During the last five weeks the kids have been planting and seeing their seeds grow. We are growing carrots, beets, two different kind of lettuces, cucumbers, Habanero peppers —these are part a seed exchange program with the Global Partner Junior group in Mexico City, bok choy, onions, eggplants, chives, strawberries, chocolate mint, parsley, lemon thyme, rosemary, lavender, spearmint, oregano, winter squash, basil, Thai basil, mint, golden thyme, Italian oregano, red peppers, yellow peppers and different types of heirloom tomatoes from seeds the kids saved last year.
Students visited the East New York Farm to learn more about planting, watering, weeding techniques, how to compost and beekeeping. The purpose of the visit was for the children to imagine what their garden could become one day.
The Garden Kitchen Lab children went foraging to the Harmony Park, and learned about the African Blue Basil flower, a plant pollinated by bees and which is good to eat raw, and a great addition in salads and cooked lentils. Nettles! An amazing plant to make delicious pesto! It is incredible that this plant grows wild in city parks and forests upstate, these leaf tastes like basil and you can tell why is it used to make pesto, is really really good in flavor. And finally Dandelions, the entire plant is edible and super nutritious, but this time we only tried the flower, the children loved it! It is a sweet in flavor and I find it to taste like squash. Dandelions produce copious amounts of nectar and pollen and are an important source of food for bees. These flowers pollinates itself. After foraging we went to the center’s kitchen and had chopped mango with Dandelions and African Blue Basil.