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Archive for October, 2013

October Open House

It started out as a cold and foggy morning, but by lunch time, the sun was warm and pleasant.  At our fall Open House today, we were so pleased to have 8 classes show up.  Each class painted a classroom sign for their garden bed, planted fall vegetable crops and two kinds of cover crops (fava beans and red clover), and started our Field Guide project.

working

There was a lot of competition to find the most number of unique mushroom varieties!

Mushroom sighting!

Mushroom sighting!

We found a lot of critters, including spider webs, huge earthworms, and slimy slugs:

Critter Collage

And, remember these?

Potato Life Cycle

Potato Life Cycle

Last spring, the 3rd graders planted several kinds of potatoes including our local Makah Ozettes. Last month at our September Open House, we harvested a big pot full of potatoes. I picked some leeks from my garden and made potato-leek soup:

Potato Varieties

Potato Varieties

The soup was a big hit with all the kids, who begged for seconds. We heard a lot of “Wow, this is yummy!” Some of them even requested the recipe for this delicious dairy-free soup. So, if you want to make this at home:

Potato Leek Soup

  1. Dig up, wash (scrub) all of your potatoes, and trim off any green parts or tough ‘eyes’.  If using Makah Ozette potatoes, don’t bother to peel them.  Cut them into 1″ pieces or chunks.
  2. Pull 4 leeks from your garden, trim the roots, discard most of the green tops. Slice in half lengthwise, and wash the leeks well.  Cut into thin rounds.
  3. Saute leeks in 2 tablespoons of olive oil (dairy free!) or butter (yum!) until soft.  You can add garlic and onions, too.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon thyme, and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and stir for about 30 sec.
  5. Fill up the pot with water, add 2 bay leaves, 2 celery stalks cut in half, and all of your potatoes.
  6. Boil until potatoes are soft.
  7. Remove the bay leaves and celery.
  8. Use your immersion blender to make a puree.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, wait until soup cools(!) before blending in a regular blender. [Trust me, you can’t clean soup off the ceiling.]
  9. Season with salt and pepper until it tastes good.
  10. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve on a cold and foggy morning, after digging in the dirt.

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What a busy back-to-school month we’ve had!  Kimberly and I hosted our first Open House on Friday, September 13th, and 6 groups of enthusiastic kids came and worked on many different tasks to kick-start the gardening season.

 

  • Of course, each class got to do LOTS of weeding, and we harvested an entire rollie-bin (that’s a 96-gallon cart!) of weeds and trimmings.
  • The older classes constructed 6 new raised beds, and the third graders were enormously enthusiastic trying to out-shovel me.  I unloaded 2 cubic yards of soil into their buckets, and they RAN to dump them into the new beds; I could barely keep up!
  • The kids pounded in short lengths of pipe to anchor the large row-cover supports, and erected trellising for a fall pea-crop.

We were so busy, I didn’t take a single picture!  So here’s one from October, showing students dividing and planting the new beds.

Planting the new raised beds

Planting the new raised beds

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