Vermont School Garden

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


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BACK TO SCHOOL IN THE GARDEN

mystery-heirloom-native-seed-revealed-acorn-squash

There’s a lot going on this month, some of which I’ve recorded here. Many teachers have taken advantage of the good weather and the kaleidoscope of images in the garden to visit with their students.

Keene State University Dietetics Post Grads visited one morning with their professors. Our chef, Harley  and his assistant, Melissa frequently incorporate our produce into their menus. You’ll see some extra tomatoes bubbling into sauce in one of the photos below. At recess time, kids love a run out to the garden to see what’s happening and to taste a few ripe raspberries.

We said “Good-Bye” to our hard working garden crew. They were able to get in a few cooking lessons in before they left.

sunflower-house-copyin-the-sunflower-house

drying-produce

Washing and spin-drying produce.

ksu-students-visit

Visiting KSU students.

 

KSU student visit.jpgHarley's tomatoe sauce.jpg

Harley and  Melissa.jpg

Chef Harley and Melissa.

last summer weeding.jpg

Last day summer garden crew.jpg

Our awesome teen crew and their leader, Meghan Licciardi.

ready for winter.jpg

Ready for winter.

 

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PESTO IN AUG./SEPT.

picking-the-last-of-the-basil

picking-the-last-of-the-basil

Our basil suffered from the drought this summer. It didn’t produce the usual ‘hedge’ of green that was harvested by students and staff members alike during past growing seasons. Fourth graders harvesting this year’s basil planted it from seed with their teacher, Dena Weiss-Tisman, in the  spring of their third grade year. We added parsley to make our pesto this fall and we made it with roasted/salted sunflower seeds fresh garlic and olive oil……no dairy! The kids loved tasting it. We made enough to freeze for the winter.

spinning-the-basil-dry

spinning-the-basil-dry

adding-sunflower-seeds

adding-sunflower-seeds

with-nancy

picking-the-last-of-the-basil

adding-sunflower-seeds

grade-4-parsely-basil-pesto adding-sunflower-seeds

with-nancy

With teacher Nancy Bladyka

 


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AUGUST HARVESTING AND HUMUS MAKING

parsley

parsley

Our chef, Harley Sterling, requested an  herb garden to enhance the gourmet meals he prepares for the school. This summer the parsley did not disappoint! We used some of it to show the teen crew how to make humus. They also pulled up a few carrots for dipping. After a reluctant first taste and a “no thanks, no more,” one of our crew members discovered that humus and carrots aren’t so bad. I think she might try making this for a snack again sometime.

carrot-harvest

carrot-harvest

washing-carrots

washing-carrots

add-chick-peas

add-chick-peas

parsley-for-humus

parsley-for-humus

tomatoes for sauce and salad bar

tomatoes for sauce and salad bar


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MID-AUGUST GARDEN CARE

tomato-harvestThis summer we experimented with leaving most of our tomato plants to vine out rather than staking and suckering them. It’s hard to say why the “vined out’ tomatoes did so well, but we certainly had an abundant crop! My theory is that they had more shade to protect them from the drought-like conditions we had this summer. Kudos to the teachers who came out to stake the other side of our tomato patch. Those tomatoes are easier for kids to pick and eat.

finding-potatoes

finding-potatoes

potato-harvest

potato-harvest

Our potatoes were hidden by a dense cover of weeds thanks to early July rain. The teen crew harvested them in mid-August, but the elementary students will still be able to harvest our sweet potatoes whose vines haven’t died out yet. We gave the white and red potatoes to our school chef, Harley Sterling. He washed them a put them in storage for a future school meal. Thanks, Harley! (You can see below what our sweet potatoes looked like mid-summer after the crew weeded and mulched them with straw.) Next are photos of the amazing job these kids did weeding our popcorn:

sweet-potatoes-weeded-and-mulched

sweet-potatoes-weeded-and-mulched

garden-crew-in-the-popcorn

garden-crew-in-the-popcorn

weeding-the-popcorn

weeding-the-popcorn

popcorn-weeded

popcorn-weeded

a-break-from-weeding

a-break-from-weeding