All posts filed under: Seed to Table

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, …

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. …

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!

Strawberry Smiles

Last week was a riotous affair in the GMS Gardening classes! A crop of strawberries presented the best opportunity for eating in some weeks! Every class made the most of a beautiful bounty of lettuce and strawberries with a delicious salad (topped with fresh strawberries and strawberry dressing) and strawberry ice cream. We divided into two groups to create the menu: Aubrey’s group led the salad making, carefully placing fresh berries from our garden on a bed of colorful, crunchy lettuce. My group made the ice cream, filling the ice cream bucket with ice and rock salt and watching intently as the motor turned the cream slowly, but surely, into a deliciously sweet treat. There’s only a few more weeks of strawberry season left, so follow the recipes below to try some at home today! Strawberry Ice Cream Ingredients: 1 pound strawberries 2 cups heavy cream 1 cup whole milk 2/3 cup sugar Directions Place 1 small bowl strawberries in a food processor and puree. Combine cream, milk, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat …

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)  

Chocolate Peppermint Mousse

We call this “mousse” but it is not a true mousse. It is more like whipped cream with flavorful additions… 1 pint Organic Heavy Whipping Cream 4 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder 6 Tbsp. Sugar 1 tsp. Peppermint Oil Fresh Mint (from the garden)   Pour chilled cream into a large bowl and whip on high speed until the cream thickens forming little peaks. Be careful not to whip too far, or it will turn into butter! Add cocoa powder, sugar, and peppermint oil, and whip until well mixed. Garnish with Fresh Mint Leaf.

Vegetable Soup

Barley Carrots Potatoes Celery Chicken Stock Peas Cut potatoes into quarter inch cubes, the carrots into circles, and celery into semi-circles. Wash the barley, until water runs clear, then put in the pot with double the water to cover, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cooked until tender 30-40 minutes. In a separate pot, bring stock to boil, add your vegetables, and reduce to medium-high. Cook for around 30-45 minutes. Drain the water from barley, add to the soup. Adjust seasoning to taste

Beef Stew

Local Organic Beef Potatoes Carrots Hakurei Turnips Sweet Potatoes Flour Bouillon or Beef Stock In a large stockpot, put brown cubed beef in butter or olive oil over medium high heat. To make the roux, sprinkle flour over browned meat, continually stirring until the flour is lightly brown. While stirring, gradually begin to add beef stock. Do this a little bit at a time to prevent the rough from clumping. Next, add chopped vegetables. Cook until broth is thickened and vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper for taste.


I have marveled for years at how much children love kale. For some reason it always surprises me how they flock to it, and this year when we made kale salad and crunchy kale, I was no less amazed. They were literally licking their plates clean and asking for seconds. For a classic crunchy kale we tossed the washed and shredded kale with balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and olive oil, and roasted it in the oven until crispy.