Author: Jenny Kimmel

Maria’s Market Farm Cart

On Friday afternoons, Junior High students at GMS engage in purposeful active work, which stimulates their intellect, while teaching them about the basic structure of production and exchange, i.e. economy. This program is called the Micro Economy Program. At the beginning of each school year, students apply for jobs based on their interests, talents, and abilities. This is our 5th year running the program as an integrated “Farm to Fork” business, with branches in Research and Development, Design and Fabrication, Finance, Tribal Council, an on-site Restaurant, and a Farm Team. To read more about the Micro Economy Program Click Here. Last year the Farm Team submitted a proposal to the Design and Fabrication Team to build a mobile market where produce from the gardens, eggs, and student art could be sold. The Design Team jumped at the project, pledging to retrofit an old trailer bed generously donated by garden manager Aubrey Cupit into a functional and beautiful “Market.” Student Lily Wagoner, under the guidance of her teacher Jonathan McLean, used an application called Sketchup to design the …

Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) 2017

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Permaculture? Do you wish you had flourishing gardens with fruit tree’s, herbs, and abundant fresh vegetables growing in your front or backyard like the ones at Montessori? Permaculture (short for permanent agriculture) teaches you to get the most out of space, filling it with useful and edible plants, all to the benefit of the land. Humans reap the rewards on so many levels – juicy fresh blackberries or a warm vine ripe tomato, the cool shade on a warm summer day offered by a plum tree, butterflies and birds attracted to the garden by flowers and food, the gift of hours quietly working in the garden. And then there’s the fact that there’s nothing more satisfying to the soul than cooking with food you’ve grown yourself! If this sounds exciting to you, then you may be interested in taking a Permaculture Design Certification course. Jenny Kimmel, longtime gardening teacher at GMS, and the Land-Lab Coordinator, is offering a 72 hour Certification that will teach you not only the …

Backpack Beginnings!

GMS Middle School students are excited to be giving back by donating produce harvested from the gardens to Backpack Beginnings. Last Friday marked out first official donation. Students on the Farm crew for the GMS Micro-economy harvested two crates full of persimmons, peppers, and bags of mixed greens, slated to go to Jones Elementary and students in need. Several weeks prior, students reached out with a letter to BPB, extending their support and stating their eagerness to work with them. Then our 8th grade Market Manager made a call to arrange a pick up for Friday. It is a wonderful example of how middle school prepares students to be proactive and mature communicators, capable of adult interaction and furthermore, that our students want not only for our community to thrive and experience health and well being, but for the community at large to be “full” and nourished. We plan to continue to donate weekly to BPB and hope that this is the start of a beautiful partnership. Stay tuned! “Over 49,000 Guilford County School children …

Traditional Corn Husk Dolls

We grow corn every summer in the GMS gardens but this is the first year that we have saved the husks, cobs, or silk for any purpose. These charming little dolls were so easy to make and the students seemed genuinely pleased by them. They aren’t as bedecked as the “tree change dolls” or some of the other corn-husk dolls I’ve seen, but nonetheless, the children’s imagination took flight and they were playing with them instantaneously. To make the dolls we soaked the corn husks in hot water for ten minutes and then used yarn to tie a head, waist, and legs! They were a treat for our Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary students. We also enjoyed reviewing all of the words associated with corn (winnowing, kernel, husk, cob, silk, maise, tassel, stalk…..) and learning about how corn pollinates.

Edible (and useful) Spring Weeds

In a permaculture garden there are many plants providing myriad functions. Have you ever wondered how we maintain such abundant gardens without the use of pesticides that seem to flourish in all seasons? One of the ways that we do this is to utilize nature to support itself. For example, many “weeds” or things that people consider to be weeds actually blossom and bring in beneficial insects and pollinators, or mine for minerals deep in the soil, bringing nutrients to the surface.  This is an important concept in permaculture for healthy thriving ecologically diverse gardens, so we brought the lesson to the classroom while working recently. In Lower-Elementary we had A LOT of spring weeds we needed to catch up with. We noticed while weeding that the most prolific of these was Purple Hen Bit (Lamium amplexicaule.) This purple flower is among the earliest bloomers and therefore one of the first food sources for honey bees. We explained that we leave these valuable weeds in the garden until after other nectar and pollen sources begin to …

All Things Persimmon!

Several factors have contributed to our harvest of a bumper crop of persimmons this year. One of those is most likely the honey bees on campus have been working hard to pollinate our many crops and they apparently did a thorough job on the persimmons, which are an early bloomer and good source of food for them in spring. We also prevented any “pre-harvesting,” which led to higher yields. We have been busy in gardening classes and with the middle school farm team (part of the MS micro-economy) finding creative ways to eat and preserve the HUNDREDS we harvested this year. Hopefully you’ve already heard about a few of these from your children or purchased some of the jam, chips, or whole persimmons in the front office See some of our creations below! In addition to the persimmon salad, fruit roll ups, pancakes and 5 spice persimmon jam we also made persimmon salad dressing and ate a lot of fresh persimmons. Look for some of these products at Marketplace on December 16th!  

Maria’s Cafe Classic Cheesy Biscuits

These are an absolute favorite in Restaurant. We don’t make them every week, but add them to the menu whenever we can. Our pantry manager and assistant pastry chef Hayden is especially good at whipping up a batch whenever we have the need. They feature garlic from the GMS gardens. Ingredients: 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 cup butter 1 clove minced garlic 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese Instructions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Add the milk and cheddar cheese; stir to combine. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. While biscuits are baking mix melted butter and minced garlic. Brush garlic butter over hot baked biscuits.