All posts filed under: Garden News

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!

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 …

Worldly Plants: Luffas and Rice

This fall Upper Elementary students have been working hard in their permaculture garden. So hard, in fact, that they are in the midst of perhaps the greatest discovery they’ve made all year: how to process the luffas and Carolina Gold rice that they planted in the spring of 2015. Students planted the luffa gourds with Aubrey in early June by mounding up 3 small hills at the end of beds along the black chain-linked fence. Why here, you might ask? Because these plants produce a beautiful trellising vine that will grow straight up a brick wall all summer long. Our luffas loved that small corner we carved out for them and only at the end of December were they ready to harvest. Although most of the plantings we have in the garden are edible (and luffas are), there are some that are not! When harvested early, the luffa fruits are eaten often in many South East Asian countries. When left for months to grow large, the fruits become, arguably, nature’s best scouring brushes and sponges! …

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!  

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!