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.
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.
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!
Our Salsa Party Recipes – Garden 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.
- 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!