All posts filed under: Methods

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, …

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! …

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, …