The IslandWood Garden

Welcome to the Garden!

We are an educational, edible garden nestled in the IslandWood campus on Bainbridge Island, WA. The first planting was in the fall of 2002, and the garden has since grown into a valuable component of the IW experience. We love to grow everything from food crops such as potatoes and herbs such as oregano, to native and medicinal plants with the help of students, and friends. We work with visiting schools from all over the surrounding counties, emphasizing the value and importance of teaching food sustainability, hands-on experiences, the joys of local harvest, organic methods, community, cooperative work, and ecosystem connections to food and farms. Thank you for visiting us!

The Garden Classroom
Garden staff and volunteers support the IslandWood 4-day residential program activities in the garden.
Garden activities are fully integrated into the SOP curriculum and focus on exploring gardens as ecosystems, art in the garden, soil science, and most importantly, the food cycle: from food waste in the dining hall to compost to garden soil to garden plantings to harvest to the IslandWood kitchen and dining hall! Garden activities center around understanding garden ecology, changes in seasons, the relationship between fresh and nutritious food and human health, and basic hands-on gardening techniques.
The garden beds are intentionally designed and planted to provide a variety of tastes, colors, smells, and culinary uses to demonstrate to children the diversity of fresh vegetables and fruits than can be grown locally in a garden. We hope that in our sensory and tasting tours, children will be able to appreciate fresh produce, and be able to see it in its original form, not encased in plastic or part of a cooked meal!
We also have a garden "classroom" where field groups can meet in a garden setting. The garden is also designed to accommodate wheelchairs, with wide trails between beds, a navigable surface in the greenhouse and garden, and raised beds at varying heights to facilitate wheelchair access.

Honeybees in the IslandWood Garden

Thanks to our former lead Garden Educator Scott Brinton, we acquired a new group of friends at the IslandWood garden that arrived in May 2012......a new colony of honeybees! They are a great addition to help keep the garden healthy, pollinated, and perhaps will even bring some delicious local honey. We are so grateful and happy to have them! They live here inside these boxes, and have been tougher to spot lately. Why? Because they like to stay warm and cozy inside when it is cold!

Matt Schmidt, one of our amazing kitchen staff members, is our beekeeper and he helps keep the bees happy as well as educates our IslandWood staff about the benefits and care of bees.


The organic garden grows herbs, some produce, and edible flowers for use in the kitchen during the School Overnight Program, and other special dining events. Children routinely harvest produce and bring it to the kitchen staff to reinforce the seed to table concept of gardening!

Our garden was made possible by the generosity of our donors Heide Felton, Deb Fenwick, and Anne Lennartz, and we are deeply grateful for their contribution. Thank you!

In addition, many volunteers, IW graduate students, students, and staff have helped make the garden the beauty it is today. We thank all of you!

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