Monday, April 25, 2011

Mama said don't play with your food!

IW 2011 grads and friends with their culinary creations!
When it's food art, it's perfectly okay to play, play, play! Michiko Olson came to IslandWood as an Artist in Residence and taught a handful of field groups throughout the week. Grads and interns (and a hubby too!) joined Michiko for a professional development session that was just too much fun!

True or false? You've got a 50/50 chance here!
The session began with a "true or false" game on some history about Japan. We held up plates adorning the Japanese character for "true" or "false" and proceeded to learn some fun facts. 

Michiko engages her learners with some visuals

Looks like the real thing!

We all chose a word that we were fond of, and Michiko drew the Japanese character for us to copy onto our papers using calligraphy. She even translated our names for us, and provided stamps to decorate our mini posters. 

The Japanese tea ceremony corner!
We even engaged in another aspect of Japanese culture with a traditional tea ceremony. We were given belts and swords for effect and fun!

Working on our masterpieces!
It wasn't long before we began working (quite obsessively) on our food art. Michiko had an incredible set-up with colorful edibles cut in various ways to help ease us into such an intricate process! We had so much fun arranging, wrapping, stamping, munching, and testing out a variety of creative processes before sitting down to eat!

Michiko's adorable chicks!

Ian surprises himself!
Kathie is all smiles as she works with such an amazing medium!
Food art, calligraphy combo!
Priya's work! Yum!
My springtime bouquet!
Bonnie went for the cutest display ever :)  (bunnies!)
Z takes food art to a whole new level! 

I want to hang out in JP's creation! So cool!
Kathie and her lovely design!
Although our food art was demolished in a couple of bites, we took home a whole new appreciation for the simple, yet extraordinary elegance of Japanese art. Stay tuned for Bonnie's recount of yet another amazing Artist in Residence who tapped into our songwriting talents and musical creativity! Thanks Michiko!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Get to Know a Grad!

Name: Rachel Nagorsky

Hometown: Glenview, IL

Undergraduate University/Degree:
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies

What brought you to IslandWood? To get a Masters of ED in a small and individualized program that focuses on environmental education.  I also liked how we got to teach/practicum as we're learning, so you get to apply everything right away.

What is your favorite thing about IslandWood so far? The community, from the second we got here we were so welcomed and appreciated.  It hasn't stopped yet.

What is your favorite thing about Bainbridge Island/Seattle/The Puget Sound so far? Getting to live on an island that people vacation on and never want to leave.  Makes me really appreciate where I get to spend my day-to-day.  In Seattle, I like getting to bike around everywhere, especially the Edward Myrtle trail along the water.

Who would you want to play you in the movie version of your life? Anne Hathaway

Quick! Someone gave you 100 bagazillion dollars! What do you do with it?

Who do you most admire and why? My sister because she knows what she wants and gets it, making it look effortless, even though she is the hardest worker and most determined person I know.

What do you think you might do after IslandWood?
Be a garden educator.

Final thoughts?  Man, I love this program!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The end is near! (dun, dun, dun...)

Chris E. admires the cherry blossom blooms on UW's campus
It is our last quarter at IslandWood and the grads have split into their cohorts one last time. Cohort F (Fantastic, fun, freaky, free-spirited, funky, etc.) went on a field trip with Hillary to fill out some necessary paperwork, tour the UW farm (with none other than Lily, IslandWood Grad '10), and meet with Mark Windschitl from the College of Education to answer some of our looming questions. It was a fun time had by all, and we are excited for next year!
Ready to drill Prof Windschitl!
Laura snags some free cabbage
The UW Farm is located right off the Burke Gilman Trail in Seattle. The public is even encouraged to harvest some edibles as they walk by the planted beds!

A farm, right in the middle of the city!

A look inside one of the impressive greenhouses

Thanks for all of the info and enthusiasm, Lily!
There is so much information about the farm - I couldn't possibly remember it all. Find more information at: And while we're on the topic of farms - please check out fellow IW Grad Chris Emme's blog - Eating with Intention - as he takes on the challenge of tracking the journeys of the different foods that he eats. He will be visiting farms in the area, recording what foods he eats normally and reflecting on how it makes him feel as well as what their costs and origins may be. He will then switch to a more local and healthy diet for comparison. This challenge is all part of Chris' Independent Study Project  - or ISP. Mmm....I'm getting hungry!
"Check out my blog!"