The new F.E.A.S.T. program formed in 2020 actively engages young adults in the hands-on experiences that teach them how to understand, grow, harvest, reap and prepare foods that will sustain them in good times and bad, and ensure that they will have the tools to thrive. F.E.A.S.T. takes the learning activities from the school environment out into the community.
There are currently three Middle School teens in the new F.E.A.S.T. program: One attends the Orcas Public Middle School and is currently doing her schooling online, and two attend the Christian School here on Orcas Island. They are currently physically attending classes on campus. All three students are founding members of the Junior Garden Club at Orcas Elementary. Others associated with F.E.A.S.T. on an adult level are Madie Murray (former Chair of the Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria Program), Colleen Stewart (Orcas Public Schools & Christian School Gardens Manager), Hannah Parker (mother of one of the founding members of the Farm to Cafeteria program in 2010, and F.E.A.S.T. participant Linda Hamilton, member of the Orcas Island Rotary Club.
Our goal is to have a total of 10 participants in this program soon, and they may come from any Orcas Island school or be homeschooled. F.E.A.S.T. learning experiences that may occur during the summer, on the weekends or after school.
CURRENT, PAST AND FUTURE F.E.A.S.T. ACTIVITIES
Herb Boxes for the Orcas Island Senior Center
Lavender Harvesting at Orcasong Farm, Orcas Island
Tide Tour and Talk about oysters and clams at Buck Bay Shelfish Farm
• Learning preserves and shrubs production at Girl Meets Dirt, Orcas Island
• Learning about tanning hides with the Orcas Island Food Bank
• Cultivating and gleening at several Orcas Community Gardens.
OUR QUEST TO SHARE OUR EXPERIENCES WITH TEENS OF OTHER STATES AND NATIONS
Under the auspices of Helping Hands Noramise, The Orcas Island F.E.A.S.T. members are sharing their experiences with students in St. Michel de L'Atalaye, Haiti, where a new school garden/classroom has been created by Helping Hands Noramise. Other F.E.A.S.T. programs are being created in Indiana (USA), Japan and Taiwan, with each program sharing core values while adapting its activities to the experiences, conditions and opportunities of its community.