Archive for the ‘Leadership Training’ Category

2014 Apprentices

2014 Apprentices

The Learning from the Land program of the Whidbey Institute, the Good Cheer Food Bank, and the School Farm and Garden program of the South Whidbey School District are partnering to offer this training in community gardening and leadership skills. Interns will be selected for a particular garden, and will also assist other interns in their gardens so as to gain a broad range of skills and learning experiences.

The Community Gardening Leadership Training is seeking motivated individuals who wish to gain skills for future leadership positions in the field of sustainable community gardening. The training will combine hands­on, practical growing skills in small­scale food production with the leadership skills needed to initiate and manage community gardening projects, to coordinate volunteers, and to implement education and outreach programs.

In this program, community gardening primarily refers to food bank gardens, school gardens and other non­profit gardens that rely on volunteers, community outreach and community support to grow food.

Program begins in March and continues through October. Shorter terms may be possible, but preference is given to those who can commit to the full season. As of now we can offer apprentices a $300/month and depending on fundraising this amount may increase. Stay tuned!

Applications will be accepted now through January 15th, 2015.

For more information e-mail us at: cultivatingcommunitywhidbey@gmail.com and visit our website: http://cultivatingcommunitywhidbey.wordpress.com/



Program MAP

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abigail welcome photo_3913A big welcome to Abigail Lazarowski, the 2014 Community Gardening Leadership Training apprentice in the Westgarden!

I have been working the soil ever since I was little when I used to help my Dad in our family’s vegetable garden. We planted seeds together, harvested basil and waited all summer for the Vermont sun to ripen our tomatoes. I’ve been a cultivator of the soil and a lover of good food ever since. Throughout college I spent a lot of my time working with youth and leading community arts projects but within the past few years I’ve felt drawn back to the land and have begun working on small organic vegetable farms in the Northeast. This season I was looking to deepen my experience with sustainable agriculture and learn more about how the growing and sharing of food can really serve a community.  This exploration drew me all the way out here to Pacific Northwest and I feel so grateful to have landed in such a beautiful place.”

~~~ Abigail

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FreshFoodontheTable 2

Providing fresh produce to the Food Bank YEAR ROUND!
Supporting local farmers, and educating youth!

Sunday, April 28th
Banquet Fundraiser and Square Dance
Whidbey Institute, Thomas Berry Hall

5 pm:  Appetizers, with Silent Auction and Veggie Photo ops
6 pm: Banquet from the Good Cheer chefs
6:45 pm: Program and Live Auction with Jim Freeman
Square Dance follows with the Mudhen Callers

The Whidbey Institute is a proud partner in Fresh Food on the Table, a community effort which supports the Good Cheer Food Bank in providing locally grown, fresh produce throughout the year, and offers apprenticeship and school garden programs for youth.

Reserve your tickets now at freshfoodonthetable.brownpapertickets.com
There is no cost to attend the banquet, but please donate generously!

Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by Good Cheer chefs, and participate in a live auction, with Jim Freeman, of a garden variety of fun and useful items. Get the laughing muscles in your cheeks ready! A square dance with live music follows!

ellie with carrots1  chard whitman alexa_4546 3  chard june levi_3418_2
The Whidbey Institute Westgarden grows produce for the Food Bank throughout the season, and hosts a Community Gardening Leadership Apprentice who moves into a leadership role in the garden, and provides garden-based education for school children and community groups.

Join us for this special evening to support this initiative which strengthens community and local food security. Meet the youth and farmers who are growing for the Food Bank, and hear about all the ways Good Cheer is partnering with our community, schools and local non-profits to provide fresh veggies and fruit year-round to the Food Bank.

Fresh Food on the Table is a program of the Good Cheer Food Bank in partnership with the Whidbey Institute & South Whidbey School District, and in collaboration with the South Whidbey Commons, Deep Harvest Farm, Greenbank Farm & Skyroot Farm.


                                                 swsd swcommons

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alexa mulching lettuce april_4770A big welcome to Alexa MacAulay, the 2013 apprentice in the Westgarden!

“I’ve been a self-described farmer for the past 7+ years, working on farms and community gardens throughout North America. From the Okanagan valley in British Columbia to rural North Carolina, I have pruned, transplanted, harvested and weeded a rainbow of fruits and vegetables with a curious hand. I’ve also worked with various urban agriculture not-for-profit organizations in my home in Ontario, and I believe that growing food is a powerful catalyst for social change and community development. I recently graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies and Community Arts at York University in Toronto, Ontario, and am thrilled to become part of the Good Cheer Garden and Whidbey Institute team. When I’m not preserving, cooking, growing, and otherwise exploring food, I love to get crafty. Most recently, I have been working with pottery, embroidery, and plant-based inks and dyes.”
                                                                          ~~~ Alexa

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The garden season has ended! We’ve harvested all the tomatoes…red and green. The last of the beets and carrots,

delicious sugar pumpkins, and lots of winter squash too, thanks to the long summer. Our deep appreciation to the sunshine of the summer, and also to all the volunteers, young and beyond, who helped grow the garden this year.

A big THANK YOU to apprentices Allie Urbanek and Mech Kneidinger for their leadership and hard work in the Community Gardening Leadership Training!


Beds are all cleaned up and cover crops sown.

Garlic planted and potatoes harvested.


These are gorgeous red and white skinned potatoes that Cary Peterson, coordinator of the Learning from the Land program, has been saving since she found them in a compost pile in 1989. We buried the bumper potato crop and covered with a mound of dirt, to harvest later on.


Check out the work the LEAF Service Learning Program of Edmonds Community College did to build compost bins, dig more potatoes, clean up the garden and create compost.

And last but not least, our amazing fall-bearing raspberries for moments of sweetness at the end of the season!

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It must be the summer solstice, the apothecary roses are blooming!

We’ve been planting, and harvesting, lots of lettuce. Join our 2012 apprentices Mech and Allie at our weekly Learning from the Land work party—now all day on Thursday, starting at 9 am, with lunch at noon, and going til 4 pm. Come for as long or short as you’d like, and do come for lunch. We provide the fresh garden salad, soup and bread!


The Westgarden is a particularly wonderful garden for children of all ages, and you can drop in with your family any time on Thursday.

For the little ones and their grandparents, Mully Mullally is offering the Grandparents Camp again this year. (Only two places left!)

For more information, email land@whidbeyinstitute.org.

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Banquet Fundraiser & Square Dance
Saturday, April 21st
Thomas Berry Hall, Whidbey Institute

Help us provide fresh produce to the Food Bank YEAR ROUND!
Support local farmers, and youth leadership training!

Read more about the banquet fundraiser HERE.

Here’s also a video with more information.

Fresh Food on the Table is a new program of the Good Cheer Food Bank, in partnership with Greenbank FarmWhidbey InstituteSouth Whidbey Commons and the South Whidbey School District.


We’re raising money to purchase locally grown food throughout the winter,

 and to fund our educational programs for youth:

  • Community Gardening Leadership Training apprentices at Good Cheer and the Whidbey Institute
  • Community Garden teen apprentices with the South Whidbey Commons
  • School garden program at Bayview School, and the Langley Middle School.



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