Education in the Field

Spring Review Edition 2015

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Wilkes Elementary School 4th graders from Bill Covert's class enjoyed their last farm field class as fourth graders harvesting strawberries (Marshalls, Shuksans, Rainiers and Albions) at our Island Heritage Strawberry Patch with Butler Green Farms on Historic Suyematsu Farm. These strawberries, raised on the last of the original Bainbridge Island farms, are part of their study (and tasting) of Bainbridge Island history.

In this Spring Edition, we feature stories and news about recent programs, and those coming up.  We hope you enjoy this issue!

Notes from the Field
Spring 2015


Hello Friends of EduCulture,

It has been a busy spring, with the season kicking in earlier than usual, with time that seemed to fly by as we traversed the gardens, coops, farms, classrooms, and lunchrooms that make up our landscapes of learning.
You may find this a lengthy newsletter because we have lots of stories and images to share from an abundant season of edible and heritage education programming. Here is what you will find in this Spring Review:
·      On the edible education front, we had a full season of spring programming with our partner schools, delivering close to 40 field classes on our partner farms and campuses.

·      We were also busy working in our capacity serving as edible education liaison for the Bainbridge Island School District. You will read about the many ways edible education is manifesting across curriculum, grades and schools.

·      EduCulture has also been working across the wider Northwest Foodshed. You will read about the Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program we are launching with our higher education partner, Antioch University Seattle, starting with a summer course on Education Toward Food, Citizenship & Community.  

·      Earlier in the year, EduCulture was invited to be a member of the Puget Sound Regional Food Policy Council, representing the K-12 sector. It is an honor to serve our region in this capacity, and you can read more about the Food Policy Council in this edition.  

·      We feature an interview with Howard Block, owner of Bay Hay & Feed, who has been helping to literally seed our edible education programs each Spring.

·      We also feature an interview with Mary Woodward, one of our lead advisors for our Only What We Can Carry Project, about her life growing up with the Bainbridge Review and becoming one of our major local voices on the history and politics of Japanese American Exclusion.

·      There are stories about our heritage education programs with local schools.

·      Follow up to our winter programming with Snow Falling on Cedars

·      News about our efforts to support preservation of historic farmland on Bainbridge Island.

·      And more…

We hope you enjoy this Spring Review as much as we enjoy delivering the programs and projects that make up these stories you will be reading.
The work of EduCulture is about enhancing and enriching school and community wellness by connecting place and taste to how we live, eat and learn.
With gratitude to dozens of people who partner and collaborate with us to meet the needs of the thousands we serve.
Jon Garfunkel,
Founder and Managing Director

P.S. Your support for the work of EduCulture means more to us than ever. If you like what you are reading about our work, we invite you to step forward to make a contribution to help sustain these efforts to foster scholarship, stewardship, citizenship and community for this and future generations of young people.

Student Centered
Edible Education Programs


Spring 2015

Spring Classes in the Field

EduCulture Instructor Valerie Randall preps Wilkes 2nd grade students from Vicki Milander's class to transplant pumpkin starts at the Morales Farm Instructional Plot with Butler Green Farms. The students seeded these starts at school with seeds they saved from their fall harvest and others donated by Bay Hay & Feed.

EduCulture is fortunate to have the contributions of talented educators such as Valerie Randall. Valerie has lived on each of the five major continents, providing her with an appreciation for cultural diversity and global interconnectedness. She has taught English as a second language and mentored refugees during resettlement to the U.S. Valerie worked with Big City Mountaineers as a mentor for disadvantaged urban youth, leading backpacking excursions into the Colorado back country. In 2009, her interest in organic food production and herbal medicine brought her to Persephone Farm in North Kitsap. Since then she has also worked for Heron Botanicals and studied nursery greenhouse propagation with horticulturist Dan Hinkley. Along with her work for EduCulture, she is currently managing the greenhouses at North Kitsap High School, working with their culinary arts program. Here, Valerie shares some insight into our spring classes:
"EduCulture edible education field classes typically culminate with field work and tasting activity appropriate to the season: planting potatoes, weeding strawberries, or rotating.That said, I often begin my farm-visit welcome with a reminder that one of our main tasks is to simply observe. On any given day, the farm offers a landscape for learning.

Lessons from all disciplines come to life as we enter the wide, meandering border zone between the natural world and the man-made. I invite the students to touch the soft green tips of new growth on the evergreen trees; we hypothesize about the algae growing on the retainer ponds; and the sweet, mild smell of finished compost offers insight into the process by which the soil community transforms manure into fertilizer.

Rather than simply receiving information via discussions, readings, pictures, or even songs or activities (such as we have in the classroom), our time spent on the farm is one in which the lived world is lain before us in all its juicy, prickly reality: ripe strawberries, spider webs, crunchy peas, and puddles.

And of course, we tie back to the curriculum as much as our classroom teachers are able and willing to serve as a window into what they are encountering within their schools and school gardens.

Our children set out readily and joyfully on a voyage of discovery during their visits to the farm, which is the sweetest delight! We usually reach a shared destination of learning goals; I take equal pleasure in these small victories as I do in witnessing their offshoots, inspirations, and temperaments blossoming in the lengthening sun."
- Valerie Randall


A Diversity of Plant Pathways for Diverse Farms and Schools

EduCulture's field classes for Wilkes Elementary School at Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms and Morales Farm cover a diversity of activities customized to the curricular needs and interests of the teachers and their students. Plant pathways connect working farms, instructional farms, school gardens and classrooms: 
- 1st grade follows greens, such as kale and lettuces
- 2nd grade follows pumpkins
- 3rd grade follows potatoes
- 4th grade follows strawberries

Island Coop Preschool students follow a customized pre-school curriculum for fall and spring seasons that involve bi-weekly field classes on Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms and Morales Farm.

Ordway Elementary students explore what is new on Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms and Morales Farm each season with a tour, tasting activity, and other lessons that they connect to their classroom and school garden work.

Blakely Elementary classes are able to walk to nearby Heyday Farm, where students follow the Pasture Dance curriculum.

Island Coop Preschool students make several farm visits during each season with their teacher Ellen Carleson, led by EduCulture instructor Leslee Dixon. Lessons include seeding spinach and pumpkins, transplanting kale, and touring Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms and Morales Farm, noticing the differences on the farms from season to season. Toward the end of the school year the "Orcas" are mentoring the "Dolphins," their younger counterparts, and helping introduce them to important farm lessons such as what compost is and how it is used.

Wilkes 4th graders from Bill Covert's class come to Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farm to study Bainbridge Island history and conduct some science field work at our Island Heritage Strawberry Patch. Their observations include completing botanical illustrations of each stage of a strawberry plant's development.

Richard Pearsall's 3rd grade class from Wilkes plants Makah Ozette seed potatoes at our Morales Farm instructional plot with Butler Green Farms, for next year's third grade harvest. This heirloom potato, brought by Spanish Traders from South America to the Makah Tribe hundreds of years ago, is part of their social study curriculum on the Northwest Native experience.

All 1st grade students from Ordway Elementary visit our partner farms each Fall and Spring. This May, our field classes began with a tasting activity at our Island Heritage Strawberry Patch. Students then took a scavenger hunt walk through Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farm down to Morales Farm where they harvested strawberry daughter plants to place in planters back at the Ordway School Garden.

Blakely Elementary Kindergartners from Sue Morris' class at Heyday Farm. Modeling the culture of the working farm, EduCulture instructors facilitate a "Pasture Dance" curriculum to teach about how farm animals (cows, pigs, and chickens) aid in the building of healthy soil, which results in raising healthy animals, which in turn creates healthy food for our community.


Update on Edible Education Initiative with Bainbridge Island School District

EduCulture is honored to be serving in a liaison capacity for Bainbridge Island School District’s (BISD) Edible Education Initiative. This year, we were contacted by BISD to strengthen and add the educational architecture to maintain and sustain edible education programming across grades K-12. Working broadly across departments, from Curriculum & Instruction to Buildings & Maintenance to Food & Nutrition Services, we focused on articulating a comprehensive rationale for edible education within Bainbridge Schools.  We have been working with BISD leadership and staff across the district to bring a holistic, system-wide approach to the role of food in Bainbridge Schools, while honoring and nurturing the unique culture and interests of each school. This included delivering program and curriculum support to enhance, enrich and enliven what is already on the curricular plates of teachers and students. Here are some of the major principles that are guiding this work:
·     Enhancing, expanding, and advancing the role of edible education throughout the district, with a methodology that is aligned with BISD policies and existing core learning goals and objectives, and helps improve the culture of the classroom, school, and district.
·     Providing enriching, enlivened authentic settings across classrooms, campuses, lunchrooms, and the wider community to help meet best practices in teaching and learning and help strengthen the District’s wellness policies.
·     Creating learning environments for edible education that are made accessible to meet the needs of every child in the district.
·     Building broader and more durable support networks to grow and maintain edible education within BISD for years to come.
Here are some programmatic highlights from this school year:
·     Cultivating School Garden Programs: EduCulture is working with schools across the district to support existing school garden programs at schools like Wilkes Elementary, Odyssey, and Woodward Middle School, and we are helping to support the start of new school garden programs at Ordway Elementary, Mosaic Home-School Program, and Bainbridge High School.  We are working to reinforce BISD school garden policy and procedures, and working with staff to develop a handbook of best practices for teaching and learning with school gardens. We are also working on establishing regular school garden liaison time for each school in 2015-16.  

Assisting Mary Madison's 4th grade class in preparing their Wilkes school garden beds for Spring planting.

·     Closing the loop on food waste recycling across BISD. EduCulture has been working all year long with BISD administrators, custodians, teachers and students to research and organize food waste recycling systems across the district. This work has included meetings with various stakeholders, observing school lunch procedures, assessing the industrial composter at BHS, redesigning food waste stations, updating signage and access to information, streamlining collection, and re-educating and enculturating the school communities around better practices.
·     Earth Day Campaign: Jon Garfunkel worked with Joe Rice’s Leadership Class to develop and lead a Food Waste Recycling Campaign at Bainbridge High School on Earth Day in April. Students researched the issues on campus and developed an on-line survey about food waste recycling at school and home that was completed by over 370 students, and monitored food waste recycling stations and engaged classmates about food waste habits. Information from the campaign will be used to improve the food waste recycling system at the high school and across the district.
·     Growing our Instructional Farm Program and Enriching High School Curriculum: We continued to pilot our community as curriculum project with Town & Country Markets. This spring, EduCulture once again organized field classes for Bainbridge High School Global Citizenship students to MiddleField Farm on Bainbridge Island as part of their unit on farming and food. MiddleField Farm is situated on historic farmland owned by the Nakata Family, and is within walking distance of BHS. Today, this farm raises fresh produce for Town & Country Markets. Teachers and students were led on a walking tour by Farm Manager Brian MacWhorter, who spoke about organic and sustainable agricultural production, and Larry and Vern Nakata of Town & Country Markets, who spoke about the retail food business.  

Coordinating Field Classes at MiddleField Farm, owned by Town & Country Markets, for Bainbridge High School Seniors. Guest Presenters Larry Nakata of Town & Country Markets and Farm Manager Brian MacWhorter of Butler Green Farms, standing with teacher Larry Holland and his Global Citizenship students.

·      Integrating with the Common Core Standards: As BISD works through their new science curriculum adoption, we have been working with science coordinator Deborah Rudnick to align the elementary grades science standards and study kits with their edible education programming.
·     Enhancing Family & Consumer Science Education (FACSE): EduCulture staff worked with FASCE Educator Ryenn Deitz to enrich her food-related curriculum by growing indoor and outdoor garden herbs for culinary projects. We also worked with Christine Fulghum, FACSE Educator at Woodward Middle School, to support her food studies and school garden programs.   
·     Starting a Chicken In Residence Program for BISD Schools (see story below)

We deeply appreciate all of the support we have received from the BISD and wider Bainbridge Island community in coordinating the Edible Education Initiative. Special thanks this year to Julie Goldsmith, Juliette Brown, Tamela Van Winkle, Dane Fenwick, Mark Sperazza, and Vicky Marsing. Thank you to Bainbridge Schools Foundation for their tremendous support in underwriting so much of the important work we accomplished during the 2014-15 school year on behalf of Bainbridge Island School District.


"Chicken in Residence" Program Has Its First Pilot

"Having a broody hen and watching chicks hatch and grow was a wonderful opportunity for our kindergartners," says Suzanne Darling. "They looked forward to tracking embryo development daily and enjoyed watching 'Henrietta' and then her chicks!" "It truly was an exciting moment when we candled the eggs and actually saw the chicks moving," says Carol Cottle. "We hope to continue our chick study each year."

This spring, EduCulture piloted its first “Chicken in Residence” program with Kindergarten Classes at school partner Wilkes Elementary, as part of this grade’s edible education pathway studying the life cycle of chickens. Over a period of a month in a special coop set up outside their classrooms, two classes of students studied and observed a hen sitting on fertile eggs for 21 days, then hatching a small brood of chicks. The Kindergarten classes also visited a neighbor’s chicken coop to observe a small flock of chickens, and even the art teacher made an assignment out of the experience for these students. There is a lot to learn from watching a mother hen raise her chicks. Thanks to teacher partners Suzanne Darling and Carole Cottle, custodian Kurt VanDuzer, Art Teacher Jill Queen, and parent docent Alli Krug for their support with this successful pilot program.

Student Centered
Heritage Education Programs



Snow Falling on Cedars Performances for Students

Only What We Can Carry (OWWCC), EduCulture’s heritage and human rights education program, partnered with Bainbridge Performing Arts (BPA) and other Island organizations in a full menu of educational activities surrounding and supporting the BPA stage adaptation of the book Snow Falling on Cedars, written by Bainbridge Island author David Guterson. Included in that program was our role assisting with special matinee performances in March for nearly 400 middle school and high school students and teachers. OWWCC facilitated pre and post-show classroom and curricular activities focusing on the real story behind this fictional account of WWII and Japanese American exclusion, including compiling special educational packets for teachers containing curricular resources and suggestions.

Woodward Middle School students view an exhibit in the BPA lobby about Japanese American exclusion during WWII prior to attending a special performance of Snow Falling on Cedars.

OWWCC's Jon Garfunkel facilitates a post-performance "talkback" for students and educators; onstage are cast members, author David Guterson, and Kay Sakai Nakao, whose family was sent to the former Manzanar Relocation Center during WWII.

Bainbridge High School students gather outside BPA with teachers, cast members, community educators and Japanese American elders who experienced exclusion.

Exclusion Tag Project

As part of the community conversation surrounding Snow Falling on Cedars, audience members (both students and adults) were invited to share how the experience of exclusion relates to their own life, by recording their answer on tags similar to those issued to Japanese Americans during their forced removal in WWII. Completed tags were displayed in the BPA lobby and later at Waterfront Park Community Center. They will be archived at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum.  OWWCC worked closely with BPA staff and other community partners to create this educational and reflective learning experience, with tags donated by the National Park Service. 

A few examples of comments written on the tags:

"My beloved grandparents survived the Holocaust. They were Polish Jews who were forced to abandon family and flee to Russia and “Middle Asia” (as they always called it) for the years of the war from 1939 on. They lost family and had to wander through Europe working their way to the U.S. in 1951 to start anew. They never wished for anyone to have such an experience ever again."

"People of color being pulled off a train I travelled for several months in 2002 from Ontario to NY State when we crossed from Canada to the U.S."

"The time I remember I was excluded was when I was in the 1st grade and we were doing a class activity and I was extremely shy. No one talked to me and if they did, they would tease me. I made only one best friend."

"I won’t forget the potential for injustice that arises from fear. This memorial will help me and others to learn acceptance and generosity, no matter how tempting it is to be afraid and selfish."

View More Exclusion Tag Responses Here.


8th Graders From TOPS Make Annual Bainbridge Island Field Trip

Seattle 8th graders share lunch and conversation with Bainbridge Island community elders while viewing the documentary "Visible Target" at the Filipino-American Hall on Bainbridge Island.

This April, the Options Program at Seward School (TOPS) in Seattle made their annual field trip to Bainbridge Island to experience with the living history surrounding Japanese American Exclusion during WWII, as part of their study of the American immigrant experience. More than 50 eighth graders, accompanied by teachers and parents, experienced Bainbridge Island as a living interpretative center, spending a full day visiting key sites, including Historic Suyematsu Farm, Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

Click Here to Read a Student's Poem Inspired by the Visit.

Educator Centered Programs

Edible Education


EduCulture Partners with Antioch University Seattle to Launch Leadership in Edible Education Program starting Summer 2015

Through an on-going partnership with the Master of Arts in Education Program at Antioch University Seattle, and their professional endorsement program in Environmental and Sustainability Education, EduCulture is launching a groundbreaking Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program, designed for formal and informal educators and other professionals who are interested in making a difference through edible education, in schools and the wider community. This leadership program is spread over four quarterly courses aimed at building the professional repertoire of those who seek to work in the field of edible education.

The Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program aims to help define this evolving field of study, examine best practices and programmatic landscapes, and help students find a place for themselves in this growing educational movement.

Leadership in Edible Education Certificate Program Schedule:
Course I: Education Towards Food Citizenship and Community
Summer 2015: July 9, 16, 23, 30 
Course II: Food in Schools and Postsecondary Institutions: Fall 2015
Course III: Edible Education I; Theory and Practice: Winter 2016
Course IV: Edible Education II; Field Experience and Culminating Field Project: Spring 2016

Field Classes will be held at multiple sites in Seattle and on Bainbridge Island 

Read more at our website.


Educator Centered Programs

Heritage Education


Teaching What We Can Carry Summer Field Study
August 19, 2015; 8a-5p, Bainbridge Island, WA

Visiting educators studying the Japanese American Experience at Historic Suyematsu Farm.

“We who are in education, cannot know, cannot truly know how it was, how it is, but we can attend to some of the voices, some of the stories.  And as we do so, our perspectives on the meanings of freedom and the possibility of freedom in this country may particularize and expand.”  
– Maxine Greene, The Dialectic of Freedom

Teaching What We Can Carry Field Programs offer professional and curriculum development designed for elementary and secondary school educators responsible for teaching and learning about the Japanese American Experience of Exclusion during WWII, or those who are interested in embarking upon this subject of study for their curriculum.
Situated on Bainbridge Island, this teacher training program will use this small Puget Sound community’s unique story with WWII and the Japanese American Exclusion as a case study to bring this important and relevant regional and global topic of study to life for 21st century students.

Through EduCulture’s Only What We Can Carry Project, participants will spend a full day visiting key heritage sites and following the lives of Bainbridge Island Japanese American families who immigrated from Japan, established livelihoods, became citizens, then were forced into concentration camps during WWII.  Site visits include historic Suyematsu Farm, Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.  Participants will dialogue with original Bainbridge Islanders whose families lived through WWII and Exclusion.  
The aim of this workshop is to help you as an educator to bear witness and bring this period of history alive for your students, while modeling field classes and learning experiences you can facilitate for your students.
For more information about attending this summer program, please contact EduCulture at: 
or call (206) 780-5797.

Community Centered Programs and Projects

Edible Education

Featured Partners

An Interview with Howard Block

Bay Hay & Feed


Bay Hay & Feed Owner Howard Block loads up some spring offerings in the store's nursery.

Bay Hay & Feed, an institution in the Bainbridge Island Rolling Bay neighborhood, was established by Howard Block and Ce-Ann Parker 35 years ago. In 2011, the business was named one of the "Washington Green 50," a list of the most sustainably operated companies in the state. Each year, the store donates over 600 vegetable and flower seed packets to EduCulture, which are used in greenhouses, school gardens, and instructional plots. Jon Garfunkel recently talked with Howard about the store's beginnings, and plans for the future.

JG: When and why did you start Bay Hay & Feed as a business on Bainbridge Island?

HB: November ‘79 we opened. I didn’t do it with the intention of having a feed store; I did it with the intention of just buying the building, and at first putting in a natural food’s business. I said, “I’ll try the feed store first for a little bit” – and liked it right away. Because it was a feed store prior to our purchasing it, it worked out great.

JG: What was your experience in feed stores prior to starting the business?

HB: None – I had no feed store experience prior – I had a lot of retail experience. My roommate from University of New Hampshire was here the day I bought it, and he had grown up on a farm. The previous owner who said he would be here to help and train me never really came back to the store after he sold it, so I was out there on my own. With the help of customers and my roommate from college, I was able to get through the first week, and the only thing I had raised prior to that was chickens, so I was pretty green.

JG: Whose needs were you meeting in the community at that time?

HB: The whole animal kingdom on Bainbridge Island has changed over the years. There were a lot more horses in peoples’ backyards; a lot of people had chickens, raised rabbits, and sheep. There were a few cows on the island, you could count them on one hand. About 20-30 people raising pigs, and there were a lot of roosters being raised – that’s who we were catering to back then. And then we just started building from that, going by word of mouth. We didn’t really advertise; we basically provided people with the food they needed, and then started asking, “well, what would you like to see?” We started growing from there. We got more products in relating to animals. We were the first people to sell Science Diet, a premium dog food; people thought we were crazy selling a bag of dog food for $25, it was unheard of. We realized better food is better for the dog and Science Diet was virtually the only one back then. We started building the dog and cat business, and that pulled more customers in. And as our customer count increased, we were able to increase our product count. As you have more regular people coming in you can find more products for them to purchase. A few years into it, my wife Ce-Ann decided she was not that interested in the feed business; she has a horticulture degree and decided to open up a nursery. So that we did – we opened up Bay Hay & Feed. 

Read the Full Interview Here.

EduCulture Appointed to Regional Food Policy Council

As of May 2015, EduCulture has been appointed for a three-year term as a new member of the Regional Food Policy Council, providing our organization with the opportunity to contribute to efforts to build a stronger regional food system. The Regional Food Policy Council partners with community, business, agriculture, and government in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap Counties to develop integrated and sustainable policies and action recommendations that strengthen local and regional food systems. Goals include supporting economic development, protecting agricultural land, and working together to help the region think strategically and sustainably about the food system. The Council was established in 2010 and has a diverse membership of 30, representing area institutions, businesses, jurisdictions and community organizations.

Community Centered Programs and Projects

Heritage Education

Featured Partners

An Interview with Mary Woodward
Educator, Historian, Author

To meet Mary Woodward is to meet history in motion. In the present, she thrives on capturing the past, so that we can carry it into the future. Her head is full of historical facts, family trees, and stories that define the heritage of the community where she was born and raised; a rural Island community in the Puget Sound thrust into national and global prominence when WWII was brought to American shores. As an educator, historian and author, Mary is always eager to learn more so that she can add to our collective public memory of Bainbridge Island.  

Born during the aftermath of WWII, Mary was raised amongst a complicit silence about the war and Japanese American Exclusion that overtook Bainbridge Island and much of the country for the four decades that followed. However, as the daughter of Walt and Milly Woodward, the owners and editors of the Bainbridge Review during the tumultuous years surrounding WWII, Mary grew up aware and curious to know more.
The Bainbridge Review stood out during WWII as the only newspaper in the country to offer a voice and place on the pages for their Japanese American neighbors. The Woodwards helped to maintain an inclusive sense of community for Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island while they were in concentration camps that made them feel they had a home to return to after the war.

It can be challenging to follow in the shoes of iconic parents who are revered as champions of civil liberties. Mary Woodward has made a path in life that is her own, that has included honoring the legacy of her parents and becoming a prominent voice on the history and politics of the Exclusion. In 2008, she authored the book, In Defense of our Neighbors: The Walt and Milly Woodward Story, which is the most authoritative and complete history of Bainbridge Island surrounding WWII and exclusion.

Mary maintains an active presence in her community. She serves as President of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community, and was dedicated to the development of the Exclusion Memorial on Bainbridge Island. She represents her family at Woodward Middle School, named after her parents. Mary is also a lead advisor and presenter for EduCulture’s Only What We Can Carry Project, and has been a frequent member of our Delegations to Manzanar. Her body of work has helped to weave strong threads of continuity from original community to the present that will last long into the future. We are honored to have the opportunity to help you learn more about this community treasure. 
- Jon Garfunkel

JG: What was it like growing up in the household of the family that owned and authored the Island’s only newspaper, and what do you remember about the conversations at your dinner table in the 1950’s?

MW: It was great growing up in that family. One of the reasons is this amazing community of printers and newspaper people that my folks gathered. Coffee break was delightful; John Rudolph would come downstairs from his architect’s office and other folks - my Uncle Freddy - would drop by – both of those guys had the best senses of humor, we would laugh; they all took care of us. And I got to work at the Review when I was in high school – that was kind of fun. Dinner table conversations - my folks had an interest in reading everything. So maybe mother had just read an interesting article in the Saturday Review (for example).

JG: Do you trace your current passion for our Island’s heritage and community back to those days growing up on the Island or did that evolve for you later in life?

MW: It was evolving all of the time, but I’m aware of different levels of community involvement more so than the general person might be. It was a good foundation, and then my interest in political science and history developed and merged in college.

JG: Why and when did your parents choose to buy and run the Bainbridge Review?

MW: They purchased it in 1940 – mother purchased it – my father was still working at the Seattle Times – and I think that his name is not on the masthead because of that. My father majored in pre-med but he was a newspaper person from the get-go and had been working in Juneau at the Juneau Empire, I think, and coming to Bainbridge which was my mother’s home – they knew that the newspaper there was not what it had been. They purchased it in 1940 with a couple, Claire and Babe Peters and after about a year, Babe decided he’d rather be a lawyer and earn some money and not be a newspaper person so my folks bought them out, and by 1941 it was theirs. Within a year they had said, in a front page editorial, “this is our community and we commit ourselves to you folks.”

Read the Full Interview Here.


Community Partnerships Facilitate 
Snow Falling on Cedars Events

A special commemoration was held at the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Memorial on March 30, 2015, to observe the anniversary of the first day of the Japanese American Exclusion experience. The 75th anniversary is in 2017.

EduCulture/OWWCC was honored to work alongside many other organizations to coordinate and carry out the extensive community and educational outreach surrounding the March 2015 production of Snow Falling on Cedars at Bainbridge Performing Arts. In addition to the previously mentioned events designed for students, EduCulture/OWWCC conducted pre and post-show talk backs for other community performances, moderated film talks at Bainbridge Public Library following viewing of relevant documentaries, and assisted with the Exclusion Tag Project. Community partners in this unique collaboration included: Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, BI Arts & Humanities, BI Japanese American Community (BIJAC), BI Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, BI Senior Community Center, BISD, IslandWood, Kitsap Regional Library, Island Theatre Bainbridge, and Eagle Harbor Books.

Heritage Preservation, Education, and Community

                Akio Suyematsu Planting in Fields, Late 1970's

Inspired by the agricultural leadership and inclusive spirit of legendary local farmer Akio Suyematsu, EduCulture has been committed to preserving and sharing his legacy on the land he and his family farmed since 1928. Our educational efforts have been responsible for bringing the historic site to the attention of local and national historic and Japanese American organizations. EduCulture’s Jon Garfunkel uncovered many of the historic artifacts and compiled much of the historic documentation about the farm. We have educated thousands about the history and heritage of this farm and the wider community it served, and integrated the farm into an all-Island tour of Japanese American heritage.

EduCulture has been working with Bainbridge Island’s Historic Preservation Commission, which has been taking a growing interest in historic Suyematsu Farm, now public farmland, owned by the City of Bainbridge Island and managed by Friends of the Farms.  HPC in the process of nominating the farm for the local Historic Register. In 2015, the City of Bainbridge hired a team of historic preservation consultants to prepare a historic structures report and feasibility study regarding the historic and future use of Suyematsu Farm. EduCulture has been supporting these important efforts to preserve historic farmland that helps link past, present and future for us as a food community.    

At EduCulture, our edible and heritage education curriculum strives to instill values and best practices of stewardship and citizenship surrounding historic farmland we are privileged to use as our landscapes of learning. Through education, we are raising awareness, building knowledge and fostering engagement with historic farmland, thereby helping to enculturate new generations of young people to preserve a sense of responsibility for these community assets.

With Gratitude

At EduCulture, our programs thrive on a strong network of valued relationships, from the farm, to the schools, 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, schools and organizations who made our work possible thus far in 2015. 

Gerard & Jo Ann Bentryn
Bart Berg
Brenda Berry
Barbara Bolles
Kimbrough Breitenstein
Juliette Brown
Robert Carlson
Clovis Foundation
Spring Courtright
Shannon Dowling
George & Sandy Garfunkel
Julie Goldsmith
Kathy Haskin
Keri Johnson
Lilly & Joe Kodama
Pam Joseph 
Alli Krug
Mike Lempriere
Brian MacWhorter
Vicky Marsing
Ed Mikel
Marcia Montgomery
Kay Sakai Nakao
Larry Nakata
Vern Nakata
Michael Odland
Mike Paulson
Steve Romein & Ty Cramer
Carol Rolph
Karen Selvar
Craig & Alice Skipton
The Suyematsu Family
Cindy & Robert Vandersluis
Kurt VanDuzer
Waldbaum Family Foundation
Wertheimer Fund
Betsey Wittick
Mary Woodward

All those who contributed to EduCulture through the Bainbridge Island One Call for All Campaign.
Site Partners
Bainbridge Island Farms & Suyematsu Farms
Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial
Bainbridge Performing Arts
Butler Green Farms
Heyday Farm
Laughing Crow Farm & Bainbridge Vineyards
MiddleField Farm
Morales Farm
Paulson Farms
Perennial Vintners
Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms

School Partners, Teacher Partners, Staff, Students and Parent Volunteers
Antioch University Seattle
Bainbridge Island School District
Bainbridge High School
Blakely Elementary
Island Cooperative Preschool
Ordway Elementary
Sakai Intermediate School
Wilkes Elementary
Woodward Middle School
Community Partners & Supporters
Bainbridge Island Historic Preservation Commission
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community
Bainbridge Island One Call for All
Bainbridge Schools Foundation
Bay Hay & Feed
City of Bainbridge Island
The Food Shed/Mossback Restaurant
Friends of the Farms
Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farmers Guild
Harbour Public House
Town & Country Markets
Puget Sound Regional Food Policy Council
EduCulture Team
Jon Garfunkel, Managing Director
Valerie Randall, Lead Instuctor, Edible Education Programs
Leslee Dixon, Lead Instructor, Island Coop Preschool Farm-School Program
Cindy Vandersluis, Office Manager
Katy Curtis, OWWCC Program Co-Director
...And countless others. Thank you!
In Special Memory of Some Dear Friends of EduCulture:
Kim Bush
Frank Kitamoto
Akio Suyematsu

Thank you for your ongoing support!


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 year round. You will find EduCulture on the list of deserving agencies, #230.
To contribute to OCFA online, please follow this link;
EduCulture is listed under Youth Services and Organizations.

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.

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.

Be a Volunteer

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

Thank You!

At EduCulture, our programs thrive on strong relationships between many individuals and groups within our community. We are grateful to so many people who help to make our work at EduCulture possible. Thank you!

Island Coop Preschool students on a Spring walk at Suyematsu & Bentryn Family Farms.

"The pleasure of eating should be an extensive pleasure, not that of the mere gourmet. People who know the garden in which their vegetables have grown and know that the garden is healthy and remember the beauty of the growing plants, perhaps in the dewy first light of morning when gardens are at their best. Such a memory involves itself with the food and is one of the pleasures of eating."
- Wendell Berry

To Learn More, Please Visit our Website: 
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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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