Education in the Field

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The bounty of the fall harvest awaits the return of eager
students to Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms.

A Letter from the Director 

Hello Colleagues, Friends and Supporters,
Fall is here and has presented EduCulture with an abundance of education in the field. In this Autumn newsletter you can read about the many programs and activities that have filled this season: 
  • Our farm-school partnership program had a busy fall season. More than 20 classes from Wilkes, Ordway, and Blakely Elementary and Island Coop Preschool returned to our demonstration plots at Morales and Heyday Farms to participate in harvesting potatoes the students planted last spring.  Bearing witness to the process of growing healthy, organic food from seed to harvest is a powerful learning experience.
  • Our edible education program, in partnership with the famous Suyematsu Farms Pumpkin Patch, hosted another 20 classes from our partner schools, along with other Kitsap County elementary schools, preschools and day care centers. 
  • The Bite of Bainbridge Program with the Bainbridge Island School District Lunch program is off to a tasty start of the school year featuring Island grown sweet corn, raspberries and potatoes raised by three generations of current and former Bainbridge Island students.
  • The work of EduCulture hit the radio waves this summer. Antioch Faculty and EduCulture Board Member Ed Mikel and I were guests on the Tom Douglas Radio Show in late August, discussing edible education and our partnership with Antioch University Seattle.   
  • In late October, a team from EduCulture made a professional field trip of our own to the famous Edible Schoolyard at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley, CA.  Founded and inspired by chef Alice Waters, the Edible Schoolyard is a model of edible education. Our team spent an enlightening day touring the campus and meeting with the ESY staff.  We are grateful for the warm welcome and professional dialogue, and look forward to a meaningful collaboration with the Edible Schoolyard staff. 
  • This fall we had a wonderful cadre of staff and volunteers supporting our programs. We value the time, energy and efforts contributed by so many good people who have stepped up to make our fall season such as success.
  • We feel especially grateful for the generous community partnerships that help ground and seed our locally grown work. It is always a special affirmation to be recognized for your work by your own community.  This fall, we are honored to be one of the featured local partner agencies of One Call for All, a unique and meaningful Bainbridge Island tradition of giving.  We are equally honored to be the focus of a fundraising campaign led by another Bainbridge Island institution, the Harbour Public House. Jeff and Jocelyn Waite, owners of the Pub, have a feature story about EduCulture on their fall menu, and will be matching up to $7500 in contributions made to EduCulture through One Call for All or directly through our non-profit this fall season. So please take advantage of the opportunity to double your contributions through December! 
You can read about these stories and more in the newsletter and through our website:
It takes a strong network of valued relationships to make our programs thrive.  We, at EduCulture, have deep appreciation and gratitude for these relationships and for the abundance they provided those we served this season.
Thank You!

Jon Garfunkel,
Founder and Managing Director

Farm-School Partnership Programs 

Stories from the Fall Harvest Season

Wilkes and Ordway Schools visit Morales Farm, 
Blakely School hikes to Heyday Farm

As students were busy getting accustomed to their new classrooms and teachers, EduCulture staff members were scheduling farm visits and working in the field to design stimulating programs for students from preschool to 4th grade. 

EduCulture staff see firsthand the joy that students experience as they unearth their treasure in the form of potatoes, hidden beneath mounds of soil, weeds and rocks. Education Fellow Nick Poccia helped guide students from Ordway, Blakely and Wilkes Elementary Schools as they harvested potatoes at our demonstration plots at Morales and Heyday Farms, taking them through the steps of counting, weighing, and sorting, gathering data they will use back in the classroom for extended study. We also fried up a tasty skillet full of potatoes fresh from the field, scrubbed, cut in quarters, and cooked over the camp stove flame for students to taste before heading back to school. We are thankful for our partnership with Farmers Craig & Alice Skipton of Heyday and Brian MacWhorter of Butler Green Farms at Morales, which makes these programs possible. Read all about a lesson in the field here.

Field Trips to the Famous Pumpkin Patch at Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms

Class by class, in groups of anywhere from 10 to 30 students at a time, preschool, kindergarten and 1st graders are making memories and learning pumpkin facts on their visits to the Pumpkin Patch. Schools visiting include Wilkes, Ordway, Blakely, St. Cecilia's, Indianola PreK, Peacock Family Center, Head Start BI, First Years, BCNS, and Brownsville. Upon arriving, they first catch a glimpse of green fields dotted with an abundance of pumpkins and rows of grape leaves turning gold with the season. Then it's time for hands-on exploration of a myriad of pumpkin and squash varieties, down to the anatomy of a pumpkin. Before they leave, each child carefully chooses the perfect sugar pie pumpkin to take home. These lessons are possible because of our partnership with Farmer Karen Selvar of BI Farms and Suyematsu Farms. Educator Kristie Smith describes what it's like to lead a class in a pumpkin lesson.


Island Coop Preschool

ICP students are in their third year of edible education. Led by teacher Ellen Carleson, they make several farm visits each season, including the fall program at the Pumpkin Patch and Morales. No matter the weather, these preschoolers are enthusiastic learners, absorbing all they can about pumpkins, potatoes and chickens. Collaboration between ICP and EduCulture staff makes for visits that are focused and fun. Read more about how Educator Heidi Urish, also a former EduCulture intern, helps get the students engaged.

Bite of Bainbridge

In 2010, we broke new ground by starting the Bite of Bainbridge program with the Bainbridge Island School District. Each year, hundreds of pounds of produce grown by students and local farmers are featured in the school lunch program. 

In early October, locally grown corn raised by Karen Selvar of Bainbridge Island Farms (Class of '82) was served in school lunches throughout the school district. BISD once again purchased 300 pounds of Akio Suyematsu's Raspberries (Class of '42) which are served at Bainbridge High School in yogurt & granola parfaits. The raspberries are also served at Sakai and Woodward schools as a topping for waffles. Later in the fall, locally grown and student sown potatoes raised by more than 20 classes from Wilkes, Ordway and Blakely Elementary Schools will be a featured in the Bite of Bainbridge program.

Highlights from the Summer

We celebrated the Spring season and kicked off the summer with a community work party and brunch featuring food from our demonstration plot and partner farmers, prepared in fine form by The Food Shed

Leslee Pate and Pam Buitenveld, of The Food Shed, setting out delicious treats for a community work party at Morales Farm.

Over the July 4th weekend, our OWWCC project joined a cast of Bainbridge Island organizations in hosting more than 100 visitors from around the country who were attending the National Conference for the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Their field trip to Bainbridge Island included a walking tour and taste of Historic Suyematsu Farm, along with tours of the BI Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, Bainbridge Gardens, and Sakai School. The JANM group was particularly interested in the farm because of its origins, continuity, and authenticity. Visitors enjoyed Suyematsu Farm raspberries as part of their lunch that day. We are grateful to the Suyematsu Family and Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farmers Guild for their collaboration in leading the farm tours. 

See a video of the JANM visit to Bainbridge Island.

Jon Garfunkel was happy to have Eiko Suyematsu by his side for the JANM Tours.

EduCulture once again hosted a day at historic Suyematsu Farm for the History Summer Camp, run annually by the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum. EduCulture staff joined forces with community elders to make Island history come alive for a great group of young campers. Gary Sakuma did the honors of dressing up, taking on the persona of Yasuji Suyematsu and taking campers back to 1928 when he and his family pioneered their own family farm.  It is always a special day for all involved.

Gary Sakuma plays Yasuji Suyematsu for History Camp 

This July and August saw the first course in a professional education series we are developing in partnership with Antioch University Seattle, called Specialization in Edible Education. Five Antioch Graduate Education Students and one non-formal educator participated in a three-day summer course called "Food in Context," that explored our regional food community through field experiences on Bainbridge Island, Suquamish and Seattle. This pilot series of course will be the foundation for the first-ever Edible Education Certificate Program, which which will serve to meet the WA State endorsement in Environmental and Sustainability Education offered through Antioch. Explore more here

Celebration of Akio Suyematsu Day

Friends and relatives of Akio's turned out for the 2nd annual Akio Suyematsu Day, to honor this locally-grown hero with tributes and remembrances of his generosity and influence within the community. 

Farmer Brian MacWhorter, President of Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farmers Guild, honoring Akio Suyematsu.  

Over the July 4th weekend, our OWWCC project joined a cast of Bainbridge Island organizations in hosting more than 100 visitors from around the country who were attending the National Conference for the Japanese American National Museum (JANM). Their field trip to Bainbridge Island included a walking tour and taste of Historic Suyematsu Farm, along with tours of the BI Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, Bainbridge Gardens, and Sakai School. The JANM group was particularly interested in the farm because of its origins, continuity, and authenticity. Visitors enjoyed Suyematsu Farm raspberries as part of their lunch that day. We are grateful to the Suyematsu Family and Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farmers Guild for their collaboration in leading the farm tours. 

EduCulture & Community

EduCulture featured on Seattle Kitchen Radio Show

EduCulture's Jon Garfunkel and Ed Mikel of Antioch University Seattle were recently interviewed by Seattle restauranteur Tom Douglas and chef Thierry Rautureau on the KIRO Radio 97.3 FM “Seattle Kitchen” show, which aired September 21. The theme was “The Kale Revolution and Edible Education.” The discussion centered around the Edible Democracy Project and the geographical, political, and socio-economic impact of food in the West. Listen to it here.

EduCulture Field Trip to
The Edible Schoolyard, Berkeley, CA

The Edible Schoolyard, created in 1995 by the Chez Panisse Foundation, is a one-acre organic garden and kitchen classroom at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Berkeley. The garden supplies hundreds of pounds of seasonal organic produce to the program's kitchen classes, produce giveaways at the school, and local community programs. EduCulture was honored to visit the Berkeley campus and dialogue with ESY staff this fall, a visit that was inspired by Jon Garfunkel's encounters with Alice Waters at Terra Madre over the past few years. Read more here about our visit

Upcoming this Fall at EduCulture

Sunday, December 15, 4-7pm
Filipino-American Community Hall
7566 NE High School Road,
Bainbridge Island, WA

A Slow, Foodshed to Table Dinner to Honor the Holiday Season 


Join EduCulture for a special Sunday Dinner to help honor and celebrate the holiday season, and raise some funds for edible education. This five course, foodshed to table dinner, sourced by our program partners The Food Shed, will feature a menu representing our local and regional food tradition, prepared in a farm style meant to authentically mark this time of the year - SLOW. This event will also recognize Terra Madre Day (12/10). Entertainment will be provided by a special guest musicians and storytellers.  This event is a benefit for our Edible Democracy Project. Visit our website to learn more and sign up for this special event, click here. Seating is limited.

Stay Tuned for Announcements
about  Winter & Spring Programs 
  • Farm-School Partnership Classes
  • Edible Education Field Studies Classes for Educators
  • Foodshed to Table Convivium Series
  • Only What We Can Carry Student Field Classes
  • Only What We Can Carry Teacher Institute 
  • 2014 Bainbridge Delegation to Manzanar

Community Partnerships  Supporting the work of  EduCulture!

Our "Call" for Bainbridge One Call for All, An Island Tradition

Exciting News! By now, Bainbridge Islanders will have received your red envelope in the mail outlining the many worthy non-profit organizations eligible for donations. This year, EduCulture is one of five featured partner agencies in the One Call for All campaign. Read a feature article about EduCulture in a recent issue of the Bainbridge Review.

One Call for All is becoming a vital source of underwriting for our edible education programs. We are honored to be part of this important Island institution of giving and encourage you to support it. Help EduCulture seed our locally grown and student sown edible education programs in 2013-14! To contribute online, please follow this link; EduCulture is listed under Youth Services and Organizations.

Harbour Public House Launches Fall  Matching Campaign for EduCulture

More Exciting News! Harbour Public House is partnering with EduCulture on a fundraising campaign to benefit our edible education programs. For every dollar donated to EduCulture directly or through One Call for All, the Pub will contribute one dollar, matching up to $7500 in contributions. We are grateful to Jeff & Jocelyn Waite for their thoughtful and meaningful act of community commitment, caring and philanthropy. So enjoy a meal or two at the Pub this fall, and while you're there, enjoy the article about EduCulture on the new fall menu. And please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to EduCulture that can be generously matched by Harbour Pub! Please be sure to indicate "Pub" on your donation form or check so that it is matched. If you have already donated, it is not too late! Just contact One Call for All and indicate that you would like your donation linked to the Pub campaign.

Follow this link for more information on this Special Community Partnership.

Supporting EduCulture Directly
We are deeply grateful for the generous donations our supporters make directly to EduCulture. For every dollar donated this fall to EduCulture directly, or through One Call for All, the Harbour Public House will contribute one dollar, matching up to $7500 in contributions. Please mark "Pub" on your donation form or check so we can track these matching donations.  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

Our 2014 Funding Wish List
Our  ambitious fundraising goal of $70,000 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
  • Launching our Foodshed to Table Dinner Series

Docent Program
Do you have an enthusiasm for teaching and sharing through  edible education and heritage education. EduCulture is building a docent program to support our farm-school partnership programs.  Contact us for more information.

Internships open
We are seeking a bright and earnest high school or college intern interest in local history and heritage. An internship position is open to work with our Only What We Can Carry Project. Applicant must demonstrate an interest in social studies, with strong organizational skills. This is ideal for a high school senior project. Contact us for more information 

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 bridge we help to build are only are strong as these pillars of support. We are grateful to so many people who make our work at EduCulture possible:

Farm Partners
(In Memoriam) Akio Suyematsu, Suyematsu Farms
Brian McWhorter, Butler Green Farms
Betsey Wittick, Laughing Crow Farm & Bainbridge Vineyards
Karen Selvar, Bainbridge Island Farms
Mike Paulson & Carol Rolph, Paulson Farms
Mike Lempriere, Perennial Vintners
Craig & Alice Skipton, Steve Romein & Ty Cramer, Heyday Farms

School Partners
Bainbridge Island School District
Wilkes Elementary
Ordway Elementary
Blakely Elementary
BISD Food & Nutrition Services
Island Coop Preschool
Antioch University Seattle

Community Partners
One Call for All
City of Bainbridge Island
Friends of the Farms
Bainbridge Island History Museum
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community
JANM Visit Planning Committee
Harbour House Pub
The Food Shed
Bay Hay & Feed
Grover's Creek Hatchery, Suquamish Tribe

Our Fall EduCulture Team
  • Nick Poccia, Fall Edible Education Fellow, did an excellent job leading fall farm-school classes.  We wish you the best.
  • Kristie Smith, Fall Edible Education Intern and BHS Alum, did a super job leading our Pumpkin Patch program.  Best wishes in your new position with Gilda's Club.
  • Heidi Urish, Farm-School Advisor and Former Intern, brought her talents to the table to lead our Farm-School Classes with Island Coop Preschool.
  • Deep gratitude to Katie McDonald, who joined EduCulture earlier this year to help, manage our office, lead edible ed classes, launch our new website, and made many other valuable contributions.  We wish you well in following your dreams.
  • Special welcome our new office manager Cindy Vandersluis, who has done an impressive job filling Katie's shoes and managing our fall program season.  We are glad to have your steady presence.
A special thank you to those to stepped up to support EduCulture in special ways this summer and fall:
Gerard & Jo Ann Bentryn
Brenda Berry
Christy Carr
Katy Curtis
Jerry Elfendal
Kate Jaffe
Lilly & Joe Kodama
Alli Krug
Ed Mikel
Kay Nakao
Rob Purser
The Suyematsu Family
Estate of Akio Suyematsu
Madi Taylor
Jeff & Jocelyn Waite
Wertheimer Foundation
Ryan, Russell and Paul at Morales Farm
Butler Green & Laughing Crow Farm Interns Taylor, Emily, Sean and Zach

To all those throughout the local community and beyond who continue to support our work in so many wonderful ways - thank you!

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. 
For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. 
~Edwin Way Teale

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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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