Vermont School Garden

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


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A DILLY OF A MORNING FOR 4TH GRADE: MAKING DILLY BEANS

DILLY BEANS READY FOR THE SALAD BAR

DILLY BEANS READY FOR THE SALAD BAR

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Last week, Liz Wing’s 4th grade worked as a team to prepare beans for pickling. They washed and sorted beans, snipped off the stems and stuffed them into canning jars. For spiciness, they added our own garden garlic and dill and a bit of dried cayenne pepper. The brine (kosher salt, vinegar and water) and canning water was heating up in the kitchen as the kids worked together in their classroom. After the brine was added, jars were sealed and processed in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. The beans will be at their “pickley”  yummiest in about two weeks. We had the best of adult help to speed us along. This class was ready to move to their next activity in 1 hour. They put up 24 quarts of dilly beans for the school to enjoy this winter. (Recipe from Putting Foods By)

washers and snappers

gralic peeling

washed bean delivery

stuffing jarsstuffing beans in jarsgarlics peeling

measuring spice

adding dill headdsquality control

adding brine

student adding brinegarden popcorn and beans

This class remembered planting the garlic we used today last fall. Garlic cloves are planted sometime in October here in Vermont and they overwinter in the ground. Garlic bulbs are ready to be harvested in July.

While we were adding brine in the cafeteria, our volunteer parent, Amy Rice Sciacca, was making popcorn for All School snack. (You can see the bowls of popped corn in the background.)


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KITCHEN VISITORS AND BEANS FOR LUNCH

harvesting beans for the kitchen

harvesting beans for the kitchen

Last week we harvested a HUGE amount of beans. They will be used in our lunch program to feed 170 hungry students and their teachers. The lovely part about this is that the beans were planted (from seed) and weeded by  July summer campers and harvested by some of the same children this September.

Beans for our school lunch with chef, Kim Kinney

Beans for our school lunch
with chef, Kim KinneY

We hosted a new class of Dietetics students from Keene State College. Many if them came from previous food service careers or had relatives who had worked in the food service industry. These new college students are determined to change the eating habits of their future clients after witnessing firsthand the effects of years of cooking with too much salt and fat. At least three of them had relatives who suffered from Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease. The students were able to interview chef  Kim Kinney and our kitchen staff. They also had a chance to talk with volunteer parent, Stacie Illingworth, who explained how we introduce our “vegetable of the month” taste tests. Stacie also puts monthly vegetable quiz questions into the sides of the napkin dispensers!

KSU students interviewing the kitchen staff

KSU students interviewing the kitchen staff

hearing about the taste on the month

hearing about the taste on the month

peppers to the school kitchen

peppers to the school kitchen

Early morning students harvested bouquets of zinnias to decorate the dining tables. Don’t come too soon, frost. We love the zinnias! They were direct sown from seed by the Second Graders last June. Zinnias and peppers were maintained during the weedy summer months by dedicated teachers who volunteered to adopt these crops!

harvesting zinnias

zinnias for the dining hall

zinnias for the dining hall


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SEPTEMBER HARVEST

 

Harvesting: September

Harvesting: September

It’s HOT and humid here in southern Vermont and we’re ready to harvest lots of veggies from our school garden. Just look at the variety of produce these guys found when they went out to pick this afternoon! We used lots of these to make kale slaw. Because we have a bumper crop of kale, we’ve also made kale chips with Ms. BT’s 2nd grade. We’re about to try experimenting with a kale ice cream recipe. Click on any photo below to enlarge and get a better pciture of the activities that are going on in our outdoor classroom garden this September!

Harvest for School

Harvest for School

Outdoor Classroom

Outdoor Classroom

playing in the popcorn

playing in the popcorn

Produce for the Kitchen

Produce for the Kitchen

Team Kale Slaw

Team Kale Slaw

Harvesting Raspberries

Harvesting Raspberries

Harvesting Kale

Kale Chips

Kale Chips