All posts filed under: Farm to Fork

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 …

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 …

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. 

Persimmon Pancakes

We made these celebratory pancakes both this fall and last as the persimmons were ripening. There were loads of them this year, so look for more blogs on the many many things we’ve done with them. This recipe featured cardamom, a spice many primary and lower el students had never encountered before. They were a perfect treat during the cool rainy weather. One of our favorite activities is making whipped cream from scratch and grinding flour from wheat berries so that the students can see where all of the ingredients came from in their whole form! We used ultra ripe persimmons for this recipe, so the pulp folds into the batter just like jam. You can however, also cut up a firm Fuyu persimmon and there will be little chunks of persimmon goodness in your pancakes. Enjoy!

What’s growing in the winter garden?

The hardiest of the cool weather vegetables can survive the winter. Some of them will need protection from harsh freezing temperatures and some of them can withstand temperatures down to 10 degrees! Interestingly, the adaptation that allows them to survive, also makes them sweeter. When it gets cold, these plants convert some of their starch stores into sugar, which prevents their cells from freezing. It’s the same concept as salt on the road — the presence of salt, or in this case sugar, lowers the freezing point of water. Lettuce, Spinach, and Cilantro are growing under plastic row covers. We follow Elliot Coleman’s four season gardening method, low tunnels heating up with the sun on cool days and protecting from crippling temperatures at night. We plant lettuce in succession to have a fresh supply throughout the winter and early spring. We’ve been using these greens nearly every week in restaurant to make a side salad that feeds 40+. Did you know that lettuce is related to dandelions and was first cultivated by ancient Egyptians? Spinach, …

Moroccan Spiced Oranges

This week for Farm to Fork we had a great meal and made this great light fruity dessert to accompany it. Fruit is scarce to non existent in the gardens right now, and even so, we can’t grow most citrus plants here, but everyone needs a boost of vitamin C in the winter! Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups orange sections, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 1 tbsp. powdered sugar 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon extra ground cinnamon and grated orange peel – optional fresh peppermint leaves for garnish (optional)