Archive for March, 2013
Yes kale chips are the “in” “foodie” thing to do for sure- they are a delicious & quick snack popular with kids and adults alike. Just bake for a little over 5 minutes with a little olive oil and salt. We harvested this kale from our p-patch down the street and just cooked it right up. 99% of kids like this snack. Voila! Green goodness.
So much has been happening out here this week. We have been transplanting, moving the greenhouse plants around and around, uncovering garden beds, weeding, and planting hundreds of kale, collards, and chard.
We have been digging around a lot in our worm bins too. They are thriving right now and of course they a centerpiece of our sustainability focus here at Orca. Hundreds of pounds of food from the lunchroom goes in here every year.
We also hosted a Seattle Slow Food meeting this week where we have been networking with other involved with gardening and youth. Our friends Readers To Eaters helped coordinate this- they also gave us a great book that I have been reading with students- Sylvia’s spinach!
And lastly- the greenhouse is alive! We have started thousands of plants that will provide us and many schools & organizations with organic food.
What a day of rainstorms, sunshine, hale, blustery winds, and everything in between- ahhhh Seattle. It was nice to come in the greenhouse, listen to some bossa nova, eat some fresh & hot Orca soup, transplant tomatoes, & draw pictures celebrating spring. These multi-activity days can be really dynamic for kids- it keeps them actively engaged, moving, and of course having fun.
Check this incredible video detailing one man’s quest in South Central Los Angeles to bring food gardens to food deserts. Wowser!
We have been learning about GMO’s. There is really such a scary aura around GMO’s, but why?. I felt it was important to learn some facts about them and their political implications too. So what better way to get more mature and educated about GMO’s, than to watch this incredible cartoon!
Then we read this incredible article about Vernon Brown, who is fighting a losing battle against Monsanto about their franken-soy bean seeds. He had some accidentally pop up on his farm and is being charged with patent violations. Students had to write some reflections on this article and turn them in (Yay! Garden homework!).
I was really impressed with their reflections on this case- some thoughtful thinking in the 6th grade!
We have been hard at work on planting all the seeds that will grow thousands upon thousands upon thousands (get the idea?) of plants. We grow them for our annual plant sale (May 11th, 2013!) and for the roughly 20 different schools & community garden projects that get plants for free from us. The students really get the concept of helping the community when they do this project. These plants will produce thousands of pounds of food & that’s change kids can believe in.
If you know an organization that would like free, organic, veggie starter plants- email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will hook them up.
But for now, we wait & watch these 11 different tomato varieties sprout up…
The simple act of tasting foods in the garden is a powerful & delicious activity that gets all students moving, tasting, smelling, and touching plants. We have some winter hardy plants that are still growing – chard, kale, collars, green onions, fennel, pizza herbs, and more.
So we set the kids loose in the sunny garden today- armed with clipboards, colored pencils, crayons, and quite the appetite. They find the plants, taste & touch them, and sketch some scientific drawings. It’s like art, science, nutrition, and recess into one. This is a delicious activity for all grade levels.