Catkin Cafe Hosts Student Chef Winner

— from Ashley Randall — On February 3, Catkin Café hosted Orcas School’s Student Chef Winner, Theo Vaccarella, and six friends for a pasta making class. Theo won first place in the 2016 Student Chef Competition with his healthful and tasty garden meatball soup. Under the direction of Angela Emery, … Continue reading

Farm to Cafeteria Program December-January 2017

— by Ashley Randall — K-5th grade Farm to Classroom: During the month of December, we practiced our cooking skills and discussed the importance of winter wellness. To start out the month, we made fresh applesauce from Orcas grown apples and pumpkin bread using pumpkins from our school garden. After … Continue reading

Farm to Cafeteria Program in November

–from Ashley Randall — K-5th Farm to Classroom: During the first week of November, we met local botanist, Madrona Murphy, and her favorite plant, Great Camas. We explored the plants relationship to the Native Salish diet and local pollinators. After slow cooking the tuber for three whole days, we were … Continue reading

Orcas Public School’s Farm to Cafeteria Program in September

— by Ashley Randall — During our first week back to Farm to Classroom (K-5th), we tasted and painted with beets! We gathered around a large bed of beets, and examined the vegetable’s leaves and colorful stalks. Upon harvesting the root vegetable, we identified the three varieties and examined the … Continue reading

Creating with Calendula in the School Garden

— by Ashley Randall — While waiting for our salves to set, we turned to a large bed of calendula flowers for inspiration. We identified and discussed the assortment of calendula flowers used in the salves. We hand picked seeds from the dried flowers to fill seed packets. And a … 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

Raised from the Ashes – Better Than Ever

Friday, June 10, 6 p.m., Catkin Café — from Olga Strawberry Council — July 19, 2013: If you were here on the island that day, you would well remember knowing of, or even experiencing, the arson fire that severely damaged the historic Strawberry Barreling Plant Building in Olga and its … Continue reading

A Mediterranean Meal in the School Cafeteria

— by Ashley Randall — Last Wednesday in the public school’s cafeteria, over 300 plates went from full to empty throughout the lunch hour. Rosario Resort’s Executive Chef Raymond Southern acted as our third and final Celebrity Chef of the school year. Wearing a clean chef coat and a smile, … Continue reading

Stories from Those Who Lived the Marshall Strawberry Era

Saturday, May 28, 2 p.m. at the Olga Community (Energetic) Club — from the Olga Strawberry Council– You are invited to witness an event that will probably never happen again anywhere. On Saturday, May 28 at 2 p.m. in the Olga Community Club (the Olga Energetic Club), long-time Orcas Islanders … Continue reading

Last Celebrity Chef of the School Year

— from Ashley Randall — The school year is coming to an end, but that does not mean amazing food from our school cafeteria has to also. On Wednesday, May 25, the Farm to Cafeteria Program will host its third, and final, Celebrity Chef event of the school year. With … Continue reading

Savory Student Chef Success

— from Ashley Randall — On the morning of May 14, six middle school students arrived in the public school’s culinary arts room ready to wow our judges for the 2016 Student Chef Competition. Students set their cooking stations with cutting boards, knives, measuring cups and fresh ingredients. After a … 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

Madden Surbaugh Next School Celebrity Chef

— by Ashley Randall, Farm to Cafeteria Coordinator — The Farm to Cafeteria Program is excited to announce our second Celebrity Chef event of the school year! Chef Madden Surbaugh, assistant general manager and deli manager of the Orcas Food Co-op,will be preparing lunch at Orcas Island Public Schools Cafeteria … Continue reading

The Fresh, New Face of Farm to Cafeteria

–by Madie Murray — You may have noticed some recent Farm to Cafeteria articles being written by Ashley Randall, Farm to Cafeteria Coordinator. You’ll be seeing many more. Yes, she’s finally on board after spending the summer interning at Black Dog Farm and is now beginning to take on the … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: What the School Renovation Means to Farm to Cafeteria

— by Madie Murray, F2C Coordinator– I guess it would be more appropriate to say what it means to me! The amazing transformation of the entire public school campus is, by itself, awe-inspiring. But for me, what has occurred in the school cafeteria, old home ec and old science rooms … Continue reading

“Barn of the Month” – Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant

–by The Olga Strawberry Council– The beautifully restored Olga Strawberry Barreling Plant, commonly known as the Artworks Building, has been honored by being designated “Barn of the Month” by Historic Barns of the San Juan Islands. Though admittedly not quite a “barn,” it is recognized as a “structure significant to the history of agriculture … Continue reading

Orcas Island Rowing Pulling a 24 Hour Row This Weekend

— by Martin Taylor — Orcas Island Rowing (OIR) junior rowers are holding their annual “24 hour row” at Island Market grocery store this weekend. The crew team will be outside the Island Market continuously on a rowing machine (know as an erg). Each rower takes several 30 minute relay … Continue reading

Do the Polar Bear Plunge 2015 : Disco Dive

 — by Martin Taylor — Be Orcas and be alive on New Year’s Day 2015!  Revel in a wonderful Orcas Tradition: Orcas Island Rowing’s “Polar Bear Plunge.” Residents and visitors alike charge headlong into Cascade Lake en masse. Within a few seconds they re-emerge happy that they accomplished the feat, … Continue reading