Vermont School Garden

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


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Let the Garden Dreaming Begin

creating garden designs

creating garden designs

While our Vermont garden sleeps under a blanket of deep snow, the children at school are creating their dream designs for Planting Day, 2015. We’re also incorporating the wishes of our kitchen chef, Kim Kinney. She’d like more onions, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, beets and summer squash. Each developmental age brings its own special style of dreams to our garden planning. Older students made a list of vegetables on a white board for younger students to copy. I’m hoping to enlist as many classes as possible in the planning process. For older children there are opportunities to plan for space and graph to scale. For younger students, thinking about whether to draw vegetables growing above or under the ground might be challenge enough. For all children this presents a real world chance to create a dream plan in written form and to share it with their peers.

Kathleen and Katalina'sdesign

Kathleen and Katalina’s design

Casie and Ben's design

Casie and Ben’s design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping this week are our Master Gardener candidate, Kathleen Hacker and a new summer Keene State College Dietician intern, Casie Reynolds. Casie and another student intern will be working with children during our summer school program in July and August 2015.

Before we began our garden maps, students and teachers created a low cost delicious lentil soup using some of our own garden onions, garlic, carrots and tomatoes and a few locally grown veggies. (See recipe below)

Recipe: Winter Lentil Vegetable Soup

Chopping veggies

dicing veggiesgrating cabbage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stirring the soup

stirring the soup


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POTATO PANCAKES IN DECEMBER

Grating potato

Grating potato

It’s lots of fun to grate potatoes and crack eggs, but the real fun is in gobbling up these mid-winter treats. Potato pancakes are associated with cuisines of many European and Middle Eastern century-old traditions including Austrian (as Kartoffelpuffer or “Erdäpfelpuffer”), Belarusian (as дранікі draniki), Czech (as bramborák or cmunda), German (as Kartoffelpuffer or Reibekuchen), Hungarian (as tócsni and other names), Iranian, Jewish (as latkes or latkas, Yiddish: לאַטקעס, Hebrew: לביבה levivah, plural לביבות levivot), Latvian (as kartupeļu pankūkas), Lithuanian (as bulviniai blynai), Luxembourg (Gromperekichelcher), Polish (as placki ziemniaczane), Russian (as draniki, драники), Slovak (as zemiakové placky,haruľa or nálečníky), Ukrainian (as deruny, деруни) and any other cuisines which have adopted similar dishes. It is the national dish of Belarus. In Germany, potato pancakes are eaten either salty (as a side dish) or sweet with apple sauce, blueberries, sugar and cinnamon; they are a very common menu item during outdoor markets and festivals in colder seasons. In Swiss cuisine, the Rösti differs insofar as it never contains egg or flour. It is a traditional favorite in southern Indiana during holiday festivities.

Fried in oil until golden and sometimes served with sour cream and applesauce, there are few children or adults who would refuse a second or third helping. (By the way, our potatoes were grown in our own WCS garden. ) After the potatoes are grated on a clean kitchen towel, it’s interesting for children to see how much water can be squeezed out of them. When the water is removed and eggs, salt , grated onion and a little bit of flour are added, potato pancakes cook quickly to an even golden brown. Click on the recipe below! Here are some more pictures of Emily Clark and Sheryl Miller’s Westminster West students making latkes:

Recipe: Potato Pancakes

drying grated potato

drying grated potato

Grating potatoes

Grating potatoes

using a peeler

using a peeler

thumbs up for potato pancakes

thumbs up for potato pancakes


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Getting the Garden into the Kitchen: Salad Bar Beets

adding brine and storing jars

adding brine and storing jars

A group of dedicated multi-age students met weekly this fall to learn about where their food comes from. One of the assignments was pickling our garden beet harvest for the school salad bar. Last year pickled beets were a huge hit for students and teachers so this year we planted more of them. Students followed a recipe and doubled fractions to create the brine. I precooked the beets ahead of time and let them cool for easy removal of their skins. Slicing and prepping was no problem for even the youngest students. Our new Master Gardener candidate, Kathleen Hacker, was on hand to help with math and reading.

adding brine through funnel

adding brine through funnel

slicing beets

slicing beets

assembly line

assembly line

adding brine and storing jars

adding brine and storing jars

following a recipe

following a recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on recipe for: Pickled Beets