Life Lab Edible Plant Part Art

Plant Parts & Edible Garden Art

Edible Plant Part ArtWhat a art-full, educational recipe day in the garden! Garden Educator Sierra Knight led 21st Century Learning Center summer students in a study of plant parts and their delicious beauty! A rainbow of colors and smiling faces 🙂

Try this with your Keiki. Itʻs sure to be a hit.

Download the lesson plan and watch a Life Lab “Plant Part Art” video.

Check the Grow Some Good Facebook album for a gallery of our studentsĘ» most colorful creations!

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Wailuku Elementary Gardeners Share Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Mas de 100 estudiantes participating in tutoring and enrichment programs at Wailuku Elementary School celebrated Cinco de Mayo by harvesting produce from their Salsa & Green Smoothie Gardens and sharing recipes during an after-school fiesta! Wailuku Elementary School garden program is supported through a partnership between 21st Century Learning Centers Baldwin Complex and Grow Some Good. The Harvest Fiesta included jr. gardeners preparing papaya and pineapple salsa, guacamole and green smoothies, using school garden-grown ingredients.wailuku fest3

Students also learned about the historical significance of the holiday when Mexico defeated the French during a battle where they were outnumbered by double the soldiers, then related it to the tenacity of their healthy plants when attacked by pests in the garden. Green smoothies were served up with a review of what makes plants green, covering curriculum such as photosynthesis, chlorophyll and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
wailuku elementary school cinco de mayo maui hawaii school garden
Mariachi music underscored the fiesta finale as blindfolded contestants took turns whacking at a piñata filled with fruit juice-sweetened treats, almonds and other surprises.

Special thanks to Tim Ewing and ohana at Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods for donating extra local produce, organic corn chips and apple juice to the Harvest Feista! tim ewing hawaiian moons natural foods kihei maui hawaii

Our Salsa Party RecipesGarden Salsa (Serves about 50-100 jr. gardeners and volunteers. Here are some ideas on integrating each step into hands-on learning, so students are the chefs!)

  • 1 – fresh papaya (students spoon out seeds to clean and dry for planting new starts)
  • 1 fresh chopped pineapple (save top for new planting – here’s how to grow in a container at home or school)
  • 1.5 quarts – a medium sized bowl of fresh picked tomatoes (have students chop tomatoes to measure quarts or compare to conversions in ounces or pounds with scale)
  • 4-6 chopped or sliced carrots (students chop carrots with plastic serrated knives or widdle a whole carrot to thin slices with a veggie peeler.
  • 1/2 Hawaiian hot pepper or Anaheim pepper (students with non-latex gloves slice with plastic serrated knife and remove seeds.) You may choose to leave this ingredient out with younger students who have sensitive taste buds.
  • 1 clove garlic (students peel garlic with gloves or use garlic press) Again, you may also choose to leave this ingredient out with younger students or roast the garlic in advance to bring out sweeter flavors.
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt (salt to taste)
  • 1 cup or approx 250 ml of fresh squeezed Myer lemon juice (students slice lemons in half, hand squeeze and compare milliliters to cups when measuring)
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped (students can use onion chopper)
  • 2 green onions finely chopped (the whole onion – green tops and white onions. Students can tear onion tops with gloves in tiny pieces or use scissors)
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro (how much does it weigh in ounces? Make predictions, check weight to compare with predictions)

Directions: Combine  first 8 ingredients in equal parts (half at a time) in a food processor or blender, then pulse until fine or chunky consistency. Add finely chopped green onions and cilantro.

Guacamole

  • 6 ripe avocados mashed in a bowl with potato masher, then add 2 cups salsa (recipe above), a little extra sea salt to taste.

Have several students taste test, make any adjustments to the recipe based on your jr. chefs’ recommendations. Then, serve with organic, non-GMO corn chips or substitute corn chips for black bean chips or another healthy crunchy alternative from the local health food store.  You can even wrap all the ingredients with sliced veggies in a kale leaf for a garden veggie burrito.  We’ve found that as long as you call it a burrito – they’ll at least try it and most likely love it!

Check out our green smoothie recipe on the Grow Some Good website.  Aloha & Salud Amigos!

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SOS: Saving Our Seeds for a Sustainable Future

Seed Saving

In the final months of school, garden lessons turn to a continuation of the life cycle with ‘Saving Our Seeds’ workshops at all grade levels. This exercise connects students to sustainable practices that preserve their favorite plants, ensure food security and support benchmarks in science (life cycle), social studies (food economics) and more.

During hands-on lessons, students dig into discussions and activities that illustrate stages of the life cycles (germination/birth, growth, reproduction, and death) of various plants and animals, pointing out details that distinguish each stage. Students also learn the value of seed saving and how it affects food availability for the future. As our jr. gardeners/scientists/economists become more experienced, the learning possibilities are endless. Here are just a few ideas to get started:

Discussion Points

  • Where can you find seeds in the garden? In a flower? In a fruit? In a dried pod?
  • At which point of the life cycle is a seed? The beginning or the end? Answer: Both! Discuss when a seed is at the end (in flower, fruit or seed pod) and when a seed is at the beginning (when planted and watered) of the life cycle.
  • Why save seeds? Discuss the value of preserving genes from healthy plants, saving money, food security, etc.
  • How does age / storage affect germination rates? Review germination, discuss how seeds lose their ability to germinate over time or under poor storage conditions (heat, moisture, oxidation, etc).Seed Saving

Activities

  • Students divide into groups to search for seeds throughout the garden and collect with volunteer and/or teacher supervision.
  • Seeds can be compared by weight, shape, color, texture, etc.
  • Demonstrate different ways seeds travel – by wind (lettuce seeds with feathers fly in the wind), wing (birds eating from a plate of sunflower seeds), water (place a seeding flower or open seed pod on a mound, simulate rain with watering can to watch a seeds travel in the water stream and replant itself downstream).
  • Seeds are sorted, categorized, bagged or jarred, and labeled with collection dates.
  • Seeds are then stored in a cool, dry, airtight place for use in next year’s school garden and/or planted in starts containers for students to add to their summer home gardens.

Seed SavingCheck out more ideas for all grades and experience levels in this free e-book download made available by the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center.

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Wailuku Elementary Students Grow Some Good

21CLC garden group1Grow Some Good is partnering with 21st Century Learning Centers to introduce an after school gardening program at Wailuku Elementary School.

Students learn gardening and sustainability skills that support curriculum benchmarks in science, math, history, language arts, social studies and more.  Projects so far include designing and installing new garden beds, refurbishing and planting existing beds, composting, adding a fruit tree orchard and engineering an irrigation system.

Nutrition classes are also a big part of the program. Our motto: “If they grow it, they’ll eat it.” Students who previously turned their noses up at fresh fruits and vegetables take pride in growing their own and are surprised to discover it actually tastes good too!

Several times a month, students  harvest fruits and veggies and participate in a healthy recipe workshop, using garden-grown ingredients. Students have made salads and dressings, stir fry dishes, healthy snacks and, most popular – green smoothies! See recipe below.21CLC recipe workshop

The garden program will continue through the summer and starts again next year at Wailuku Elementary School.  Mahalo to Wailuku Elementary teacher Lindsay Alexander, 21st Century Learning Centers Adah Askew and Cindy Collins, and Grow Some Good Master Gardener Terry Huth for digging into this program to improve students’ nutrition habits and inspire our next generation of farmers, scientists, teachers and chefs!

Green Smoothie Recipe (serves 15-20 in small cups):

– bunches of parsley, mint and kale (as much as you can pick!)

– one papaya (remove seeds and scoop out insides)

– 2-3 bananas

– 4 cups organic apple juice

– just a few cubes of ice (not too slushy)

Don’t forget… flowing water washing station, salad spinners, flexi cutting mats, butter knives, spoons and a blender for preparing recipes … and 15 – 20 green smoothie maniacs!

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