— 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 winter break, we gathered in a circle to set intentions for the New Year and engage in a practice of meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude. With the winter flu zipping around the island, we discussed how our bodies respond to good and bad germs, the benefits of exercise, vitamin D, time outdoors, drinking tea, getting more sleep, and washing our hands. To encourage the bad germs to stay away, we made an all-natural hand sanitizer using witch hazel and lavender and tea tree essential oil!
Our last class of the month was focused on nourishing our skin during the cold winter months. We used Calendula oil, from our garden flowers, and a blend of beeswax and essential oils to create a soothing lip balm.
6-8th grade Exploratory: After shearing, carding, and spinning wool, our next step in the process was to knit, weave, felt and dye.
While some of us were just learning how to knit, the more advanced knitters managed to combine multiple colors of yarn into clothing accessories such as scarves or headbands. Some of us used colorful strands of wool to create felt balls with abstract designs The group of weavers moved their threads of yarn quickly, yet thoughtfully, through their mini looms to create mesmerizing patterns.
The following class we covered natural dyeing and taming/measuring yarn. We each selected a dye color, a bundle of white yarn, and began experimenting with warm water and vinegar vats. Many of us alternated between dyeing and crafting felt laundry balls.
To read more about this month visit our blog at: http://www.orcasislandf2c.org/new-blog-1/
What’s cooking in the Cafeteria? In celebration of the winter holidays, Chef Zach, Bing, and Debbie cooked up a hearty meal of ham, sweet potato casserole, Brussels sprouts, green beans, local salad greens, and handmade strawberry shortcake with whipped cream for dessert! The lunch line was full of smiles, thank you’s, and students asking for seconds, before even sitting down to eat.