Monday, October 24, 2011

Sauteed Romanesco Broccoli with Cheese Ravioli

Romanesco Broccoli is a delicious and nutritious veggie with a nutty flavor.  Sauteeing this unusual veggie in olive oil and garlic which we grew in The Giving Garden for the Great Veggie Adventure made a delightful meal. Romanesco is a seasonal item that is available during the fall (September - October) or you could grow some yourself in your garden.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Great Veggie Adventure Veggies Make a Colorful, Crunchy and Tasty Snack

The Students of Union Pleasant Elementary School enjoyed dipping their harvest of Romanesco Broccoli, Orange Party Cauliflower and Purple Rainbow Carrots in Organic Hidden Valley Ranch!

The Giving Garden Students Bring in the Harvest of the Great Veggie Adventure

On a lovely fall day in October 25 students helped harvest many different varieties of veggies that were planted in The Giving Garden this season.  Some of these vegetables were planted as part of the Great Veggie Adventure brought to The Giving Garden by the Makers of Hidden Valley Salad Dressings.  Take a look at the nutritious and colorful harvest!  The students enjoyed a healthy snack of crunchy veggies with Organic Hidden Valley Salad Dressing as the dip. 

The Giving Garden Harvest in October

The students of Union Pleasant Elementary School enjoyed harvesting many different veggies that they planted and grew this season. 

Students in The Giving Garden Harvesting the Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots and Making Salsa

Students from Union Pleasant Elementary School enjoyed being outside in The Giving Garden harvesting all sorts of yummy fresh grown veggies that they had a hand in sowing and growing this year.  On a beautiful fall day, our students in grades 2nd through 5th helped reap the abundance of the earth harvesting cherry tomatoes, parsley, cilantro, peppers, Purple Rainbow Carrots, Romanesco Broccoli, and Orange Party Cauliflower.  They prepared a fresh salsa using scissors to cut the tomatoes.  They tasted the cruciferous veggies of Romanesco broccoli and Party Cauliflower and Purple Rainbow Carrots with a dip of Organic Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing.

The Giving Garden Club Harvests the Great Veggie Adventure

In October, twenty five students from Union Pleasant Elementary School's Garden Club visited The Giving Garden to harvest fresh, nutritious veggies which these students sowed and cared for throughout the growing season.  Romanesco broccoli, a nutty flavored vegetable from the cauliflower family, Party Colorful Cauliflower and Purple Rainbow Carrots were harvested and enjoyed by all with a little Organic Hidden Valley Ranch as a dip.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Wicking Bed Experiment in The Giving Garden

Mrs. Beiter and Mrs. Miller, our garden experts, have added something very exciting and new to The Giving Garden this summer.  Two new beds were built, thanks to Mr. Braden, and one was made into a Wicking Bed.  Wicking beds are used a great deal in Australia where the climate is very hot and dry.  Plastic lines the bottom of the bed and a layer of gravel is put down before the soil is added.  A large plastic pipe is sticking out of the bed and water is put in that pipe delivering much-needed moisture to the bottom of the bed keeping the plants' roots just moist enough.  We have had a hot and dry July, so this is an ideal way to keep bed watered.  Our other new bed does not have this -- so the students can compare when they get back which plants are healthier and growing more robustly. If this works well, we would like to do this for all of our beds in The Giving Garden.

The Giving Garden in July

Stop by The Giving Garden and see all the veggies and flowers and plants the school children planted this spring.  You will be amazed!

Eating Peas Straight off the Vine

Evidence that kids do eat peas.  Peas are so delicious when plucked from the vine and eaten fresh out of the pod.

Summertime 2011 in The Giving Garden

School may be out for the summer but there is much to learn in The Giving Garden during the summer months.  Every week a different family or business tends to the garden -- watering, weeding, and harvesting.  There is always something new to see and experience.  Take a look at cook Romanesco Broccoli and the colorful, vibrant flowers...There is so much "GROWING ON" IN THE GIVING GARDEN!

Romanesco Broccoli -- The Great Veggie Adventure is Growing Strong in The Giving Garden

Take a look at something really, really cool.  A floret of a Romanesco Broccoli -- this is a veggie that is in the cauliflower family actually.  It can be eaten raw or cooked. It is crunchy and nutty. Try it dipped in ranch or sauteed with garlic (also grown in the garden!)  We will be cooking up some Romanesco Broccoli for a taste test this September when the children get back to school.  I

The Giving Garden--The Featured Garden on the 2011 Hamburg Garden Walk

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What We Learned this School Year

Since January, 300 children from Union Pleasant Elementary School, Hamburg Middle School and Armor Elementary were able to take part in either healthy classroom food tastings or culinary field trips to beHealthy Institute sponsored by Seeds of Living Education

LESSONS LEARNED: Children are willing and happy to munch on fresh and crunchy veggie snacks all times of the day.  They like to eat them with many different types of dips -- Organic Hidden Valley Ranch is always a big hit. Freshly prepared white bean dip is also a great dipping option.  It is full of protein and fiber and made just a little bit zippy with a touch of cayenne and cumin.  Guacamole is a nutritious alternative, too.  It is full of that good monounsaturated fat that can help aid in lowering the "bad cholesterol."  Also, garden fresh salsa is an excellent option to make or buy ready prepared.  It has lots of tomatoes, onions, garlic and cilantro with just a hint of lemon juice and cayenne.  All of these dips and many, many more can be served with fresh sliced, diced and julienned veggies.  Children of all ages have proven to us that they will munch and crunch on veggies (including RAW ASPARAGUS!) all times of the day. 

We gratefully acknowledge the generous contribution of the Makers of Hidden Valley Ranch to The Giving Garden and Seeds of Living Education this year.  Their support has made it possible to help  our school community garden continue to grow and flourish and to sponsor all of the healthy veggie and food classroom tastings.