Just to prove it, here are photos of the sunset on the longest day of the year, taken from my balcony.

This island abounds with gardens of all types–flower and vegetable, large and small. Many families have their own space in cooperative community plots and you can see homemade green houses springing up every year for specialty plants suited to the Northwest weather.

Two years ago my daughter, Cary, spearheaded the Good Cheer Garden for the Good Cheer Food Bank, which helps feed hundreds of families every year who would otherwise be without fresh produce. And this year she has successfully put into operation an extensive school garden program that provides garden-based education to grades 1 – 5 at the Elementary School and grade 7 at the Middle School, while introducing young people to the joys of growing, and eating, their own food.

Here is a video made in May as the garden was getting into full swing. It will give you some idea of the enthusiasm with which these youngsters view their experience in the school gardens. You have no idea how hard they work to plant, hoe, fertilize, and harvest these crops…nor how proud they are of their accomplishments. The video was produced by the South Whidbey Schools Foundation which has provided grant funding to the school gardens.

Click HERE to see the video.

On June 24th, at a special fundraiser for Nepal, Cary shared slides of places we trekked before the earthquake and the same areas after the devastation. Over $1800 was raised! A big thank you to those of you who responded to my first plea for help in the rebuilding of this country we hold so dear. And no words could possibly express my admiration and gratitude to those Nepalese friends who are on the front lines providing help, taking food and supplies to towns isolated in the mountains, and building homes and shelters as the monsoon season approaches.

I have already mentioned Crystal Mountain Treks and Grand Asian Journeys, its U.S. affiliate. These are the people with whom we trek every year. Not only have they been instrumental in getting food and supplies to isolated villages in the mountains, but Jwalant Gurung, the director of operations, has now developed a new plan to help rebuild his country. Here is an opportunity for those who love trekking in the mountains of Nepal and also wish to be of service at this crucial time.

Click HERE for the rebuilding tours that Jwalant is organizing this fall.