Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our first garden to kitchen day!

I hope you are all ready for our first Arctic Blast, it is going to be a chilly night!  Luckily, our vegetables all like the cold and will not be too bothered by the cooler temperatures, although the tomatoes might get a bit droopy...

So I am pleased to report that we had our first kitchen to garden experience with Mrs. Mann and Ms. Conant's classes.  The kids came out to the garden and helped harvest the lettuce that we used to make our delicious and nutritious smoothies.  We used the fresh herb mix for our pizza's that we had prepared by picking the basil and oregano from the garden, drying it and grinding it up into a spice mix.  The kids all helped to make the pizzas and did a great job enjoying them as well!  We were able to observe how something can go from a solid to liquid state while we were making our smoothies and how heat changed the state of the pizzas!

I am looking forward to working with 2nd grade and their vegetable soup project as well as with the 3rd grade who are to thank for all the delicious green beans that have been growing!

Please let me know if you would like to have a green smoothie day with your class or perhaps some fresh lettuce wraps as we have lots of lettuce that needs to be eaten, or perhaps a faculty member would like some fresh lettuce for a salad!

I will be in the garden this Friday if you would like to schedule a time for an activity, I have some great books and other ideas for investigations for older grades as well.

See you Friday!

Here are some pictures from this past week as well as the recipe for "green" smoothies.

2 cups of chopped lettuce, spinach or kale
2 cups of Vanilla Almond milk
1 bag of frozen fruit, mango, banana and pinneapple mix
Sweeten with honey or agave syrup to taste, we used 2 tablespoons
Mr. Ferriante tending to garden!

Happy bean plants and flowering cucumber plants.

You can see the bean plant is almost half way up the fence!

Yummy green smothies!

Our work in progress.

Nothing like fresh spices on a pizza!

Even our youngest garden helper loved his snack!

Our bountiful harvest.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy November!

Happy November!

Now that fall is officially here and we have been having lots of rain, our garden life has been changing.  The most noticeable change has been in the watering, we have had to do much less watering as we have had more rain and lower temperatures, allowing the soil to retain the moisture for longer.  You can really see how much our fall plants have been enjoying this cooler weather.  However, the tomatoes are missing their long warm days.  We have many tomatoes on the vine that have not ripened as we have had less direct sun and cooler temps, hopefully they will ripen before it gets colder but if not we might just have some "fried green tomatoes!"

This Friday we will be harvesting some of our butter lettuce for some "green smoothies" as well as making some simple pizzas using our garden grown spice mix!!!  We will be doing this in Ms. Mann's class.

We also have several green beans growing and some green peppers that will be ready to eat soon as well.  If you would like to have a garden in the kitchen activity please let myself or Ms. Mann know!  There are many simple ways we can use what we have growing in the kitchen, a great way to show the effects of heat and how it can change the state and properties of the food.

Please contact me if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a specific time or activity that I can help with in the garden!  Otherwise the garden is always open and it is yours to utilize or simply just enjoy!  Here are a few ideas for ways to use the garden quickly and effectively.

Have the kids write a "bio" poem - This can be a simple short poem focusing on rhyming.

Do a color scavenger hunt, split the kids into teams of 3 and assign each team a color and have them bring back 3 examples of that color.

Map the garden or use organic items to glue on a map of Texas or the Continents.

Measure and graph the growth of the plants.

Cook up a simple dish using fresh or dried herbs from the garden!  See what happens to fresh herbs once they are exposed to heat or cold!!??

The green peppers are on their way!

A lovely fall morning!

The cauliflower plants are thriving!

Morning dew... ask your students why this happens!?

The lettuce is ready to eat!

The cucumber is flowering and should be ready soon!

Anyone like pickles?

Green beans!

Snap peas!

Maybe a green bean casserole!?