Lettuce is green, sunflowers are yellow
kale is a good snack for a young fellow
we “like” to shovel compost every day,
we have a box of worms to make our compost go away
our grandparents come and visit our school,
we go in the gym and have a foam noodle duel
Kristina and Nori teach us how to cook,
after recess we come read a book
we work hard in the garden, planting is fun,
I’m sorry to say but our poem is done
By: Braiden, Ethan, Noelle, Sophia, Daklen, Austin
“Teaching kids how to feed themselves and how to live in a community responsibly is the center of an education.”
This quote came from an interview with Alice Waters way back in 1995. Alice Waters is famous for her restaurant, Chez Panisse and for her Edible Schoolyard model. Not many people realize that she was Montessori trained as well. Alice Waters combined many life interests and experiences such as activism, love for French cooking, local and organic farming, and education and put them all together to start a movement to connect our children back to their food- above all, to teach them how to care for themselves and for their community.
Our model here was started through an Edible Schoolyard grant and has grown into our own Earth to Table program. Everyday when kids come to the kitchen to prepare snacks and meals for their friends, or to bring in greens or herbs from the garden, they are learning how to feed themselves and live in a community. Our students have had so many wonderful experiences this year in and around food. They have prepared food for our community from their own garden for the Harvest Dinner. They have used local food sources and presented at a “Taste the Local Difference” even for Michigan Land Use Institute. One student even presented at an inservice for teachers in the region who want to do more with school gardens and food. There are many important things to know in life, but eating happens 3-5 times a day. If young people aren’t able to fuel their own bodies, how can we expect them to fuel the future?
This week in the kitchen we hopped all over the globe. We went to Scotland for Scottish Oatcakes, headed to Asia for Soba noodle salad, hit the boot for a little lasagna, and finished up in down under for some aboringinal soup. Along the way, stopped off at Hawaii for some sweet pineapple bread and spread. The extended day students learned that Edamame (which most of them knew exactly what it was, and how to eat it) are soy beans. They made a delicious edamame/avocado dip with a little asian flare.
Our local food is slowly coming back. We’ve used our kale and assorted greens from the green house. We’ve found some mint and chives out and around. Cherry Capital has gotten in some Winter Carrots which are wonderfully sweet. Asparagus should be on it’s way in a week or so. For food of the Month, we enjoyed a visit from Matthew Bertrand, who presented about garlic mustard. Garlic mustard can be found out in the “wild” as a foraged food (foraging is our theme this month). If you would like to go on a Garlic Mustard hike, check out the event this Saturday from 8 until noon or so. You will hunt for Garlic Mustard and then for $5 enjoy a meal incorporating what you find. Info below:
Have a great weekend- and Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mothers!
Today at charter sanctuary we learned…
Fat Albert is cool. fat albert was a rock that Braiden Voss and Christian Bovin found.
Birds are awesome
Birds have a difficult migration
Bee bee guns kill birds
Birds pass down the memory of migration
When it was really windy outside I realized how hard it might be for a bird to fly.
Birds have a sort of a compass to help them navigate
It was wonderful of the Charters, Mr. Evans and Mr. Ellis to host us today
We planted almost 70 native trees today
Females look very different than the males
We saw a duck egg
We saw an eastern bluebird
Goldfinches are very brightly colored.
Humming birds can hover and fly backwards and they weigh as much as a dime.
These are quotes from our classmates from our field trip.
Typed by Zak Bolde and Gabe Flowers.
This week in kitchen was really fun. We made a lot of things like granola, and lasagna roll ups. I made a dressing for Monday I thought it was really fun!
Even though it doesn’t necessarily feel like it, it is definitely Spring. Time is flying by and each day is packed to the gills with activities. Students off to New York, a student presenting to teachers at a Farm to Table inservice, students planting native trees at a bird sanctuary- and most recently, ballet in the barn. Everyday is something.
In honor of our cultural study and ANZAC Day, the extended day students made ANZAC biscuits. ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zeeland Army Corps. ANZAC day is a Australian national holiday celebrating the first military action that the ANZACs were involved in, April 25, 1915. The claim is that the sweet biscuits were made by soldiers’ wives and sent to them on the war front. The recipe contains no eggs- in part because many farmers (including poultry farmers) joined the army leaving a shortage of certain items, including eggs, in their wake. Also, it was believed that without the eggs, the biscuits lasted longer. Quite a rich history for what we would refer to as a “cookie.”
Elementary students turned out an Herb and Cheese Damper, Biscuits (our type of biscuits), Stromboli, and Vegetable Lasagna Rolls this week. Needless to say, we’re low on flour and tomatoes now.
May Day is right around the bend. We’re looking forward to making some Beltaine cakes for our May Day celebration!
Today we planted about 150 tomatos we planted them into bigger pots. It was really fun.So we had the tomatos in small pots then we put them in bigger pots. It was really hard but awsome!! We had to name all of the plants that we planted.We had to get all of this dirt. The tomatos are looking very cool .And they are almost ready to plant outside. I cant wait to have tomatos for lunch . We had so much fun planting tomatos. I hope we can plant them agine.They look so small but they are going to be so big strong.
by Addie Eldridge
Some of the value of our school garden lies in its ability to be used as a classroom where regular school subjects intertwine with real-world experience, learning organically grows. Measuring and angles jump out of math and into activities to design and build steps and low tunnels. The science of decomposition is taken from our compost project, through a series of classroom worm bins, and in May an effort to collect and weigh all compostable lunch scraps for garden composting. Careful calculations of expected harvest dates drive garden planning and succession planting. Leadership skills and teamwork are practiced as we begin to incorporate the younger students in planting and garden preparation this spring. I am proud to share a curriculum that is truly alive with the future leaders of the world. Now, if the weather stays on our side, let the growing begin!
Maple syrup is made from the xylem sap of sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) and several other maples. The range of this native tree is the northeastern North America. Sugar Maples are a deciduous tree with spectacular fall color. A tree can be tapped for syrup in the spring when it is about 40 years old. Warm spring days and below freezing nights make the sap run. The first full moon in spring is known as the “Sugar Moon”. It takes 30-50 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. “Sugaring” was an important activity for first the native peoples, then the European settlers, and farmers today. Maple syrup is a good source of calcium, iron, thiamine and trace minerals required for health. Canadian researchers also believe that they have found bioactive compounds in maple syrup similar to the anti-oxidants of berries. For more info – travel to the two Michigan Maple Syrup festivals in late April!
We have fed the worms and gave the worms new bedding. We needed to sort the worms from there castings. We have a full contanier of worm castings for our greenhouse plants.
While many families are somewhere warm we are still in snowy Northern Michigan. So, we decided to pretend we were warm. After caring for the plants in Elementary and in the Green House we harvested some wheat grass and made watermelon sorbet.
Dried mint leaves
Touch of honey
Reviews: “it is different, but I love it!”
Still Winter…As we chopped and peeled and blended, the snow fluttered, blew, and flew past our windows.
It is not uncommon for the phrase, “Holy _______ (insert item of awe)*, Batman!” to be used in the kitchen. On this particular occasion, the words had just been uttered regarding an incredible pile of chopped vegetables. Norie took it one step further and asked the skilled chopper if he was, in fact, the Batman- observing that she had never seen him and Batman in the same room, so it could be possible. Another dicing member of the crew chuckled and said, matter of factly, “Of course he isn’t Batman. Bruce is Batman!” Ahh, the wisdom of second graders.
Y.U.M. continues to flourish. Potato soup was on the docket for this week. Norie and crew peeled, diced and boiled their way to a delicious meal. They are getting closer and closer to matching their time and ingredient estimations to the acutal time and ingredient needs. I am still in awe of the level of knowledge and skill the sixth graders demonstrate in the kitchen. They just know what to do and how to do it. Watching them and then watching our predominately first year crew this week served as a great reminder of what the “continuum” really looks like. Knowledge, skill and confidence build as the students’ experiences and cooridination grow.
As I mentioned last week, maple syrup is the food of the month. The extended day students made a maple coleslaw…AND it was good. The elementary crew made loaves and loaves of maple bread- the smell brought people into the kitchen from all over the school. Coming in April, we are lucky enough to be able to host Hank Bailey, a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, who will share the Native perspective and history on Maple sugaring.
It looks like spring is on break through next week- maybe it will return when we all return to school.
*Unless, of course, there is the need for the U.P. version- at that time “wah” is inserted
Michigan Land Use Institute’s Winter Celebration invited local restaurants, vendors, and school (ours) to share their local foods at Crystal Mountain last weekend! Our sixth grade students served up some pesto potato salad (as featured in our Harvest Dinner last fall). Thank you for representing our Earth to Table Program!
“We played with the little kids in the gym, and we planted daffodils and watered them in the greenhouse.”
“We planted a plant and we are having a race to have them grow. We might win! And we helped the little kids in the greenhouse.”
“We used a sled to move packages to the greenhouse.”
“Always read the recipe all the way through first.”
I used to write this at the top of every recipe and at the top of any cooking class packet. It is, by far, the most important step. This week, the Y.U.M. group, which has been working with Norie to creat their ultimate meals, experienced the truth in this statement. It is critical to know if your sauce takes five hours to cook- especially when you have only allotted 2 hours to create the entire meal for 29 families. Enter Montessori problem solving skills…
As those of you who enjoyed your meal last night know, they somehow pulled it off. Luckily they caught their mistake before lunch on Tuesday and made up for lost time by coming in during recess and staying indefinitely. It was like having double kitchen class with the same amount of counter space. (cue circus music)
Why even mention this? Resiliency, determination, seeing a task to it’s finish, flexibility, tolerance, patience and understanding to name a few reasons. Both groups worked well, Y.U.M. with Norie and the Elementary Kitchen crew with me. Students saw work that needed to be done, and did it. They rose to the occasion. A very beautiful moment.
The Extended Day classroom made Apple Cinnamon Brown Rice pudding this week. Yum! And, by the way, at the end of that recipe it says to stir it constantly and never leave the stove. Caught that just in time…