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Fall Harvest With Family & Consumer Science!

Fall Harvest

FCS & Learning Garden Article October 1, 2021

It’s Harvest Time at our Valley Day Learning Garden. The students have been busy in the learning garden, observing, exploring, planting, weeding, and soaking up the fresh air and sun. Now it is time to harvest!

September found us harvesting tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, carrots, apples (both Gala and Red Delicious varieties), and fresh herbs: peppermint, lemon balm, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, chives, and basil. And there is so much more to come! 

Students are currently finishing the plantings for our fall/winter garden. We are sure to have a feast with all the great vegetables we have planted: fingerling potatoes, kale, swiss chard, carrots, beets, radishes, cauliflower, three different varieties of cabbages and lettuces , broccoli, green beans, Kohlrabi, peas, and collard greens. Phew! That’s a mouthful, quite literally!

So much to explore, discover, learn, care for, and nurture in this garden. Students are learning how to identify weeds, care for the seeds and plants, and maintain the garden beds for the vegetables they have planted. The garden is also a space for self-care, where students can enjoy the beauty of the plants and flowers, appreciate the array of colors this season has to offer, the joy of feeling a cool fall breeze, the warm sun, and the peace that can come from being in nature with the plants, birds, and insects that visit our garden.

Farm to Table

We are also exploring the farm to table connection. All that we are harvesting is brought back to the Family and Consumer Sciences Kitchen where we wash and prepare the food for delicious recipes. Our first recipes came from the abundant, green basil our students are currently harvesting. We prepared a fresh, green Pesto Genovese that we served over pasta. Students worked together to prepare this dish and enjoy the fruits of their labor, and they will be processing more pesto to freeze for use during the long winter months when basil won’t be available for use on pizza, pasta, and much more. There are many more recipes to come with fresh ingredients from our garden,the next two being Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce, and  Apple Harvest Muffins. We’ll keep you updated on what’s being harvested and all the recipes students are exploring. 

Finally, we’re so happy to share that Valley Day has been selected as a recipient of a Big Green Jumpstart Grant! This grant is aimed at accelerating outdoor learning and it will help us improve our outdoor Learning Garden that serves as an outdoor classroom, produces fresh vegetables and fruits, and brings our learning community together. We share in Big Green’s mission to help provide students with the opportunity to connect to real food, from farm to table, right in their own school community.