Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fall in full swing at Holt Middle!

Winter is coming fast, and we've had our work cut out for us here at Holt Community Gardens. We harvested our radishes, trying them plain and incorporating them into a radish dip to eat with cut up veggies. One student responded with an animated "ewwww" when I told her we would be snacking on radish dip that day, but after trying it, I couldn't get her hand out of the bowl! Our lettuce and kale are growing like crazy, so a group of students and I head out every Tuesday and Thursday morning before school to harvest for the cafeteria. 

Radishes destined for veggie dip, and Holt's lettuce harvest on the salad bar!
In the coming weeks, we will be able to harvest carrots and spinach, as well as a few volunteer chard plants to sauté during our club meeting. Students are learning about seed saving, mulching, data collection, season extension  and cold-tolerant plants. They've made veggie pizza and Holiday pumpkin soup from pumpkins that they baked themselves. Dedicated members of the Fayetteville community come out every week to serve as role models and helping hands for our students and us during these club meetings. 

Not only does garden work keep us busy, we have started integrating food and nutrition education into classes throughout the school. Our school district featured a story about my recent New World vs. Old World pizza lesson for 5th grade social studies classes. Check out the article here

New World versus Old World ingredients.

During the month of October, the school district enjoyed local apple tastings organized by FoodCorps service member Ally Mrachek and colleagues. At Holt, we took the tasting even further by incorporating it into a full science lab. The students practiced the scientific method by coming up with hypotheses for which apple they thought they would like the most. They then used the data collected from seeing, tasting, smelling, feeling, and hearing each type of apple to draw a conclusion. 

Pickled cucumber and carrots await a tasting
as part of 7th grade social studies classes. 

This week, I delivered a food preservation lesson to 7th grade social studies classes in conjunction with their unit on ancient Egypt. Their teachers discussed the ancient Egyptian practice of mummification, and I focused on how humans have used different methods of food preservation throughout history, ancient Egyptians included. I will show them how to pickle cucumbers and carrots, and then we will taste them!

I've found that bringing food lessons into the classroom helps students make connections between what they are learning in garden club and what our cafeteria serves, thereby increasing the relevance of the information in their everyday lives. Reaching these kids from every angle is the best way to make an impact and raise the next generation's awareness of how to keep the Earth and their bodies healthy. 

By Sophia Gill

1 comment:

  1. The typos in this post really bother me Rachel...