Schedule for Summer Garden programs and Adopt-a-Garden

We’re coming up on the final week of Spring programs in School Gardens, which also means that Summer Garden programs will be starting soon.

We are also in need of families to adopt gardens for a week this summer. Adopting a garden means that you help take care of it for a week (or more!) – watering every few days (depending on the temperature), and harvesting what is ripe and ready to be picked. Gardening expertise or experience is not necessary! Once you have signed up we will review watering and harvesting with you before your scheduled week arrives.

There are so many different opportunities to volunteer or participate this summer – see the schedule below and contact if you still need more information. All garden activities and programs are FREE.

Summer Garden Schedule 2016

School Garden Summer Schedule 2016 can be downloaded here.

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:
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 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, specify which day works best for you.

See you there – thank you!