by Colleen Stewart
F2C gardener and coordinator
Farm to Classroom is seeking community support to build a new lasting greenhouse in the heart of our beloved garden.
This winter, winds deconstructed our temporary greenhouse of two years, a 12-foot x 24-foot Gothic arch structure made of recycled materials. Our desired kit, undergoing permit process now, is identical in shape and size to our temporary one, but made with hard polycarbonate walls and cypress wooden arches, guaranteed to last 10 years.
With the majority of our project budget funded, we are now inviting donations through an online GoFundMe campaign toward purchase of our greenhouse kit, asking for the remaining $4,500 by end of April.
Upon raising these final funds, we will be able to build this June, in time to transplant our tomatoes, peppers, hibiscus, Malabar spinach and gherkins that are so anticipated when school resumes in autumn.
Amidst transition, our community has risen up to support a rebuild. Island Thyme farm in Olga has offered space in their greenhouse to start this year’s seeds. Cory Harrington of Permit Resources has donated time toward securing a permit for the structure. Generous donations and grants from Orcas Island Garden Club, San Juan Islands Master Gardeners, Orcas Food Co-op Farm Fund, Orcas Island Community Foundation donors, Madie Murray, Mandy Randolph, T Willliams Realty, Mary Anne Owen, Joe Symons and anonymous donors have secured three-fourths of our budget including half of the cost of our greenhouse kit.
Farm to Classroom is housed under Orcas Island Education Foundation 501(c)(3) and our garden is on the grounds of Orcas Island public school, near the elementary building and beneath the giant maple tree. Over 200 kids, K-5 and middle school, tend to and learn in our garden and classroom each week during the school year. Our mission is to cultivate early connections to earth stewardship, sustainability, organic agriculture, nutrition and cooking, STEM curriculum, natural movement, mindfulness and wild nature. The program is over a decade old now, and has worked through classrooms, gardens and cafeterias to bring farm food and awareness to our public school. To learn more about us, visit http://www.orcasislandf2c.org.
Donations may be made by visiting www.GoFundMe.com and searching for “F2C Greenhouse Give” or by sending a check to OIEF(F2C) P.O. Box 782, Eastsound, WA 98245 through the month of April.