Tag Archives: strawberries

Celebrating Summer in the School Garden

A long and productive spring in the school garden led right up to the last day of school! What better way to celebrate and culminate another school year than with a pizza party in the garden?2016PizzaParty_SchoolGarden (11 of 17)

Orcas Island Elementary students each spend one hour a week working in the school garden in a class I teach called Farm to Classroom. At almost 8,000 square feet, the school garden requires individual attention from each of the 200 students. Some children take on assigned tasks such as weeding, hauling compost and planting.

2016PizzaParty_SchoolGarden (16 of 17)

Harvesting strawberries and pulling weeds.

Other children take on projects of their own choosing. One class was dubbed “the diggers” for their love of digging!


“The Diggers”

Another group of students took weekly responsibility for watering plants.

13499604_1783696268532929_564887034_oOne boy decided it was time to properly install the large stainless sink we salvaged from the old shop building before it was torn down. Each week he would lead a group in the many steps it took to put  the sink in its final resting place.

When the wood chips arrived, donated by Tim’s Tractor Service and delivered by Tim’s son James Segault of Island Climb Inc., the students ban together to move the massive mountain all around the garden. Throughout all of this garden work you can see real-world examples of children caring for the environment, working together, problem solving, communicating, using physical skills, and eating healthy. These are important life skills that no standardized test can ever measure.


A delivery of wood chips for our paths from Tim’s Tractor Service and Island Climbing Inc.


Working together to move a mountain of wood chips!


Unloading a truck full of firewood. Many hands make for light work.

A cornerstone of the children’s time in the garden is the idea that you may only enjoy the fruits of your labor, after you labor! The last ten minutes of each class is dedicated to “harvest time”. During this time the children graze in the garden, eating fresh from the plants they have nurtured. This may be one of the most rewarding times for me as the teacher. It only seemed fitting to end our school year with a garden pizza party using our cob oven.

The pizza party couldn’t happen with out the help and generous donation of James Ferraris of Soul Flour Bakery, AKA The Pizza Man!  James makes the best pizza dough and knows how to bring each pizza out with the perfect amount of doneness.

The children are the real artists at this event. They are supplied pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. The rest is up to them! The toppings come from the plants they lovingly grew. Pizzas topped with strawberries, sorrel and mint are popular. Garlic scapes, borage flowers, rosemary and raspberries top others. There is no limit to the creations they come up with. After each pizza comes out of the oven the chef or chefs responsible tell their classmates what ingredients they used. Then the creators get the first slices and the other children sample after them. Pizza after pizza comes through in this way. The children turn into food critics, analyzing the combinations placed before them. The pizza is devoured and never are the usual pepperoni and sausage toppings missed.

Another remarkable year in the school garden has been completed. If you would like to see our garden please stop by and check it out. If you would like a tour of the garden, we will be on this year’s Orcas Island Garden Club tour June 25th and 26th.

Now that school is out, I’ll be spending the summer with family and friends, taking road trips, and helping people buy and sell real estate on this amazing Island I call home. I love summertime on Orcas Island!


Johnny visiting Momma in the garden.



Comments Off on Celebrating Summer in the School Garden

Filed under Community, Family Life, Gardening, Kids, Nature, Uncategorized

Summer Strawberry Hand Pie

Posted by Teri

I found this recipe in an OPRAH magazine and had to rip it out to try when my strawberries were ripe. Even though this includes fresh fruit, it’s not a fat free, good-for-you recipe. BUT it’s yummy and the hand pies are small, so calorie count is tolerable (unless you are like my husband Jay and you enjoy 2 or 3.) 🙂

I doubled this recipe and put them in the freezer. I tried to make fresh, but had problems with filling running out onto baking sheet, and under-cooking. I had no run or doneness problems with the frozen pies. DO NOT over fill or under cook no matter how you prepare your pies to cook! Double makes approximately 18-20 pies. 

Strawberry hand pie made with Orcas Island strawberries

Mmmm....better make a double batch!

Single Recipe:

4 oz. cream cheese

1 stick butter, softened

¼ cup heavy cream

1 Tbsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 cup flour, plus more for dusting

1/3 cup strawberry jam

¾ cup chopped strawberries

1 egg, beaten

1 ½ Tbsp raw (turbinado) sugar

  1. In a food processor (or with a hand mixer) mix cream cheese, butter, cream, granulated sugar and salt until smooth. Add flour and mix until a sticky dough forms. Cover dough snugly in plastic wrap; chill until firm, 2 to 3 hours. You can keep over night.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working on a floured surface, roll out half the dough until very thin. Using a bowl or glass, cut out 4-1/2” circles.
  3. Drop about 2 tsp of jam onto one side of each circle and top with 1 Tbsp of strawberries. Brush outer edge of circle with egg, then fold over to make half moons. Press edges together firmly and seal with the tines of a fork. Place on a parchment paper lined sheet tray and cut 3 small slits in each top. Brush with egg, sprinkle with raw sugar and bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes.

Got a favorite strawberry receipe? Please share it soon — I’ve got berries to use!!


Looking to enjoy the simple life on beautiful Orcas Island?
Contact T Williams Realty  – we’ll help you find your way home.


Filed under Recipes