Vermont School Garden

A visit to a Vermont public school garden through the seasons.


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In A Pickle: Getting Summer Produce into School

Pickles ready to ferment

Pickles ready to ferment

July Broccoli

July Broccoli

Garden produce in the school kitchen

Garden produce in the school kitchen

Some produce, like our gorgeous broccoli, made it into the summer lunch program here at school.

Now it’s cucumber season and cukes taste yummy and crunchy eaten fresh off the vine, BUT there are so many of them, we need to preserve a few for when they’re not growing anymore. Time to ferment and process pickles! The summer campers were ready to stuff their jars with fresh dill heads and garlic from our garden. They added cucumber spears and brine and sealed their jars with a kiss. Right now the jars are stored in my cool dark basement. By Back to School BBQ Day on August 25th, the pickles will be ready to crunch on. Yummy summer memories will burst in our mouths!

adding dill and peppers

adding dill and peppers

adding garlic

adding garlic

stuffing jars

stuffing jars

Thumbs up for pickles!

Thumbs up for pickles!

There are a few gigantic cabbages growing in our garden. I’m converting one head into sour kraut. Right now it’s fermenting in a crock at my house. I also used some of our many cukes to make bread and butter pickles for our school salad bar. I used an old Vermont recipe. The crew inspired me to make them. They said they remembered their grandma’s bread and butter pickles. And for my own pickling tastes, I made a batch of Kim Chi, a Korean hot pickle, made with Napa cabbage, fish sauce and a few other summer veggies.

Giant Cabbage into sour kraut

Giant Cabbage into sour kraut

Sour Kraut Prep

Sour Kraut Prep

Crock Fermenting Sour Kraut

Crock Fermenting Sour Kraut

jalapeno peppers: pickle heat

vegetables for bread and Butter Pickles

washed vegetables for pickles

Click Below:

Simmering vegetables for bread and Butter Pickles

Simmering vegetables

Processed Bread and Butter Pickles

Processed Bread and Butter Pickles

 

 

Bread and Butter Pickle Recipe


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August Farewells

Rose's flower

Rose’s flower, taken in our wildflower garden

This summer’s teen crew and their leaders have left their mark on our Westminster School Garden. They were wonderful mentors for the young summer campers. They were willing to take risks and they worked hard. We will miss them and we hope they’ll rejoin us this fall for canning and preserving workshops we’ll be offering the community. Above is a photo of our wild flower garden taken by Rose, one of our teens. (She’s responsible for a lot of the photo documentation in the last few blog entries.)

Tomato pergola

Tomato pergola

staking tomatoes

staking tomatoes

helping hands

helping hands

Gia and the summer crew

Gia and the summer crew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had two  summer campers, Jay and Conner, who learned a lot working side by side with our teen crew.

Tomato pergola

Tomato pergola

aspiring crew members

aspiring crew members

weeding September crops

weeding September crops

 

Irene and the crew 2014

Irene and the crew 2014


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Time for Massaged Kale Salad: YUM!

 

observing July kale harvest

de-ribbing the kale leaves

de-ribbing the kale leaves

getting the idea of working the kale

getting the idea of working the kale

helping with gloves

helping with gloves

breaking down fibers

breaking down fibers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer’s here and the time is right for making massaged kale salad, one of the Westminster campers’ favorite activities. They even like eating it after they help make it. We worked quickly during outdoor recess to complete our salad. Everyone wanted more! The combination of salt and lemon make this a big hit among kids young and old.

 

working hard with adult help

eating kale salad

eating kale salad

KALE SALAD RECIPE


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Mulching and Harvesting Garlic, Mid July

Harlow Farm Mulch

mulching the new garden

mulching the new garden

mulching around the butterfly garden

mulching around the butterfly garden

 

marigold pathway

marigold pathway

spreading hay

spreading hay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even with a dedicated young crew, the weeds were getting the best of us in July. We were blessed with a very wet growing season, contributing to our bounty of veggies…..AND weeds. Harlow Farm came to our rescue, selling us 20 bales of hay. They went a long way to keeping the weeds down. Last year we mulched a bit later in the summer.

washing garlic

washing garlic

rinsing garlic

washed garlic

washed garlic

hanging garlic in the barn to dry

hanging garlic in the barn to dry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our garlic was ready to harvest at about the same time. Bulbs weren’t as large this year as last year. I was told by Putney farmer, Marissa Miller at Lost barn farm, that there are many varieties of garlic to choose from. Next fall we’re planting some of Marissa’s giant garlic! We washed and attempted to braid the garlic, but we would have been better off rubber banding the tough stems together. The garlic was taken to Betsy MacIsaac’s Crooked Fence Farm where it was set up to dry by my grand daughter, Imogen.