Author: Eliza Hudson

Growing Great Garlic: A Photo Diary

November 2016. Planting This year we planted Music garlic. An old Italian Heirloom Eliza found in Louisville, Kentucky this summer, we were very excited to try this hard neck variety. December-May… Weeding, Watering, Waiting… Garlic requires a long period of time to reach full maturity. On average, it can take anywhere from 6-10 months. You can plant in either fall or spring, but we always plant in the fall because the bulbs are bigger that way. May 2017. Harvest time! Afternoon students in Primary harvested and cleaned the first of four beds  we planted at GMS this year. They loved it so much they had a hard time stopping. May 2017. Post-harvest Star Treatment Upper Elementary and Middle School students harvested, cleaned, and bundled the remaining garlic in their garden. They also cut and bundled the garlic scapes, the flowering edible stalk, using them in the final Farm to Fork Restaurant of the 2017 school-year! Upper El and Middle School Casa students hung the bundles under the red shed in Lower Elementary for them to cure, …

Spring? Garden Workday

Whew! Is it really still spring? The weather would make you think otherwise. Probably the hottest Community Garden Workday on record commenced this past Saturday: 94 degrees with humidity. Water play, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and fava bean hummus kept our energy up and temperatures down while we accomplished a number of projects: Fixing the gate to our pond  Fixing the lattice on our shade structure for gathering circle Mulching and weeding to our hearts’ content Planting luffas, gourds, and trumpet vines to shade the gathering circle  Thanks to all who participated. We had a great time with each of you!

Strawberry Smiles

“The strawberries are ready!”  This simple sentence expresses so much joy for all of us at Greensboro Montessori. We weed, water, and wait nearly all year until these gems glisten like rubies every spring. And every spring, we prepare some delicacy to mark the occasion, be it strawberry shortcake, strawberry salad and strawberry dressing, strawberry ice cream… or this year, strawberry lemonade! We prepared this recipe in Primary classes on rainy spring days this April. Everyone LOVED it. It’s a keeper for our cooking curriculum and we hope it is for yours, too. With love, The Montessori Gardens Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups Strawberries, washed 1 1/2 cups Fresh Lemon Juice (from about 5 lemons) 1 to 1 1/2 cups Sugar 3 cups Cold Water Ice Directions: Puree strawberries with 2 tablespoons lemon juice in a blender until smooth. Force strawberry puree through a sieve to remove seeds (optional) Stir together the strawberry puree, remaining lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, and water in a large pitcher until sugar is dissolved. Taste! Add more sugar if desired. Serve over …

Carolina Gold Rice: Lessons in History

In spring 2015, Upper Elementary students planted Carolina Gold Rice in their permaculture garden. That fall, they threshed and winnowed the harvest as they discussed its history and origins in West Africa. They used a mortar and pestle like West African women did to hull the rice. Our students read about how these women, like those fed by the rice they prepared, were slaves bound for the Americas. They commented on how difficult it was to hull even a quarter cup (in an hour!) and imagined what months of such labor might feel like. In the year since we first planted and harvested Carolina Gold Rice with Upper Elementary students, I have read and researched more and more about its history. I recently came across a piece written by culinary historian, and grower of African and African-American heirloom crops, Michael Twitty. Twitty, whose work has been internationally recognized for years as a prominent voice in food justice, gives us a true and untold timeline of Carolina Gold (Oryza glaberrima), which dates from 3,500 B.C.E. along the West African Niger and Casamance rivers. …

“Be Keepers”

Friday morning was truly a riotous affair for several Upper Elementary students. Why? It marked the first session of a new Beekeeping elective 10 students are participating in. After discussing the basics of beekeeping in the fall, students got geared up and had their very first hands-on view of our hives behind the Middle School building. Check out what Upper El mother and photographer extraordinaire, Aris Wells, captured that morning. Thank you Aris! Stay turned for more information and Greensboro Montessori gardening adventures. In the meantime, remember that to “be a keeper” of bees is more fun with friends. Thanks for your continued support. Post comments and questions below!  

Welcome Back!

The gardens are in full summer swing here at the Greensboro Montessori School. Giant Zinnias and Black-Eyed Susan flowers are exploding in Primary, Scuppernong Grapes and Lunchbox Peppers are beginning to flush in Lower Elementary, and Sunflowers grace the Upper Elementary Teepee alongside a bounty of red burgundy okra. What a joy to be greeted with such beauty this week as students return! This year marks a significant change in the Permaculture Gardening program staff. After twelve spectacular years, Jenny Kimmel has decided to teach part-time in the Middle School Land and Microeconomy programs. She will still be an active part of the Greensboro Montessori School in this role, but this means we will all miss her grace and peaceful presence as our leader of both garden classes and the Permaculture program. Jenny’s mentee, Eliza Hudson, has moved into her position as the Lead Environmental Educator and Director of the Permaculture program. She will continue in Jenny’s stead teaching Primary, Lower Elementary, and Upper Elementary gardening classes and leading the program to ensure the gardens remain grounded in permaculture and Montessori …