Calendula Salve Workshop in School Garden

Calendula flowers captured by Steve Smith during the 2016 Orcas Island Garden Club Tour

Calendula flowers captured by Steve Smith during the 2016 Orcas Island Garden Club Tour

— from Ashley Randall —

The Farm to Cafeteria Program is hosting the second of three summer workshops in the school garden this weekend! Colleen will be teaching our friends of the garden how to transform our organically grown calendula flowers into a nourishing skin salve.

Fee is $5–10 sliding scale. All ages welcome. The workshop will run from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 30th in the public school’s garden. Everyone will have the opportunity to make and take home a 2 oz. tin of salve.

Let us know if you’re coming or ask questions by emailing Colleen at

We look forward to seeing you in the garden!

Shibori in the School Garden: Indigo and Imagination

— by Ashley Randall — On July 2nd the Farm to Cafeteria Program hosted its first of three summer workshops in the school garden. Our incredible garden keeper, Colleen Stewart, led a Shibori workshop in which friends of the garden played with indigo dye and their imagination to create astonishing … Continue reading

Natural Dye Workshop in School Garden


 Saturday, July 2 after the Parade! at the School Garden — from Ashley Randall — The Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria Program is hosting its first workshop for the summer this Saturday! We will be dyeing with natural indigo in ancient Japanese style. Fee is $5-10 sliding scale. Please bring … Continue reading

Already the Second Saturday for Farmers Market

The Orcas Island Farmers Market is in full swing this year, with the season opening on Saturday, May 7. The Orcas Island Farmers Market is open from 10am to 3pm every Saturday from the first weekend in May to the last weekend of September on the Village Green in the … Continue reading

Entomologist to Speak at Garden Club and Master Gardeners Event on Pests

— from Kate Yturri — The Orcas Master Gardeners and Orcas Island Garden Club are hosting a presentation by Linda Gilkeson, Ph.D., on Integrated Pest Management on May 18, 2:00-3:00pm, at the Eastsound Fire Station. Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a process you can use to solve pest problems … Continue reading

Garden Club Talk on Year-Round Organic Gardening

Wednesday, May 18 at 10 a.m. at Orcas Center — from Jan Jacobson — Orcas Island Garden Club meeting, May 18, 2016, 10 a.m., in the Madrona Room of Orcas Center, presents Linda Gilkeson from neighboring Salt Spring Island. Linda will share high productivity, low maintenance methods for our organic … Continue reading

Master Gardeners to Help Diagnose Plant Problems

Be sure to fill out online diagnostic form — by Kate Yturri for Orcas Master Gardeners — The Orcas Master Gardeners will be at Driftwood Nursery this Wednesday May 11 from 11 am-1pm. We will be at the Orcas Saturday Market on May 14 from 10am-1pm. Please bring your plant … Continue reading

The Marshall Strawberry and Its Significance on Orcas Island

by the Olga Strawberry Council The Marshall Strawberry, lauded to be the sweetest of them all, was the species grown here on Orcas Island and disbursed to places far and wide between the early 1930s and about 1943. Its fame and fortune was cut short because of disease and World … Continue reading

Orcas Distillery Brings Home Gold

Charles West feature

Islanders, cultivate your heritage apples and pears –by Margie Doyle — Orcas Island Distillery won top honors at this year’s American Distilling Institute’s Judging of Craft Spirits at the Institute’s Convention in San Diego [on April 8] where 200 national and international craft distilleries competed in all categories with more … Continue reading

A Fun Event for All Ages

Kids 17 and under FREE! Have you ever walked along a forest path, picked up interesting leaves, pods, twigs or seeds and thought, “I’d love to make something with this”? The Olga Strawberry Council is hosting a workshop this Saturday, May 7, just for you! Maine intermedia artist, Leah Gauthier, … Continue reading

Leah, Art and Marshall

First two events in the Olga Strawberry Council’s “Strawberry Series” Celebration May 7 and May 9 — from the Olga Stawberry Council — Orcas Island had a burgeoning Marshall strawberry industry from the early 1930s until 1943. However, a combination of disease in the strawberry plants and a shortage of war-time labor … Continue reading

Great Islands Clean-Up Coming Down the Pike

Saturday, April 23 from 9 a.m. to noon — from the San Juan County Land Bank — Islanders and visitors alike are invited to join in the fun and help give San Juan, Orcas and Lopez their annual spring cleaning! Last year during the Great Islands Clean-Up, over 400 people … Continue reading

Composting with Kristina Bayas and Diana Brooks

— from Jan Jacobson for the Orcas Garden Club — Kristina Bayas and Diana Brooks will explain the basics of composting, with and without worms. Learn how composting works, what kind of organisms do the work for you, optimal conditions to make the magic happen, and easy directions to get you … Continue reading

“Strawberry Series” Celebrates Historic Building’s Legacy

The Marshall Strawberry

Series kicks off on Friday, May 6 and runs through June 18 –from the Olga Strawberry Council — For a sweet taste of old-time island life, don’t miss this spring’s “Strawberry Series,” a celebration highlighting the legacy of the Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant and the rare berries that made it … Continue reading

Join the Fun in Moran Park Clean Up

Saturday, April 9th 9am to 4pm at Moran State Park — from Jackie Daigle — Come lend a hand at the Annual Clean Up Day at Moran State Park! Come early and enjoy a hot cup of coffee before we set out to tidy up the campsites for the upcoming … Continue reading

Middle School Goes Hands-on at Orcas Transfer Station

ORS Planting 4 boys feature

 — by Margie Doyle, corrected March 25 at 7:30 p.m. — The entire Orcas Island Middle School dug in — literally — to the newly constructed bioswales at the Orcas Transfer Station to replant the area so that it can function to remediate the wetlands. Pete Moe, Executive Director of … Continue reading

Orcas Voices – March, the Lion, the Lamb

— by Sally Buchanan — The month of March is tricky. Apparently it always has been. Weather records from centuries past report its fickleness. It is the month of the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere when weather is always unpredictable: wind, rain, snow, heat, freezes, tornadoes, floods, high tides, … Continue reading

How Plants Work


Wednesday, March 16 at 10 a.m. at the Orcas Center — by Jan Jacobson — Linda Chalker-Scott brings the stranger-than-fiction science of the plant world to vivid life in her new book “How Plants Work.” By understanding the science behind what plants do, you’ll learn how to fertilize and prune more … Continue reading