques to create a great loaf in 5 minutes a day.

School Garden Plant Sale is coming soon – Saturday May 7th

On your marks…get set…garden!

The School Garden Plant Sale is happening on Saturday, May 7th from 9 am to 1 pm.
There will be many kid-grown plants to choose from – Veggies, Herbs, Flowers, Perennials – as well as natives, edibles and ornamental plants from our friends at Watershed Garden Works!

It’s going to be a great time at the Northlake Elementary Garden at 2210 Olympia Way in Longview to benefit School Gardens and help us continue to connect kids and families with real food and hands-on learning. Join us for live music, tours of the garden and orchard, and meet garden rabbits Sam and Sorrel.


It’s potato planting time

It’s the time of year when we should be putting seed potatoes in the ground to grow ourselves an abundance of these tasty members of the nightshade family (the same family as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants). An easy way to remember when to plant potatoes is to always do it around the same time as St. Patrick’s Day. Even though that was last week, we are still well within the planting window.

Potatoes are relatively simple to grow and mostly require loose, well-fortified soil and consistent watering. High Mowing Seeds is a seed grower we admire and they have a helpful guide to growing potatoes that we’d like to share…we’ll be paying specific attention to the sections of the article that talk about growing in “Hills” and “Raised Beds”.


LCSG Planting Guide is a resource for School Garden volunteers or home gardeners

In 2015 one of our AmeriCorps members started on a project to build a growing guide that School Garden volunteers, staff, and even home gardeners could use as a reminder of what to plant and when. That AmeriCorps member is now a full-time employee with School Gardens and she has finished “building” the LCSG Planting Guide. Hooray!
Adapting information from resources like the School Garden Project in Eugene, OR, the Seattle Tilth Maritime NW Garden Guide, and Territorial Seed Company, this “at-a-glance” resource can be used one month at a time or printed and stored as a booklet. Either way, we hope you’ll find it useful.

Find the LCSG Planting Guide on our website.

Spring Garden Programs begin week of March 7

Spring Garden Programs begin the second week of March, which means weekly volunteer opportunities!
If you haven’t volunteered with us, please email info@lcschoolgardens.org to tell us particular times you’re available – weekly, monthly, or even annually – every hour makes a difference in the lives of kids and families in our community.

School Gardens Spring 2016 image

Print your own copy: School Gardens Spring 2016

Edible Olympic is online


What is Edible Olympic?

First the garden. On Thursdays students are farmers. They work in a 10,000 square foot garden that was an unfenced green field in early 2015. They’ve planted berry bushes, fruit trees, and have rows of soil waiting for the spring planting. They plant, weed, and thin their crops until the food is ready to harvest.

Second the kitchen. On Fridays the students are chefs. They take this produce and combine it with healthy, economical groceries and slice, dice, bake, roast, simmer, and sauté incredible meals. After the cooking class they take the ingredients they need home and cook and eat the same meal with their families.

Training for School Garden Volunteers 2/19 & 2/20 – Register Now!

“Ultimately, it is our volunteers who make it possible for students to experience the garden in a meaningful way.”

Whether you are already helping in a school garden, or just thinking about getting your hands dirty, this FREE TRAINING EVENT is for you!

We hope you can attend one of these two (identical) sessions:

  • Friday February 19, 9:00 to noon
  • Saturday February 20, 9:00 to noon

Northlake Elementary
Garden Lab Rm 26 (2nd portable)
2210 Olympia Way
Longview, WA 98632

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Learn simple, effective techniques for helping kids (and plants!) to grow. We will work in the classroom as well as out in the garden; there will be plenty of hands-on learning. Topics include:
  • Why school gardens?
  • Garden activities and lessons
  • Starting seeds indoors and out
  • Composting with kids
  • Cooking with kids
  • Garden safety
  • Group management
  • Inquiry Based Learning
  • School Garden Resources
  • and more!

Enjoy learning and connecting with great people who have a shared passion for kids, gardens, and good food. Snacks provided. Meet the new garden rabbits Sam and Sorrel.

This training is free! All are welcome.

To REGISTER: send an email to ian@lcschoolgardens.org, specify which day works best for you.

See you there – thank you!

Seed companies make it possible for School Gardens to grow

LCSG - Inside a Fava Bean at CA
Having quality seeds helps students grow quality produce.

Over the last year, we have been proud to help students plant 102,000 square feet of space in more than fourteen School Gardens. That’s a lot of growing space! When you’re dedicated to starting your veggies from seed, that much garden space means having plenty of quality seeds around.


Students learn to grow, tend, harvest and eat fresh produce in School Gardens.
Students learn to grow, tend, harvest and eat fresh produce in School Gardens.

We are immensely grateful for the companies who provided us with seeds this past year. We’re still working on the tally, but the amount of fresh produce grown in 2015 far exceeds the amount we were able to grow the previous year.


It is with admiration for the beautiful work they do and their generous giving that we thank:

Students start seeds during Springtime garden activities.
Students start seeds during Springtime garden activities.

Adaptive Seeds
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Botanical Interests
High Mowing Seeds
Irish Eyes Garden Seeds
Peaceful Valley Seeds
Renee’s Garden Seeds
Seeds for Our Planet
Siskiyou Seeds
Territorial Seed Company
Tsugawa Nursery
Turtle Tree Seed
  Uprising Seeds
  Van der Salm Bulb Farm





Xerces Society Pollinator Habitat signs help make School Gardens a haven for pollinators

Students show off yellow kale flowers favored by many pollinator species, in front of their school garden
Carrolls students show off yellow kale flowers favored by many pollinator species, in front of their School Garden.

Earlier this year, The Xerces Society of Portland generously donated Pollinator Habitat signs for all of our School Gardens. Posting these signs with students has started a number of profound conversations about the vital role that pollinators play in our gardens and our food supply.

A pollinator habitat sign proudly displayed in the Huntington School Garden
A pollinator habitat sign proudly displayed in the Huntington School Garden.

For some students, these conversations have made them less fearful of insects that they thought were only made for stinging, and others have become more interested in paying attention to the small differences between various kinds of pollinators. The signs have also been a good reminder to simply be aware of the helpers in our gardens that are not always easy to see.

Not all bees are yellow and black - this species of sweat bee is a beautiful metallic green. Photo by Hillary Jensen.
Not all bees are simply yellow and black – this species of sweat bee is a beautiful metallic green. Photo by Hillary Jensen.

Students have helped to create a great deal of pollinator habitat in school gardens by planting many flowers and other plants crucial to their survival.



Thank you, Xerces Society!

To help protect an essential part of our environment, take the Pollinator Pledge and order a Pollinator Habitat sign for your own garden.

A "Thank You" for Xerces decorated by Carrolls students.
A “Thank You” for Xerces decorated by Carrolls students.