Vegetable Garden Update December 4 2014
We had 17 turn up today for garden club and 3 graciously backed out due to numbers.
Getting into the spirit of Christmas we made shortbread. Once everyone had a go at either measuring or mixing and cutting out the children were sent out to the garden whilst the short bread baked.
There was lots of watering, trimming and composting. A couple of girls picked the ripe luscious strawberries which everyone got to eat. We also planted carrots and radish seeds. Did you know that RADISHES can decrease excess heat from your body, soothes sore throats and clears sinuses, relieves digestion and protects against cancer?
Each child took home a red spotty bag with 3 short bread and a sprig of rosemary.
Vegetable Garden Update November 27 2014
What a glorious day to be in the garden. The sun was shining, the plants were shining and the 14 kids that turned up were shining too!
We started with all the children picking out 5 weeds each and then we got stuck into the fun stuff. I had prepared some jugs of flavoured water to taste. The children all had a turn at trying mint, strawberry, ginger and Coca Cola (plant). Some smelt lovely but couldn’t really taste anything whilst other waters you could really taste the flavour.
A few children went with Jennifer and planted lettuce, whilst Karen took others to plant squash and a kiwi fruit plant. There was a hype of activity watering, fertilising and trimming.
All the children planted strawberry seeds in a take home kit and they were also able to take home some fresh herbs. (Rosemary, Vietnamese mint and bay leaf).
Vegetable Garden Update December 12th 2013
Fabulous day for gardening and baking shortbread! We had lots of children and thankfully Karen, Jennifer and Sarah were there to help. (unfortunately l didn’t get all of the children in the photo)
We started in the kitchen, measuring and sifting flour, rubbing in the butter, rolling out and cutting out the shortbreads.
Whilst they were cooking the children went out into the garden to water, dig up our home grown potatoes and spread bags of mulch around the garden to ensure the plants don’t dry out over summer. The children were able to take home a bag of shortbread, potatoes and herbs from the garden and the excess produce went to the front desk.
The garden looks amazing with the corn, squash, zucchini and strawberries (just to name a few) all growing like crazy. Check out the amazing Dragon Fly that visited our garden on Thursday afternoon. J
That was our last Garden Club for the year and l would like to thank everyone who has supported the Vegetable Gardens first year especially Karen and Jennifer and also for the children who turn up so excited to be involved and who get to discover, smell and taste the fabulous plants we have been growing.
This has been a great experience for me too. I have gone from a novice gardener to now watching the ABC’s “Gardening Australia” and “Vasilli’s Garden” on Channel 31 to learn and get ideas, not to mention google.
If you would like to be involved in the garden next year, even if it’s just to help out for one Garden Club session, we would love to have you, just give me a call.
Also if you are able to volunteer watering over the holidays for 1 week, please contact me.
Have a safe and happy holiday. Hoo Roo Prue J
Vegetable Garden Update November 28th 2013
Another fabulous day for the kitchen garden. With the 14 children that arrived, it was all hands on deck.
We proceeded to make couscous salad with produce from our garden. We picked celery, spinach, zucchini, beans, chives and parsley. Unfortunately the beetroot wasn’t any good, so the plant got chopped up and put in the compost. They also grated carrot, chopped capsicum and cucumber, whilst the couscous soaked. It was then all combined and topped with a delicious dressing from Tasmania. Our squash, zucchini, beans, tomatoes and rhubarb are growing fantastically and will be soon ready for the students to pick.
The children were able to take home a container of the salad each, which looked fabulous with all the bright vegetable colours. Thanks to Monsieur Jamie and Effie for their help today.
We will soon be asking for volunteers to water over the school holidays (1 week per family) so if you would like to support the garden so the children will have produce to come back to next year, please let me know!
Hoo Roo Prue (PS, please don’t pick the produce as it’s for the children J)
Vegetable Garden Update November 21st 2013
We had a full contingent today at garden club (unfortunately l didn’t get everyone in the photo). We started with Karen giving the children a tour of the garden, we then broke into groups and got to work.
The children planted apple cucumbers and butter bean seedlings and we also planted lemon grass seeds in our seed raising box. I brought in some mystery tomato seedlings which have popped up in my garden from my compost, so each child potted up a tomato in a tube container to take home. They also watered and picked out weeds. We have apples on our trees, lovely yellow squash and some zucchinis, with beautiful flowering sweet peas and the cornflowers are about to bloom too.
Thank you to Ms Ziino and her class for being our Garden Guardians, watering on Mondays and also to the classes who are contributing their fruit scraps to our compost bin. If there are any parents/grandparents who would like to be involved please feel free to give me a call on 0417 015 383, and if you have any cuttings that you would like to donate, please drop them off at the Vegetable Garden area. Thanks to Karen. Hoo Roo Prue J
Vegetable Garden Update November 14th 2013
Our Garden Club members were very hands on making Rhubarb Bran Muffins today. They picked the rhubarb from our garden and some chopped whilst others measured and poured and stirred.
Whilst we waited for the muffins to cook the children picked broad beans and planted watermelon seedlings. We made up bundles of herbs to take home (thyme, oregano, vietnamese mint, chives) and talked about each herb and what dishes they can be used in. Karen and l delivered the muffins to the classroom (with lots of “ooohh and ahhh’s” from the kids) as they weren’t quite ready in time.
Thank you to Jennifer and Karen. “Hoo Roo” Prue
Vegetable Garden Update October 31st and November 7th 2013
Sorry l didn’t manage to write up last weeks garden club news. The children planted pumpkin, watered and spread hay around the garden beds.
I tried to get the children to transfer the rotting contents from the black compost bin to our new fabulous tumble bin. With comments about the smell and feeling like they were going to be sick, l took over and let them off to water. It was certainly a good example of rotting not composting. The children were able to take home a pumpkin seedling which we had grown from seed, some broad beans and some Vietnamese mint. Thanks Karen for your help.
This week, we had almost 20 children turn up, and the ones that had been a few times graciously backed out to let children who hadn’t been before, enjoy the activity. Thankfully Monsieur Jamie arrived to help out. We made Creamy Leek and Bacon Dip. Whilst some children chopped the bacon, others came into the garden to pick all the leeks.
Creamy Leek and Bacon Dip
- 1 pound bacon
- 15 leeks, roots and leaves removed
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 2 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place bacon in a skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain and crumble.
2. In a a food processor, blend the cooked bacon, leeks, cream cheese, garlic and Worcestershire sauce until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve
The children then washed them and removed the outer leaves ready for chopping. A couple of children took turns in cooking the bacon whilst others were busily chopping and measuring ingredients to then add to the blender. I put the dip into containers for each of the children to take home and they were able sample it with a few corn chips each. The children spent the remainder of the time happily watering the garden. The plant photos below are of the artichokes and corn which are going strong. Thanks Jamie for your help.
Hoo Roo Prue J
Vegetable Garden Update October 24th 2013
The weather held off for Garden Club today which was great.
Our eager gardeners were extremely busy planting our pumpkin seedlings, onions, chilli’s, eggplant, tomato and basil. We dug in fresh manure, watered and also fed the worms.
The children were able to pick broad beans, carrots and YES strawberries, which they divided up, putting into bags to take home. The excess carrots went to reception, so grab a carrot to munch on as you go past.
Karen connected the new hose real and we watered, fertilised and did a general sweep and tidy up. The garden is looking wonderful, so if you’re in the grounds have a stroll through the garden it’s a lovely oasis. (be sure to check out our artichokes, they look amazing)
I hope that you guys will enjoy this space and manage to have the odd class (and lunch break J) out there on sunny days.
Thanks to Karen. Hoo Roo Prue J
Vegetable Garden Update September 12th 2013
The weather turned just in time for Garden Club and we made good use of the lovely sunshine.
We had some special Grade 2 guests that were extremely excited to join us today. Our project today was to make a garden around the big gum tree in Walter St. The children removed bark and debris and we moved some the pots to a new home.
There was lots of digging, planting and watering of the garden in general. We also fed the worms and had a tour of the garden. The children were able to take home a bag each with lettuce, carrots and snow peas, to which one child said “this bag is awesome!”
The garden is looking so lovely and every week there is something new, like our red cabbages (in picture below) that look fantastic.
I really encourage teachers to utilise this space and have a class in the garden on a sunny day if you can manage it. There is plenty of seating and cushions for the milk crates in the metal box. (Pam has the key for the box)
Thanks Karen and Jennifer. “Hoo Roo” Prue J
Vegetable Garden Update September 5th 2013
We had a great time partly indoors today due to the rain. I bought several varieties of apples and introduced the children to some new varieties that are hitting the market.
We proceeded to make Apple Muffins with the children, peeling measuring and mixing with the help of Jennifer and Karen, then spooning into the tray. They then grabbed a piece of chopped apple and headed out to the garden whilst the muffins cooked.
The children fed the worms with Karen’s kitchen scraps and we walked around the garden chatting and guessing what some of the plants are. They also picked some snow peas before heading back to the kitchen. Karen also chopped some parsley and mint to add to the bags of goodies to take home and the muffins were ready just in time before the music went. Every week the garden provides us with something new, with the gorgeous blue Iris’s out this week and pink blossom on the Nectarine tree.
If anyone would like to contribute some plant cuttings, please drop them off at the vegetable garden and any parents that would like to be involved in Garden Club, please feel free to contact me.
Thanks to Karen and Jennifer. “Hoo Roo” Prue J
Vegetable Garden Update August 22nd 2013
The weather held off for Garden Club today
We had a tour of the garden, where the children guessed, touched and smelt the plants. We then fed the worms in the worm farm. The children then split into groups and planted spinach and lavender. The old apple crate that was dormant in the old passive play area has now been moved to the vegetable garden area and we planted the lime tree in it, together with herbs of vietnamese mint, oregano, golden oregano and chives. Some children also planted an olive tree in a half barrel pot.
We also watered and trimmed some of the plants. The children then picked carrots, snow peas, lettuce, parsley and some mint to take home.
Our bench seat, made from recycled plastic, has also been assembled with the help of Community workers last weekend. It even has our school name on it. J
Thanks to Jennifer and Karen. “Hoo Roo” Prue
Vegetable Garden Update August 19th 2013
Yet another fabulously sunny gardening day.
We planted out some of the native grasses that we grew from seed and also a rhubarb plant from Jennifer to add to the collection. The children planted out seeds in the new seed raising box and we also planted some leftover seeds in tube pots.
They spread seed raising mix evenly over the pots and planted tomatoes, corn, pumpkin and eggplant and wrote labels for them.
The children then watered and fertilised the rest of the garden.
There was much excitement when we proceeded to pick some of the crops and the children took home snow peas, carrots, parsley, lettuce and mint in a bag. I have finally finished the watering system for the fruit trees, so fingers crossed it all works.
Thank you to 1F for volunteering to be our “Garden Guardians”, and also to Jennifer for her assistance today.
“Hoo Roo” Prue
Vegetable Garden Update August 8th 2013
The rain managed to clear for another lovely gardening day! We had a full house and then some who wanted to join in.
We took the children on a tour to see how much our plants have grown. The snow peas have gone crazy, as well as the broad beans and lettuce. Our sweat peas and bulbs have popped up and we now have some beautiful jonquils flowering.
The children added shredded paper and Karen’s kitchen scraps to the worm and compost bins, we then planted some “forget me nots” which l had in my garden and some cornflower seeds, followed by fertilising all the plants.
We picked some snow peas, carrots, lettuce and parsley which each child was able to take home together with a lemon (from my mother in laws tree). Everyone munched on a carrot while they worked in the garden.
Karen and l then worked on installing the garden edge and distributing the gravel. The garden looks soooo fabulous, the kids have done a wonderful job, no photo’s do it justice. If you get a chance pop around or have a class there on a nice day. J
Thanks to Karen. “Hoo Roo” Prue
Vegetable Garden Update July 18th 2013
The weather held off during garden club and it was lovely and balmy out in the garden.
The children planted purple cabbage seedlings and a few discounted plants that l picked up at Bunnings. We also planted a grape vine and a “Cola” plant, which when you rub the leaves it actually smells of coca cola! The leaves can be used in teas or in iced water on a hot day. Next we put the bagged lime tree into a lovely big pot and proceeded to water and fertilise the rest of the garden.
The lettuce has taken off, the snow peas have bushed up and are flowering with some snow peas and the blueberry bushes look lovely with lots of flowers.
We also had a visit from two of the Grade 1 classes after lunch with much excitement in touching and smelling and guessing the plants, needless to say the cola plant was very popular.
HELP: We have received delivery of our bench seat (made from plastic), which we bought from funds raised with the plastic bag collection last year as part of the RED Project. It does need assembling which l would greatly appreciate it if someone could volunteer to do this as Karen and l are focussing putting in the path edging and the watering system. (please don’t assume someone else will do it, as it just won’t get done)
Thanks to Ari and Fiona for watering over the holidays. Thanks also to Jennifer and Karen.
“Hoo Roo” Prue J
Vegetable Garden Update April 24th 2013
Last week the weather was a bit dicey, so l came prepared to make Potato and Leek soup, which would show the students what can be done with our leeks once they are fully grown.
Fortunately the weather improved over lunchtime and we weeded the pavers, garden crates and along where our fruit trees will be planted. We planted snow peas and lettuce, bug sprayed and fertilised.
The children were able to pick our very last cherry tomatoes, some strawberries, carrots and basil to take home in a tube stock container.
Thanks to Ari and Karen for helping.
Today, we had 12 students have a great time preparing for the Maytime Market. The children all planted the succulent cuttings (above right) that l had managed to scrounge from Helen Kuchel and from around my own garden.
We also planted seeds of Bonny Tail grasses, Corn flowers and Blue Fescue grass, as well as planting various unnamed bulbs at either side of the pathway entrance to the garden.
The children were guided around the garden and we discussed the various plants and what dishes could we make with them. We also bug sprayed, watered and weeded.
Whilst gardening one child said that he had never gardened before and that that this was the very first time he had potted a plant and another student said she never gets to garden anymore now that she lives in an apartment. These sorts of comments makes the garden club so worthwhile.
Thanks to Karen for helping.
Vegetable Garden Update 27/3/2013
We had a special visitor today, the EASTER BUNNY! The children started with a mad dash to find their one and only egg that the Easter Bunny left for them in the garden.
We removed some of the basil plants from the garden and picked off the leaves to make the basil pesto, with scraps going to the compost, then everyone participated in adding the ingredients.
Most of the cherry tomatoes were picked and we pulled out the plants and disposed in the compost bin. The zucchini plants were also removed and composted, with the garden crates then dug up ready for next terms planting.
We picked the very last watermelon which each child got to have seconds, with one student saying “that’s the best watermelon l have ever tasted”. l cut the other half and left it at school reception for everyone to enjoy.
Each student got to take home a container of pesto and some cherry tomatoes and basil in a tube stock container.
Thanks again to helpers Fiona and Ari.
Vegetable Garden Update
The newly implemented vegetable patch (corner of Walter and Graham St) has taken off. We had 6 lovely families watering a week each over the holidays . The families that watered over the summer were able to pick cucumbers, zucchini, basil, mint, cherry tomatoes and the odd strawberry. The beans are now starting to produce, the passionfruit is trailing over the wire, carrots are being picked and we are waiting on the water melon to reach their full size, so they can be chopped up and enjoyed by the students.
Each term I will be asking for volunteer families to roster watering/weeding over the school holidays during the year, so if you are able to pop down to the school and water for a week over the holidays, please let me know.
There is a proposal of two lunch time Gardening Clubs to be established so that all students can have an opportunity to work in the garden. The Clubs will be deciding what to plant, where to plant, creating a vertical garden from old pallets and making Chilli Soap Spray as a home-made insecticide (from our very own Chilli’s) If you are able to assist once a week or just a one off to assist in cooking, please contact me. (details below)
With the continued zucchini crops the Gardening Club/s can do a lunch time cooking session of zucchini fritters, muffins or even a Zucchini Chocolate Cake ! The club will be so wonderful for the children to connect with nature and expose them to the wonderful fresh tastes of home grown, along with the enjoyment they will experience by planting, nurturing and cooking.
If you haven’t seen it pop down and have a look, the children really enjoy discovering and spotting the various vegetables.
Seeing as Zucchini’s are in season give this recipe a go at home, it’s beautiful and moist and best of all, the kids will never know they’re eating zucchini.
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
- 125g butter ¼ cup cocoa
- 1 cup brown sugar 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ cup white sugar 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 eggs ½ tsp mixed spice
- 2 ½ cups flour ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla 3 cups grated zucchini
- ½ cup yoghurt ½ -1 cup pieces of chocolate (optional)
Prepare a 25cm square pan or roasting pan by lining it with two crosswise strips of baking paper. Beat the butter with the sugars until light and creamy. Do not hurry this step. Use a mixer of food processor. Add the eggs one at a time, with a spoonful of the measured flour to prevent the mixture curdling. Add the vanilla and yoghurt and mix well. Sift the dry ingredients together. Stir in, with the grated zucchini. Turn into the prepared pan. Sprinkle surface with the small pieces of chocolate if desired. Bake at 170 C for 45 min, or until centre feels firm and a skewer comes out clean. Yum!
Thank you to all those who have supported this initiative. We really need the whole school community’s support to ensure the longevity of the vegetable garden. If you are able to assist in any way and please contact me on 0417 015 383 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers Prue Woolcock