EduCulture - Spring 2014

Education in the Field

End of School Year Edition

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Spring means new beginnings and children eager to get outside on the farm, get their hands in the soil, and learn. 3rd Graders from Mr. Pearsall's Class at Wilkes Elementary plant snap pea starts on our instructional plot with Butler Green Farms at Morales Farm.

A Letter from the Director 

Hello Friends of EduCulture,

This has been an energizing spring season for EduCulture.  It follows a restorative winter. 
I spent some time this winter recharging my professional batteries by exploring the larger landscape of this growing field we call edible education.  I had the chance to step into the world of national school lunch reform through an invitation to attend the National Gathering of SchoolFoodFocus, which brings together the largest players in American urban public school food service, the school districts, food companies, and governmental agencies.  In April, I was invited to bring the work of EduCulture to the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference.  More than 1100 professionals working across the field of food in schools and other institutions came together in Austin, TX. I was involved in three presentations, and had the privilege of collaborating with and meeting some amazing people in this field of education.  It was an engaging and affirming experience to place the work of EduCulture within the wider landscape of edible education across the country. 
Click here to continue reading the letter...

Field Notes from Our Edible Education Programs


Ordway Elementary 1st Grade Spring Field Classes

Ordway School students made their Spring field trips to Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms early in May.  The first graders took an extensive scavenger hunt around the farms to learn about what's growing this Spring season. It involved looking for clues about animals, people, tools, and the many other elements that make up a farm. 

As part of their study of plant life cycle, students planted Rainier strawberry starts in our new Island Heritage Strawberry Plot at Historic Suyematsu Farm. During the last week of school,  EduCulture staff paid a visit to the school with freshly harvested strawberries from our instructional farm! It was a great way to bring a taste of Bainbridge Island and something student sown to their classes.

Above, Mary Lou Upton's first graders created a wonderful poster expressing thanks for their farm field class.

We are grateful to our Ordway teacher partners and parent volunteers for their support with the field classes this Spring!

Click here to read about this program on our website.

Click here to see a wonderful photo album of a field class from Ordway parent Yolanda Kwek! 

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Just a Short Walk to the Farm for Neighboring Wilkes Elementary Students

Wilkes Elementary 4th Graders and their parents in front of the Shuksan strawberry starts they transplanted at our new Island Heritage Strawberry Plot at Historic Suyematsu Farm, which they dug up from our instructional plot at Morales Farm.   

This Spring, twelve Wilkes classes from 1st through 4th grades participated in field classes on neighboring Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms and Morales Farm, some making more than one trip. The curriculum is teacher driven, as we focus on integrating what we teach in the field with lessons back in the classroom. 1st graders are studying the family of greens; 2nd grade lessons focus on the family of pumpkins; 3rd graders study Northwest heirloom potatoes; and 4th graders focus on Island Heritage Strawberries. The pumpkins and potatoes planted this Spring will be harvested by the next up-and-coming class in the fall.

"The students really gain an appreciation for how much work goes into the process of growing food for the community," says EduCulture's Lead Instructor Madison Taylor.

Click here to find out more about what it's like to teach classes in the field in "Madi's Story".

Wilkes Principal Sheryl Belt assists 2nd graders in soaking their pumpkin starts as they leave the greenhouse on their way to being transplanted in our instructional plot with Butler Green Farms on Morales Farm.

Click here to read more about Wilkes Elementary 4th graders and the Island Heritage Strawberry Project.

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Nurturing School Gardens

EduCulture is working with our partner elementary schools to help develop and extend edible education landscapes of learning with school garden programs. This work is currently in its most advanced form at Wilkes Elementary, and plans are underway for working with Ordway and Blakely Elementary Schools on their gardens during the 2014-15 school year.

Richard Pearsall's 3rd graders plant Makah Ozette potatoes in a raised bed at Wilkes.

With the recent redesign of Wilkes Elementary and new landscaping, came raised beds and other areas designated for school gardens tended by teachers and students. With vegetable and flower seeds donated by Bay Hay & Feed, as well as historic Makah Ozette potatoes from EduCulture, Wilkes students will look forward to tending these plants over the summer with family members and seeing their progress come fall. 

Click here to view a video of Wilkes Elementary 3rd graders planting heirloom potatoes in their school garden!

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Blakely Elementary Students Find New Curricular Pathways at Heyday Farm

EduCulture Instructor Madison Taylor guides Blakely students through a seeding lesson.

This Spring, we collaborated with our partner farmers to offer teachers and students deeper and more integrated curricular pathways for the study of plant and animal life cycles on Heyday Farm.The lessons follow the agricultural practices  on Heyday Farm, and model how healthy animals help build healthy soil, which in turn creates healthy food and leads to healthier people and a healthier environment. Click here to read more on our website about these new field classes on Heyday Farm.

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It's always a learning experience with Island Coop Preschool

Island Coop Preschool students learn about raising sugar snap peas from Leah, a junior farmer at Butler Green Farms, on our instructional plot at Morales Farm.

Island Cooperative Preschool (ICP) students are in their 4th year of edible education programming with EduCulture. Led by renowned teacher Ellen Carleson, the oldest class enjoys bi-weekly field classes at Morales and Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms. "The Orcas at ICP have the opportunity to follow the seasons and experience the life cycle of a plant from seed to harvest, on a working farm," says EduCulture Lead Instructor Heidi Urish. "At 4+ years old, they may seem young for this setting, but they are not afraid to get their hands dirty, do 'big work,' and have fun along the way."
Click here to read more on our website about the ICP Spring season on the farms.

EduCulture Instructor Heidi Urish leading her preschool charges at Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms.

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Bainbridge High School Seniors Tour Local Farms to Study Food Issues

Brian MacWhorter of Butler Green Farms discusses local sustainable agriculture with Bainbridge High School Seniors over a taste of his sugar snap peas.

In early June, EduCulture organized a special farm field class for BHS teacher Larry Holland and his 12th grade Global Citizenship class.  As part of a semester-long social studies course, students examine major contemporary global challenges facing the planet including globalization, international finance, poverty and development, energy, environment, food and health. One area of focus is the transformation of U.S. agriculture in the second half of the 20th century and the consequences for environment and health.  EduCulture's Jon Garfunkel led the class on a walking & tasting tour of Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms and Morales Farm, followed by a discussion and Q&A with master farmer Brian MacWhorter, of our partner, Butler Green Farms. 

"As part of the class we look at efforts to change how we grow things and what we eat," says Larry. "Visiting with Jon Garfunkel and Brian MacWhorter of Butler Green Farms gave the students a chance to get additional perspectives, learn about what is happening locally, and to ask questions they have developed during their studies. Later in class, the students were very enthusiastic about how valuable the visit had been."

EduCulture Instructors bring Experience and Enthusiasm to Edible Education

Heidi Urish with preschoolers this Spring.

As Lead Instructor for the Island Coop Preschool Farm-School Program, Farm Garden and Educational Consultant Heidi Urish brings a background of working with young people in a variety of experiential settings, both in and outside the classroom. From leading wilderness trips and working on farms, to teaching middle school math and science, Heidi's teaching ethic is rooted in environmental responsibility, social equity and equality. An EduCulture Intern in 2009, Heidi has a B.S. in Natural Resources and Tourism from Colorado State University with a concentration in Environmental Communications. She earned her Masters Degree in Education with a Graduate Teaching Certificate from Antioch University Seattle, as well as Graduate Certificates in Integrated Skills for Sustainable Change and Permaculture Design.

Madi Taylor helps Blakely students harvest chard at Heyday Farm.

Madison Taylor is Lead Instructor for EduCulture's Spring 2014 Edible Education Programs. She brings a variety of international teaching and volunteer experiences to her work. Madi has served as a volunteer for International Volunteer Headquarters (IVHQ) in Costa Rica and as a Sustainability and Community Building Ambassador for Peace Trees, Vietnam. She graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Anthropology, a B.A. in Comparative History of Ideas, and a Human Rights Minor. During that time she studied abroad in both Italy and Vietnam, with a focus on sustainable food systems, food politics and international development. Madi has also participated in the Slow Food Movement's Terra Madre convention in Turin, Italy.

Click here to read Madi's Blog about the Spring Season.

Volunteer Profile - Amy Lenahan

Amy with daughter Tierney, on a farm-school visit.
(Photo courtesy Yolanda Kwek.)

Amy Lenahan is an Ordway Elementary School parent who began volunteering this Spring as a docent for our Ordway field classes. She is also working with Ordway and EduCulture to start a school garden program. With a background in education, having taught secondary English and foreign language, Amy says she continues to be drawn to the possibilities and excitement around education. "I believe strongly in the power of hands-on experiential education and the many curriculum tie-ins that a school garden can teach," she says. "The lessons taught at EduCulture are ones that students will carry with them throughout their lives. On a recent trip a student proclaimed, 'this was the best day of school EVER!' That's quite an endorsement!"

Field Notes from Our Heritage Education Programs and Only What We Can Carry Project


"Leaving Our Island" Program at Sakai Intermediate School

"Leaving Our Island Day" held on March 5, 2014 gave 6th graders at Sakai Intermediate School on Bainbridge Island the opportunity to learn firsthand from those who experienced the events surrounding World War II and the Japanese-American exclusion. Since 2010, EduCulture's Jon Garfunkel and our Only What We Can Carry Project (OWWCC) has been assisting the school in facilitating this unique educational tradition. This era had a unique role in defining the identity and culture of the Bainbridge Island community, and is now an integral part of school culture and curriculum.  Click here to read more on our website about the stories told by those who lived through this experience.

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OWWCC Documentary about Manzanar Released

A new short documentary entitled, "What They Could Carry...Return to Manzanar", offers an intimate portrait of our Only What We Can Carry Delegation to the former Manzanar concentration camp.  Filmed with our 2012 Delegation and more than a year in the making, the video was produced, shot and edited by videographer and EduCulture Board Member Brenda Berry and colleague Scott Rouse. The film captures the intention and spirit surrounding these journeys of bearing witness and discovery. Click here to view the documentary.

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Island Heritage Strawberry Program Takes Root!

Bainbridge Island treasure Kay Sakai Nakao holds up a Marshall Strawberry at our Heritage Strawberry Instructional Plot.

In early June, we had a visit from a close friend of EduCulture and lead OWWCC advisor, Kay Sakai Nakao. Kay took some time to tour the newly-planted Island Heritage Strawberry plot, located at Butler Green Farms on historic Suyematsu Farm.  She was accompanied by OWWCC Co-Director and BI Museum Education Director Katy Curtis, who wanted to see the last of the Marshall Strawberries we inherited from the Museum's now-retired Marshall Strawberry Project.

Mrs. Nakao inspected and tasted our historic Marshall Strawberries, along with samples from our Shuksan, Rainier, and Albion patches.  At 94, she delighted our staff with stories of harvesting strawberries, starting at age 7, on the Sakai family farm, located where Ordway Elementary, BISD Administration Building, and part of Commodore School are situated today. Kay showed our staff how she was taught to move and mark strawberry runners to start new plants, and also insisted on digging in with some weeding at the new plot.

Click here to read more about our Heritage Strawberry Program on our website.

On a Spring afternoon, former Bainbridge Island Farmer Kay Sakai Nakao shares weeding and lessons with EduCulture's Jon Garfunkel at our instructional strawberry plot.  At 94, Kay was gracefully weeding twice as much in the same amount of time as Jon or other any EduCulture staff member.

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8th Graders from Seattle's TOPS Make Annual Bainbridge Island Field Trip to Bear Witness to Japanese American Exclusion

OWWCC Director Jon Garfunkel shares stories of Japanese American Exclusion with 8th graders outside the original barn on historic Suyematsu Farm, built by the family in 1928.

This March, The Options Program at Seward School (TOPS) in Seattle made their annual field trip to Bainbridge Island to connect with the living history surrounding the Japanese American experience of  exclusion during WWII. More than 50 eighth grade students, accompanied by a full team of teachers and parents, spent a full day visiting key sites, including Historic Suyematsu Farm (see above photo), Bainbridge Gardens, BI Historical Museum and Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.  They also spent the day with members of Bainbridge Island Japanese American families who lived through the exclusion, and whose histories the students were researching.

Remembering Frank Kitamoto

A Pillar and Mentor for OWWCC

Frank Kitamoto points to himself as a young boy walking with his family and the rest of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community onto the ferry at Eagledale Dock on Bainbridge, March 30, 1942, as they were forced from their homes and shipped to concentration camps during WWII. 

It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of Frank Kitamoto, a pillar of the Bainbridge Island community, a human rights champion of champions, and tireless community leader. Dr. Kitamoto passed away March 15, 2014.
Frank Kitamoto was a prominent, principled, and dedicated voice on the Japanese American experience of exclusion and its significance to our modern age. He helped us as a community to collectively bear witness to a period of tragedy, locally and globally.

Without his leadership, determination, and fierce sense of humanity, most of what we know and now stands to carry forward the legacy of exclusion on Bainbridge Island might not have come to be. It would be fair to say that every oral history project, major book, documentary, feature film, exhibit, educational program, and memorial regarding the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Experience, had behind it his leadership, consultation or guidance.

Click here to finish reading this story on our website.

(R-L) Frank Kitamoto, sister Lilly Kodama and cousin Hisa Matsudaira on our 2010 Delegation to Manzanar

A tribute left in honor of Frank Kitamoto at the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, Bainbridge Island.

EduCulture and the Global Community


Jon Garfunkel presents at NFCC in Austin

NFCC attendees participate in a discussion about world views surrounding food co-organized by EduCulture.

In April, EduCulture traveled to Austin, Texas for the 7th Annual National Farm to Cafeteria Conference (NFCC). Managing Director, Jon Garfunkel, was a presenter and facilitator for three conference sessions, representing  EduCulture and our edible education partnership with Antioch University Seattle. Jon gave a lightning talk called, "Why are we doing this anyway? Grounding a Rationale for Edible Education in K-12 Schools". He also joined forces with community activists from St. Paul, Minnesota to facilitate a workshop on "Creating a Welcoming and Inclusive Cafeteria Table". The third session brought Jon together with Antioch University's Ed Mikel, other edible education leaders, and more than 60 participants for a panel discussion on "Building a Field of Certified Edible Education Teachers". Click here to visit our website and read more about the conference.

Edible Educators brainstorm ways to grow their professional field.

Opportunities to Get Involved and Support the Work of EduCulture

Our Funding Wish List for 2014

We are almost half way to meeting our fundraising goal of $70,000 which will underwrite essential program priorities for 2014:
  • Building vital infrastructure for our demonstration plot  & learning center at Butler Green Farms on Morales Farm
  • Enchancing and enriching our heritage education programs at Historic Suyematsu Farms
  • Launching the phase of teacher training and program planning for our Edible Democracy Project
  • Piloting our Specialization in Edible Education Courses with Antioch University Seattle
  • Piloting our Only What We Can Carry Teacher Institute
  • Sending our 2014 Bainbridge Island Delegation to Manzanar
  • Delivering our Foodshed to Table Dinner Series

Make a Gift Directly to EduCulture 
We are deeply grateful for the generous donations our supporters make directly to EduCulture. Donate directly by check or Paypal through our website.  Checks can be made payable to Global Source Education, and mailed to EduCulture at Global Source, PO Box 11316, Bainbridge Island, WA, 98110.  
Contribute through our Website Here

Bainbridge One Call for All - An Island Tradition

One Call for All is a vital source of underwriting for our edible and heritage education programs. We are honored to be part of this important Island institution of giving and encourage you to support it. Click here to read about the success of our fall campaign.

It's never too late to give to One Call for All. It is a great way to help EduCulture seed our 2014 programs! To contribute to OCFA online, please follow this link; EduCulture is listed under Youth Services and Organizations.
Docent Program
Do you have an enthusiasm for teaching and sharing through edible education and heritage education? EduCulture is building a parent docent program to support our farm-school partnership programs.  Contact us for more information.

Summer Internships Available
We are seeking a few bright and earnest high school or college students interested in volunteering as interns this summer, working with our edible education and heritage education programs. The Internships start at the end of June and run through the end of August, and involve a part- time weekly commitment. Contact us for more information.

Be a Volunteer
Volunteer opportunities are ongoing. We have several exciting projects cooking for next season that we need assistance in establishing and building. Contact us for more information.

With Gratitude

At EduCulture, our programs thrive on a strong network of valued relationships, from the farm to the school to the community. The bridges we help to build are only as strong as these pillars of support. We are grateful to so many people who make our work at EduCulture possible:

Site Partners
(In Memoriam) Suyematsu Farms, Akio Suyematsu
Bainbridge Island Farms, Karen Selvar & Staff
Bainbridge Island History Museum, Staff & Docents
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, Docents
Butler Green Farms, Brian McWhorter & Staff
Heyday Farm, Craig & Alice Skipton, Steve Romein & Ty Cramer & Staff
Laughing Crow Farm & Bainbridge Vineyards, Betsey Wittick & Staff
Paulson Farms, Mike Paulson & Carol Rolph
Perennial Vintners, Mike Lempriere
Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farmers Guild

School Partners, Teacher Partners, Staff, Students and Parent Volunteers
Antioch University Seattle
Bainbridge Island School District
BISD Food & Nutrition Services
Blakely Elementary
Island Coop Preschool
Ordway Elementary
Wilkes Elementary

Community Partners & Supporters
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community
Bainbridge Island One Call for All
Bay Hay & Feed
City of Bainbridge Island
Food Shed
Friends of the Farms
Harbour Public House

Our Team
Jon Garfunkel, Managing Director
Madi Taylor, Lead Instructor, Spring Edible Education Programs
Heidi Urish, Lead Instructor, Island Coop Preschool Farm-School Program
Cindy Vandersluis, Office Manager
Katy Curtis, OWWCC Program Co-Director

A special thank you to those who stepped up in special ways to support the work of EduCulture this Winter & Spring:

Aurora/St. Anthony Peace Garden Project
Bainbridge Island Historic Preservation Commission
Bart Berg
Brenda Berry
Bob Carlson
Christy Carr
Clovis Foundation
Leslee Dixon
Sarah Dugan
Edible Schoolyard Project
Emily & Maddy Garfunkel
Sandy & George Garfunkel
Harbour Public House
Candace Jagel
Frank Kitamoto
Lilly Kodama
Amy Lenahan
Katie McDonald
McToon Studios
Ed Mikel
Kay Nakao
National Farm to School Network
Sears & Associates
Sound Reprographics
Akio Suyematsu Estate
Suyematsu Family
Matsue & Samuel Watanabe
Wertheimer Foundation
Mary Woodward
Judy & Dick Wyman
The Many Fall and Winter One Call for All Donors
The Many Donors to our Winter Food Shed Dinner Fundraiser for the Edible Democracy Project
...And countless others. Thank you!


"We, as humans, have not been given roots as obvious as those of plants. The surest way we have to lodge ourselves within this blessed earth is by knowing where our food comes from."
~Gary Nabhan, A Terroir-ist's Manifesto for Eating in Place

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EduCulture Project at Global Source Education is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving elementary and secondary education in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
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