From Farm to School

Back to School Night at Cascade Middle School was fun and insightful. Carlos and I joined what felt like millions of parents in the gym to get the beginning of the year info from the principal.  After a review of last year’s test statistics and this year’s goals, we were set free to Max’s first period.  For an hour, we followed Max’s daily schedule.  Each class was about 5 min with 3 min passing periods.  We even went to the cafeteria to sample some of the school food which was actually really, really good!  Chicken Poppy Salad, fresh veggies, and fruit were served by a super sweet cafeteria lady.  It was such a difference from my middle school days!  Gone are the days of cardboard frozen pizza and mystery meat sandwiches.  Clam chowder in bread bowls, baked beef ziti, terriyaki chicken and brown rice, chili, hummus, black bean burgers, hamburger bar, and spaghetti bar are just a few items on the menu. The kids have many, many choices healthy choices.  With each main meal, there is a side of fruits and vegetables.  All of the fruits and veggies are from local growers, and the beef is from local farms.  Carlos and I were really impressed and happily surprised!  Way to go nutrition services.

Here are some highlights from the brochure.

– whole wheat and grains are used

-trans-fats have been eliminated

-low-fat cheese and milk

-only fruits and veggie can be “super sized”

-breads are baked at the high school

– ooooh they even have a panini machine!

Now to get them composting with Red Wigglers!


Miller Elementary has worms and more!

Thanks Miller Elementary’s PTO for purchasing 2 Wonder Worman Worm Bin Packages!  The Red Wigglers are ready to chomp on fruit and veggie scraps from the students and staff.

Miller Elementary is a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified School.  Most of their standards revolve around the “3 R’s (reducing, reusing and recycling) which begin during construction and continue through the life of the school.  Having Red Wigglers recycle their usable waste fits perfectly into the school’s concept.

For more info on Miller’s design click here.

Bend River Song School joined the Red Army!

Bend River Song School is a new Montesorri School located across the beautiful Deschutes River near The Old Mill District.  They were granted the funds by the Environmental Center and purchased a Wonder Worman Worm Bin Package customized with casters for mobility.  I had a blast delivering the bin as it was rolling all over the back of my Worm Mobile :^)

The school plans to compost their fruits and veggie scraps from lunch, and will use the valuable poop to amend their potting soil for the indoor garden. Learning and contributing to the process, the students are gaining a valuable lesson in Science.  They will observe the decomposition process, the behaviors of a Red Wiggler, and the needs of living creatures.

I am always so grateful to have the opportunity to visit schools and share my love for the planet and my amazing sidekicks, the Red Wigglers!

Thanks Bend River Song School!


Wonder Worman





I got to brag about my sidekicks!

My wigglers’ gizzards were ringing today!  For an hour, I was yapping and bragging about my buddies.  My wonderful scrap eating sidekicks were part of a series in the Garden Circuit Training hosted by The Bend Senior Center. Last month, I met with the leader of the series, Becky.  We chatted over coffee, and she invited me to speak.  I never pass up an opportunity to share my experiences with Red Wigglers, but I had to wait a MONTH!  So I kept myself occupied with my fury sidekick, Lucy!

So today finally arrived!  I walked in with a bucket o’worms, veggie scraps, handouts, a flash drive, and my knowledge!  I was introduced to the first presenter, Dave, the chef at Cafe 3456.  His restaurant is at the Bend airport, and he’s also a key proponent in the Slow Food Movement.  Dave composts his waste from the restaurant and from others around Bend, too! Then he uses the compost to grow his own veggies for the restaurant.  He did a great job and got all “scientific”!  I was a bit nervous, but knew once I put my hands into the bucket, I’d be fine!

Indeed I was!  As I think back, I bet I looked like a mother gushing over her kids after they sang in a school play!  I was a bubbling, happy giddy, mother of a million wigglers!! I was shocked that I was able to brag about my guys for an hour!  My audience was AWESOME!  We laughed!  We smiled!  We were serious…”Why doesn’t everyone have wigglers? Why doesn’t everyone compost?”

I was in the zone, the element, my place of zen!

Now I know why I quit my “real” job!

That’s all it takes to motivate!

Today I attended an assembly at Little a’s school, High Lakes.  I received an email from her teacher this morning inviting me to see her get an award for positive behavior.  I was psyched to go and see the ceremony!  I arrived on time, took my seat and waited for her class to arrive in the auditorium.

Remember those days as a kid?!  I sure do!  I loved assemblies. A change in the schedule meant less work and more time to socialize with your friends. woohoo!

First on the docket was the presentation of the awards. I thought we’d be out soon, but I was soooooooo wrong, BUT pleasantly surprised. The music teacher called a group of 4/5th graders up to the stage to do a Broadway Ensemble!!!! Holy Cow!  I was in heaven!  NYC! NYC! I couldn’t believe it because just yesterday I wrote a post about a dream job in NYC! So for the next 20 minutes, I was whisked off to NYC, listening to the sounds of the Lion King, Rent, and Wicked! What a show!  My toes were tapping and my leg was a-swinging! “Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes!  I just can’t wait to be KING!!!” They were terrific….  After the musical, we were dismissed back to our classes. Oh wait!…not me!  The kids were dismissed, and I had to wait in the hall until school was over!

While checking the art work and fun stuff, I saw this simple yet effective teacher made poster on the wall!  Way to go High Lakes!  I love, love, love seeing reminders to recycle.  This sign raises the awareness of the students and staff. It makes you think before you toss.  This is similar to the sign at Mt.Bachelor except it’s a bit more detailed.

There’s just one item on this list that I want to change!  One of Wonder Worman’s missions!  Can you find it? I’ll give you about 5 seconds to scan and answer……Ready, Set, GO!  5, 4, 3, 2, 1…..Times UP!

I want to move the Food!!!! to the recycling side and create a side that writes “Put in the Compost Bucket!”

Soon, Soon, soon!  Patience WW! Patience!!

One school at a time…….  (Tumalo Community School is on the horizon)

Maybe I can get an award for displaying patience!  ….nah, there’s no time for that!

Dream job! One of many in my mind, but this one has captured “the NYC in me!”

I Love NYC!  The energy, the people, the culture, the movement, the history, the noise, the architecture ……amazing!  I grew up on Long Island and as a child would visit the city often.  Our field trips involved train rides to see plays and visit museums.  We didn’t have gadgets to keep us occupied.  We had our friends!  The excitement of the city kept us talking on the outbound ride, and the sheer exhaustion from all the sights and the clickety clack of the train lulled us to sleep on the ride home!  I consider myself lucky to have experienced NYC as a kid and even luckier that I have the opportunity to return every summer.

At least once a week, I visit NYC via the web.  I look at web cams, visit the museums, check out plays, and look for something interesting!  Today while searching, I found the Brooklyn Bridge Park, a park working towards sustainability.  They feed their trees and shrubs organically, and are also working on creating composting areas as the park grows.  I am guessing the green trash can is used for collecting compostable waste, such as banana peels or apple cores.

As they are updating existing structures on the park grounds, they are saving most of the material.  This material is then reused and transformed into another structure.  Maybe it is turned into a park bench where someone can sit for hours admiring the city’s skyline!  I hope to plop my behind on one of those benches and admire the urban environment!

So Brooklyn Bridge Park, if you are looking for a die hard New Yorker and one that loves Red Wigglers, give me a shout on the Worm Hotline.  I’ll recognize the area code, and will answer in a worm beat!