Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ms. Gardner's class harvests basil and makes basil pesto

Today students from Ms. Gardner's 4th grade class visited the garden. They harvested basil, tasted basil and helped prepare basil pesto which they then ate on top of a slice of baguette in the classroom.

Terms that we discussed:
- Propagate- to grow a new plant from the seeds of the plant.  We will be saving seeds of basil, cilantro and strawberry guava to see if we can grow new plants. The cilantro in the butterfly garden is self-propagating already.
- Harvesting - to pick the crop. They harvested the basil.
- Composting- recycling green (veggie, fruit and herb) and brown (from trees-e.g. paper, leaves) waste that will become nutritious material for our soil. We will deal more with the details of composting soon. The children added the basil stems to the compost bin.

In addition, the children observed ladybugs, aphids and a monarch caterpillar in the butterfly garden. Some of the children learned about the different varieties of herbs in the garden. We have lemon verbena, mint, chives, rosemary, thyme and cilantro.

Here's the pesto recipe. I mentioned to the kids that they could make it for dinner with pasta.

Basil Pesto

3 c. basil
1/2 c. olive oil (we discussed that liquids are measured in clear containers)
2 cloves garlic minced (we also discussed what minced means)
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese (we added a bit more today)
pinch of salt and pepper
drop or two of lemon juice

In a food processor or blender, mince the garlic. Add basil, cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Blend.

Basil is a warm season herb but it can also be grown inside.

Thanks to volunteers Paul, Corey and Gigi for assisting today!

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