Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nature Summons Us

With warm days, plenty of Spring rain and TLC our garden called to us to harvest most of its bounty earlier than planned. We harvested lettuces, arugula, mizuna, tat soi, kale, strawberries, sugar snap peas, and sorrel from our garden for our Harvest Tasting. We left the potatoes, beets and carrots to grow a little longer.

We also harvested huge turnips to donate along with extra mizuna, tat soi and lettuce to Potter's House, a food bank down at the oceanfront, so the students could share their hard work with others and learn about giving back to the community. Our LIONS garden has truly been a community effort so it is only natural for the garden to give back in return.

Parents, teachers, school administrators, school staff members and students came together to celebrate the students' hard work at our Harvest Tasting. Linkhorn parent and First Colonial High School teacher, Andrea Stanley, brought the First Colonial catering teacher, Liz Bueller, and catering students to help prepare the meal on site so the Green LIONS Garden Group students could observe cooking techniques. Linkhorn parent and owner of Roostflowers, Becky Devlin, donated beautiful organically grown flower bouquets for our dining tables. Wherever we needed extra vegetables, fruits, or other food items for our menu we sought out local sources when available. We bought extra produce from  New Earth Farm  and  Cullipher Farm  and bought bread from Baker's Crust.

Our menu included:
Spring Salad: Mixed LIONS Garden lettuces and mizuna, homemade organic pickled carrots, LIONS Garden sugar snap peas
LIONS Garden Kale Chips
Crash Hot Potatoes: Mix of New Earth Farm and Cullipher Farm potatoes, olive oil, local rosemary
Roasted Carrots and Beets: Mix of LIONS Garden beets and Cullipher Farm beets, olive oil, local rosemary
Spring Frittata: New Earth Farm eggs, Polyface Farm Italian Sausage, LIONS Garden sorrel, local shiitake mushrooms, New Earth Farm onions, mixed cheeses
Arugula Salad: LIONS Garden arugula and sorrel, LIONS Garden lettuces, cannellini beans, New Earth Farm onions, capers, balsamic vinaigrette
Spring Greens Bruschetta: Mix of LIONS Garden kale and beet greens, New Earth Farm garlic tops, homemade organic chicken stock, Baker's Crust baguette, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Asian-Inspired Noodle Stir Fry: LIONS Garden tat soi, local shiitake mushrooms, New Earth Farm garlic tops, organic carrots, tamari soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, organic udon and soba noodles
Strawberry Pie and Fresh Whipped Organic Cream: made with LIONS Garden and New Earth Farm strawberries
Green LIONS Garden Group made LIONS Garden Strawberry and Local Honey Freezer Jam and Baker's Crust Bread

Everyone had a wonderful time trying new tastes and celebrating the students' hard work. Studies show that when a child grows his or her own food, learns about food systems and takes part in the family decisions of food choices, he or she is more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and to try new healthier dishes. This Harvest Tasting was living proof of these findings! Students and guests went back for seconds and thirds and even got to take home extra lettuce from the garden to share with their families.

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