The oft asked question, ‘Can we have carrots for garden nibbles?’ is now being met with a resounding ‘YES!’ from the garden staff. Our first crop of carrots are ready for harvest and the students have been happily munching them after each garden class. Carrots are the most popular garden nibble and we suspect there is an element of magic that can’t be ignored. Pulling the carrot out of the soil is almost as satisfying as eating them. Munching every last bit of orange goodness ends an hour in the garden with smiles from the children. Carrots, lettuce, spinach, kale, and peas are all ready for eating. Happy students walking the garden paths this spring with handfuls of green and bright orange. Carrot taco anyone?
Learning about Pollinators, bees specifically, and digging deep into the soil to see what’s living there has been an inquiry that the First Grade students have done very well. Their enthusiasm and straight forward connection to the living world of the garden is always a delight to see.
The much beloved kale was harvested by the Second Grade students recently. After the harvest, students studied the entire plant, noting the green seed pods forming on the stem and drawing the plants in their journals. The kale plants have provided endless garden nibbles for the students throughout the year. As the kale plants go to seed, we keep them in the garden to watch them flower and grow seed pods. The students love to eat the kale flowers as well.
Third Grade students have learned about seed families by hands on experience with sorting, naming, and then planting seeds in the soil. They enjoyed learning the different ‘family’ names and learning how the plants produce seeds. The final, and most popular step was harvesting and preparing a fresh salad bowl that was dressed with freshly made dressing. Liza Elman, our culinary arts instructor, was on hand to support students in making the dressing.
Fourth Grade students have designed and engineered trellis’s for peas. They are now observing as the peas they planted are climbing on the trellis’s and beginning to produce peas for eating. Recently, they also planted beans around the poles of our bean teepees and took the time to notice the differences in the ways the peas and beans grow and how we support growth of each plant differently.
Growing micro greens through the dark, cool days of early spring has been a task that the Grade Five students took charge of. The pea shoots produced were eaten fresh, and also made into pea shoot pesto that was used on Earth Day as a condiment for veggie snacks. Many students (and teachers) have become pea shoot converts and prefer pea shoot pesto to the traditional basil variety.
A new garden has grown up near the first grade wing, on the West side of the Elementary school. The fifth grade students have helped dig out pathways and prepared the beds that are now producing some fresh peas, kale, sorrel and broccoli. Fifth graders will continue to check in and work on the easily accessible SNACC garden. It’s just a hop, skip and jump away from the play field and they can come over during recess to help and nibble.
This spring has kept us busy with cold, wet weather however there’s no stopping the growing. Just like the children who come to garden classes each week, enthusiastic, hungry and full of surprises the garden has provided a wealth of learning and eating. Children, gardens, eating and growing, a winning combination!