All posts tagged: Lower-El

Thanksgiving and Mindfulness

For our Thanksgiving lesson this year we talked about the bounty of the garden & nature. We filled a basket with seasonal produce – butternut squash, sweet potatoes, dried corn, garlic, and herbs – and discussed how many of the foods we see at Thanksgiving are roots and seeds. They are foods that store well and are often harvested near the end of the growing season. Some things change with time, but the seasons and foods available, no matter how technological we become, are much the same regionally  (barring greenhouses and transfer trucks.) Fall is a time of bounty and we are so thankful to be able to share food together that we have grown with the help of rain, sun, microbes, and all manner of other creatures. Students crunched away on some delicious carrots before break and contemplated mindfulness and gratitude while they ate. Advertisements

Kale

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.

Beets!

This year we made this amazing beet hummus that the kids went crazy over because of its beautiful red color. Bright Red Beet Hummus: Makes a medium-sized bowl of hummus         1 
pound cooked beets         1/4
 cup sunflower seeds         2 
tablespoons lemon juice         ½ 
tablespoon tahini         ½ 
teaspoon ground cumin         1
 garlic clove         1
 tablespoon olive oil         ½ teaspoon salt Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides. Taste throughout and adjust the balance as you see fit. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered.  

Ginger for all

  This is our second year growing ginger at GMS and it is such a beautiful plant! We enjoyed making fresh ginger lemon honey tea with all of the classes. Steep the following in hot water for 3-5 minutes: 3 Tbsp. shredded fresh ginger 1 Tbsp. squeezed lemon juice 1/4 tsp. cinnamon honey to taste

Fresh Grape Juice

We have decided that there is nothing more heavenly than fresh pressed juice. This year, like most, we harvested bucketfuls of grapes from our scuppernong/ muscadine vines. These native grapes are prolific and uniquely delicious. Students worked hard to use the fruit press to squeeze all of the flavor out of their grapes!

Harvesting for Market!

This fall and summer the gardening classes on Tuesday got to do a lot of harvesting for the market. We are still harvesting broccoli, carrots, spinach, kale, and lettuce even in the depths of winter thanks to the hoop houses and our frost hardy plants. We  regularly brought a scale with us to class and weighed all of our produce at the end. Peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, oh my! We usually had close to 100 pounds of produce, and sometimes more! Students enjoyed cutting and arranging flowers, snacking as they worked, and doing math to total up our harvests. We harvested okra, ground cherries, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, squash, cucumbers, kiwis, carrots, peppers, herbs, zinnias, cosmos, and much more! Students learned about the variety and bounty of foods growing in the fall garden. We hope that you made it to the market!

2012 Sweet Potato Harvest

In the gardens we’ve just finished our annual sweet potato harvest. From Upper-El, Lower-El, and Primary we harvested a whopping 250lbs of potatoes! The potatoes this year were humongous, many of them bigger than a human head, but with all sorts of interesting shapes. No matter what age you are, harvesting potatoes is simply really fun, and the students enjoyed hunting for this delicious treasure. Our potatoes will cure in the greenhouse and then we will make pies, chips, biscuits, and treats galore with them for months to come. Be sure to look for some at the garden market for months to come.