Classroom in Bloom is a non-profit organization established to enrich education through school gardening for K-12 students in the Methow Valley School District of Okanogan County, WA. The centerpiece of our effort is a 1-acre student-led garden. Through this garden we create experiential, inquiry-based learning opportunities and teach ecosystem complexity and science education. We cultivate an understanding of sustainable food systems and foster a love of fresh and healthful foods. We believe that children love to eat the food they grow, and we make this a reality for our students.
Students help build soil, turn compost, save and sow seeds, pull weeds, prune trees, clean tools, harvest food and weigh and deliver fresh produce for our Farm to Cafeteria program.
These collaborative outdoor experiences on the farm build self-esteem, develop personal responsibility, foster community involvement, and connect each student’s personal health to nature and the environment. Teams collaborate to plant seeds, harvest crops, grow food for others in need, and share a meal based on a good day’s work.
Weekly Elementary Garden Classes and High School Science Classes
Students find new inspiration in interdisciplinary studies involving art, language, science, math, engineering, and literacy during weekly visits to the garden. Their core curricular studies in the garden are based on real world, place-based experiences. Here is what a few of our students are working on in 2018:
12th grade physics students are designing and testing greenhouse models to extend our production season
1st graders are writing garden-inspired poetry using all their senses during their “how the world works” Unit of Inquiry
3rd graders are using the garden to harvest and preserve foods while studying Native American culture
4th graders produce and direct an annual farmers market
The 10th grade biology class is studying phenology and using the garden to document plant growth and cycles throughout the year
10th grade environmental science students are mentoring elementary students in farm technique workgroups
High School Internships
Volunteer Wednesdays are every Wednesday in the garden to help us keep this garden growing for when the children are back in school. email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to join us for a couple of hours of harvest, weeding and enjoying a sunny summer day with friends in the garden. We often host larger work parties - such a great team bonding experience for your company staff service experience.
High School field trips to local farms
Garden Parties and Social Events
Dirt Works Education Series
Twisp Farmers Market
Farm to Cafeteria – Students harvested over 3,500 pounds of produce from Classroom in Bloom’s garden for in 2017! This is an important aspect of our programs because about 50% of our MVSD qualifies for the free and reduced school lunch program. Therefore our healthy foods go directly to those who need it most!
Storage Crops – we grow and store hundreds of pounds of winter storage crops such as beets, carrots, parsnips, squash, green beans, and apples in root cellars and freezers throughout the Valley. We deliver bags of produce to the cafeteria during the winter months for tasty treats for the students.
Local’s Lunch – Biannually, Classroom in Bloom provides fresh foods for the school kitchen to prepare a community lunch, open to the public to share with our school children.
Winter Culture and Cooking Classes – Classroom in Bloom visits each elementary school classroom for cooking lessons and healthy snacks during the winter months.
Harvest of the Month – each month we offer a taste testing of fresh vegetables and homemade foods using Classroom in Bloom ingredients in the school cafeterias at the Methow Valley Elementary School and Liberty Bell High School.
Earth Day Celebration- we partner with multiple environmental orgranizations on Earth Day to celebrate and work on campus stewardship projects.
School Food Waste is collected by our school district kitchen staff and delivered to Classroom in Bloom’s Compost Facility. Here students help turn, process, and return to the garden soil.
Native Plant Garden – we continue to care for and expand our native plant gardens and native tree landscape as site beautification and as a sustainable way to battle weeds on the Methow Valley school grounds.
Nature Programs in the Garden- Our teaching philosophy in the garden allows for imagination and encourages kids to wonder about nature. We allow time for inquiry and exploration while focusing on subjects such as pollination, the water cycle and soil health to help students deepen their relationship to their studies and to nature.