Student Sown Potatoes for Bite of Bainbridge, Nov. 26

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


In early October, locally grown corn raised by Karen Selvar of Bainbridge Island Farms (BHS Class of ’82) was served in school lunches throughout the school district.

BISD once again purchased 300 pounds of Akio Suyematsu’s Raspberries (BHS Class of ’42, raised by Karen Selvar since Akio’s passing), served at Bainbridge High School in yogurt and granola parfaits. The raspberries are also served at Sakai and Woodward Schools as a topping for waffles during their Breakfast for Lunch specials.

On November 26, the featured Bite of Bainbridge in Island Elementary Schools will be locally grown and student sown potatoes, seeded last spring and harvested this fall by more than 20 K-4 classes from Wilkes, Ordway and Blakely Elementary Schools. These Cherry Red, Purple Caribe, and Yukon Gold potatoes were raised organically at our edible education plots at Butler Green Farms on Morales Farm and Heyday Farm on McDonald Avenue.

Click here to read the BISD elementary school menu for Nov. 26.


On Bainbridge Island, we are fortunate to have a continuum of school and community that goes back over 150 years. What is extra special about our Bite of Bainbridge program is how locally grown and intergenerational it has become. We are fortunate to be in a school district in which food served in our school lunches is being raised by three generations who grew up on this Island and representing nine decades of educational and agricultural life in our local community.

We are proud to have had a role in building the bridges to create a dedicated locally grown school food stream within the Bainbridge School District. While still “bites,” they represent a significant place in the school food chain, and allow students to have learning experiences, from production to processing to distribution to consumption. What started for these young people as an educational act, is not only feeding their minds, it is also feeding their bodies.


It may be small in servings right now, but the Bite of Bainbridge program packs a full educational meal. This program is becoming a model of school-community partnerships on both public and private farmlands. Each year, with the continued support from our school, farm and community stakeholders, we are moving the Bite of Bainbridge program from the novelty to the norm.

EduCulture is grateful to the many program partners who play an important role in making this Bite of Bainbridge possible, from the farm to the classroom to the lunchroom:

  • Students, Teachers, Administrators and Parents from Wilkes, Ordway & Blakely Elementary Schools
  • Brian MacWhorter and Staff, Butler Green Farms at Morales Farm
  • Craig & Alice Skipton and Staff, Heyday Farms
  • Mark Sperazza, Director of Child Nutrition Services for BISD
  • Kitchen Staff at Sakai, Woodward and Bainbridge High Schools
  • Bainbridge Island School District
  • City of Bainbridge Island
  • Bainbridge Island Farms
  • Suyematsu Farms
  • Friends of the Farms
  • Bainbridge One Call for All


December 15, Join EduCulture for a SLOW Foodshed to Table Dinner

A Foodshed to Table Dinner – A Convivium for Slow this Holiday Season

Sunday, December 15, 2013, 4-7pm

Filipino-American Community Hall
7566 NE High School Road, Bainbridge Island, WA

Join EduCulture for a special foodshed to table dinner this holiday season. Enjoy a five course, locally grown, farm-style meal and support locally grown edible education in the process. EduCulture has been gifted a farm-table dinner to be sourced and prepared by The Food Shed. So, all the funds collected from this event will directly benefit our work with local schools in 2014.

The menu will represent the bounty of our regional foodshed, prepared in a fashion to mark the true nature of this season – SLOW. The five courses will feature food prepared in ways that take time, from the fermented fruits and vegetables to cured meats and smoked foods, and slow wine, grown and made locally by Bainbridge Vineyards. And you will sit among some of the producers.

The Menu:
Starter: housemade crackers, local cheeses, fruit and krauts

Salad: quinoa with winter greens, toasted nuts, roasted beets and vinaigrette.

Soup: roasted pumpkin, red pepper and coconut soup served with chicken curry empanadas

Entree: roasted, spiced goat with roasted root vegetables, chutney and polenta
**vegetarian option – potlatch pilaf croquettes

Dessert: ginger bread with poached pears and cinnamon molasses whip cream

Entertainment will be provided by special guest musicians and storytellers.  This event will also recognize Terra Madre Day (December 10).

food shed

Take some time this holiday season to slow down and enjoy an authentic foodshed to table experience. This is an engaging way to feel a part of our regional food community. Bring your friends, family, or even better – gift someone a place at the table.

We are asking for a tax-deductable, suggested donation made to EduCulture at Global Source of $65 per person. All proceeds from this event will be a benefit for our Edible Democracy Project, a ground breaking inter-cultural edible education exchange program, pairing an island, tribal and urban schools and their food communities.

To reserve a place for you and your friends or family, please contact our office at 206-780-5797 or  Seating is Limited.

Setting the Table for a Foodshed Series in 2014
This foodshed to fork dinner is also the pilot for what EduCulture hope’s will be a series of month dinners that season by season bring people together to taste our way through the wild and cultivated food traditions of our Pacific Northwest bioregion, some call Salmon Nation.

In the spirit of creating convivia, each monthly program will focus on a foodshed theme and will feature local producers, storytellers, artists and community leaders who will inspire us with words, music, ideas and stories connected to that program’s theme. EduCulture is partnering with The Food Shed to help shape a menus built on what is seasonal and regional, all sourced locally, fairly and sustainably.

This program is part of EduCulture’s effort to respond to a call for community based edible experiences grounded in tasting what we most need to learn about our local and regional foodshed.  If our December pilot proves successful, we look forward to you joining us for the series in 2014.

Food Shed Dinner Photo

About The Food Shed
The Food Shed’s objective is to cultivate conscious consumption by advocating local and sustainable food sources and cycles. They strive to be stewards of our own food shed by providing local food experiences, enriching relationships between micro-producers, growers and local consumers, and modeling a “cradle to cradle” food hub that is centered in a deep local economy. The Food Shed makes sure every step along the food chain, from production to recycling, works in a cyclical and durable progression. We are working to pioneer new ways of collaboration and food interdependence, which in turn encourages farm literacy and folk culture and micro economic viability from the root of the community. To learn more about The Food Shed, visit or see their Facebook page.




Harbour Public House Fall Matching Campaign for EduCulture & One Call for All

Scan 133100001v2Harbour Public House has launched a campaign to help raise funds for EduCulture through the One Call for All 2013 fall campaign. For every dollar donated to EduCulture directly or through the One Call for All campaign, the Harbour Pub will contribute one dollar, matching up to $7,500 in contributions. We are humbled and excited about this capacity building opportunity for EduCulture. This opportunity to raise $15,000 will go toward building the needed infrastructure to further develop EduCulture’s edible education programs to meet our growing number of participating students and teachers.

Visitors to Harbour Pub will be greeted at the door by literature promoting EduCulture and the Harbour Pub campaign. As they are seated and peruse the menu “Fresh Connections,” diners will be able to read a great feature article about the EduCulture Project; the history of the program, and goals for growth, as well as a feature about local farming partners. At the end of the meal, an EduCulture postcard featuring students harvesting potatoes serves as a reminder to take advantage of this great matching gift by Harbour Pub.

As the Pub’s fall menu states, “relationships matter!” It is a special marker of affirmation to have Bainbridge Island institutions like One Call for All and businesses like the Harbour House Pub reach out to support our locally grown work. At EduCulture, we admire the integrity and authenticity that the Pub and Pegasus bring to the table by investing in and supporting our local food community, including many of our farm partners, like Butler Green Farms. We are grateful to Jeff and Jocelyn Waite for their thoughtful and meaningful act of community commitment, caring and philanthropy.

We encourage you, your family, and friends to enjoy a meal or two at the Pub this fall, and please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to EduCulture that can be generously matched by the Harbour House Pub! Please indicate “Pub” on your donation forms or checks so we can better track these donations. If you have already donated, it is not too late; just contact One Call for All and tell them you’d like your donation marked as a “Pub” matching contribution. Thank you!

Contribute From Our Website

Featured Partner in One Call for All campaign

ocfa_logoBy now, you 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.

We would like to express our gratitude to Harbour Public House for supporting our OCFA campaign this year. For every dollar donated to EduCulture directly or through the One Call for All 2013 fall campaign, the Harbour Pub will contribute one dollar, matching up to $7,500 in contributions. This opportunity to raise $15,000 will go toward building the needed infrastructure to further develop our edible education programs. This is truly a Community Partnership! Please be sure to mention “Pub” on your check or donation form to ensure that funds are matched. If you have already made a OCFA contribution, it is not too late; just call the One Call for All office and tell them you would like your donation marked as a “Pub” contribution, and it will be matched.

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 through our website, please follow this link:
Get Involved. The One Call for All page may be accessed directly through the link below. EduCulture is listed under Youth Services and Organizations.

You can also check out a feature article in the Bainbridge Review by following the link below, page 12. Thank you!

Visit the One Call for All Website

Bainbridge Review One Call for All Supplement

Island Coop Preschool Cooks Potatoes

ICP photo1by Heidi Urish, Farm Garden and Educational Consultant; former EduCulture Intern

We’re happy to have ICP students back to the Farm School again for their third year!
The Orcas returned to beautiful Morales Farm with smiling faces and happy hands ready to dig in and harvest the potatoes that were planted last spring.

Using only their hands as tools, the Orcas filled their buckets with the beautiful golden potatoes that they carefully dug up. While we cleaned the potatoes we heard thunder and felt the wonderful wetness of the rain. The seasons are changing and it’s fall on the farm!

Each student then picked one small potato to cook on a camp stove that was set up in the greenhouse. As the rain pitter-pattered against the outside of the plastic walls, keeping us warm and dry inside, we talked about how potatoes grow and what they need to be strong and healthy.

While the potatoes were cooking and the rain subsided, half of the class went to pick sugar pumpkins from the vine while the others gathered eggs from the chickens to be used back in the classroom for cooking projects. When the class returned, the potatoes were ready to eat! The Orcas patiently observed, touched, smelled, and then tasted the warm potatoes that they had just harvested only 30 minutes before, all grown here on Bainbridge Island. We’re lucky to live in such a wonderful place!

Suyematsu Pumpkin Patch Lessons

IMG_4731by Kristie Smith, Pumpkin Patch Educator

This autumn, the Suyematsu and Bentryn Family Farms opened its gates to hundreds of preschool and elementary school groups to explore the pumpkin patch and the greater working farm. For many students, this is their first experience coming to the historic Bainbridge farm, but for others, this is one of many experiences they will have as part of the ongoing farm education program. I had the pleasure of leading the lessons, which as someone who grew up on Bainbridge Island, I particularly enjoyed.

The experience at the Suyematsu pumpkin patch helps children see pumpkins as more than just a Halloween decoration on their front porch – the tour honors both the diversity of the pumpkin and squash varieties grown on the farm as well as their countless uses in the kitchen. Using a pumpkin that has been cut in half, I help the students explore the anatomy of a pumpkin. They examine the stem, skin, meat, seeds, and pulp and discuss which parts are edible, as well as their favorite pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin pie seems to be the favorite, but students also list other creative dishes including pumpkin scones, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin soup.

After the anatomy lesson is completed, I lead the students in a pumpkin scavenger hunt and museum. Each student is given a card with a picture and the name of a pumpkin that can be found in the pumpkin patch. It is their job to explore all of the different varieties until they locate the one on their card. Once each variety has been found, we open a pumpkin museum to encourage all of the children and parents to explore the different names, shapes, sizes, and colors of the pumpkins that can be found at the Suyematsu Farm.

For classes who participate in an extended walking tour of the forty-acre farm, students are given farm maps to identify their location and to understand the greater layout of the farm. As harvest continues into the fall, the students see other foods that are grown at Suyematsu and observe how the farm offers a complete farm-to-fork-to-cork experience.

As a treat upon finishing the pumpkin curriculum, students get to navigate their way through a hay-maze and finally pick out a sugar pumpkin to take home. Many of these pumpkins will find their way into the kitchen, and not just the front porch. It has been a pleasure to see the children learn more about pumpkins and enjoy the experience of being on the farm.

From Seed to Harvest at Heyday and Morales Farms

IMG_4688by Nick Poccia, Education Fellow

I’ve had the pleasure of working with students from our partner elementary schools at Wilkes, Ordway and Blakely. In October and November, we have had over 20 classes come down to the farms to participate in the magic of harvesting potatoes. Our Blakely students have successfully finished digging up all the potatoes they planted at Heyday Farm last spring. Some of the potato yields from Heyday were huge and will make for yummy and nutritious meals in the school lunch program sometime this fall. Down at Morales Farm, our Wilkes and Ordway students have been doing a fantastic job of working through the many rows of potatoes that they planted last spring. Our students have come down to Morales in true Northwest form with smiles and bright spirits despite a few very wet, stormy days at the farm! They too will soon be able to taste all their hard work when their potatoes will make it into their school cafeterias as well. Hats off to all our students!

Now for those who have not had a chance to join us for a potato harvest, allow me to take a moment to paint you a picture…
It is a chilly autumn morning and despite the sun’s best efforts, a layer of fog hovers just above the rows of lush green crops that are planted by the Island’s master farmers who are working hard to keep the agriculture traditions of Bainbridge alive. The sounds of chickens (and cows at Heyday Farm) can be heard in the distance, reminding us that people aren’t the only creatures who are working these fields. Stretched out on either side of a potato bed are two rows of excited hands, bubbling with anticipation, ready to bring to light the treasure just below the surface. The potato bed itself is a raised mound of soil from which an assortment of weeds are allowed to grow unchallenged while dispersed underneath every foot or so is a dead, black, stringy plant – the remnants of a potato plant. It is explained to the students that over the summer their potato plant was a beautiful, flourishing plant but potatoes are only ready to harvest once the plant dies back and the energy instead goes towards growing the potato tubers.

Once each student has located their own potato plant and everybody has rolled up their sleeves, we are ready to quite literally dig in! Harvesting potatoes is very much like digging for treasure. Each plant produces an undetermined number of potatoes (between 1 and a dozen) that grow out sideways from the plant. Using their hands, students dig all around their plant and experience the magic of having their hands in healthy soil, a process that science has proven stimulates increased activity in our brains. Excitement is palpable as students connect intimately with nature and fill their buckets full of beautiful red, gold and purple potatoes. Unlike potatoes at the grocery store, selected for their consistency, our potatoes come in every size and shape, and each class there is at least one student who proudly displays a potato between their fingers no bigger than a marble!
After students have found all the potatoes produced by their plant, they check those potatoes in with the help of parent chaperones, recording how many potatoes their plant produced and how much all their potatoes weigh. These numbers are used to discuss the miracle of abundance;how one tiny potato seed can create food on average twelve times its own weight while at the same time produce many seeds capable of doing the same! The data is then handed off to the teacher for use in the classroom as raw material for focused math lessons that students connect to.

I would like to thank all the teachers, chaperones and farmers who have made these truly hands on, powerful programs possible. With their support, and the support of the larger Bainbridge community, students are being connected to the entire cycle of growing food by planting potato seeds in the spring and with their own hands, unearthing the bounty of the harvest in the autumn.