Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mr. Jacobs' Class Plants in the Peter Rabbit Garden

On Monday, Mr. Jacobs' class visited the garden for the second time. We reviewed the lesson on plant parts that we eat.  We highlighted lettuce and kale (leaves), broccoli (flower), corn (seeds) and carrots (roots).  The students planted lettuce seeds in the Peter Rabbit Garden. Thanks to Laurie Vander Veen for laminating the picture of Peter Rabbit. The students had either carrots or chives for their snack.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ms. Keller's Class Makes a Kale Salad and Gardens

Ms. Keller's Class Makes a Kale Salad

Ms. Keller's class made a kale salad this week and learned about the white cabbage moth whose caterpillars eat kale leaves. In addition, some students planted Brown Dutch Lettuce from Monticello in the Peter Rabbit bed and others took home red buckwheat seeds. Brown Dutch was the most frequently planted lettuce crop by Thomas Jefferson.

Kale Salad

  • 1 bunch kale , stemmed and finely chopped or torn
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1/2 avocado , peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds , toasted*
  • 1/2 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce*
  • feta cheese (our addition)
This recipe is adapted from a Whole Foods recipe. Mix everything together and let it sit if you want the kale to be softer. We did not use sesame seeds or soy sauce but added the feta cheese. The students made individual servings.


Ms. Palo's Class Learns about Cabbage Moths

Ms. Palo's Class Studies White Cabbage Moths

This week Ms. Palo's class learned about the white cabbage moths that lay eggs on kale, broccoli and cabbage. The resulting green caterpillars have infested Ms. Palo's class bed and eaten holes in every leaf. The students picked caterpillars and chrysalises with and without caterpillars inside. They looked at them with magnifying glasses. Several students found eggs on the white sage, however there were no holes on the sage. 

We discussed ways to get rid of the caterpillars including organic spray, picking them and using row covers. Row covers will keep out the moths but should be used when there are no caterpillars or eggs.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Ms. Connor's Class Visits the Garden for the First Time

On October 19, Ms. Connor's class visited the garden for the first time this year. We reviewed the parts of a plant, named the vegetables that we had on display and identified what parts of a plant we ate of each. Roots: potatoes, beets, carrots, onions; stems: celery and broccoli; leaves: lettuce, kale, chard, arugula; flowers: broccoli; seeds: corn, edamame; fruit: tomatoes, cucumber, peppers.

The children then wrote in their journals. The topic was "Parts of a Plant". They illustrated a plant and labeled the parts. They also wrote "My favorite vegetable is...".

They enjoyed a fresh vegetable salad for snack. Thanks to Gelson's for donating the organic vegetables.

Ms. Yoshida's Class Visits the Garden

On October 19 Ms. Yoshida's class visited the garden for the first time. We discussed the parts of  a plant after which the students discussed what parts we eat of vegetables that I'd brought. These included roots (potatoes, beets, carrots, radishes and onions); stems (celery and broccoli); leaves (lettuce, kale and swiss chard); flowers (broccoli); fruit (tomato, pepper, cucumber) and seeds (corn). During journal writing time the students drew the parts of a plant and labeled the parts. They also wrote about their favorite vegetable.

They voted for their favorite plant. The results may be graphed later...corn (7); carrots (3); broccoli (2); tomato (2), pepper, edamame, beets and lettuce (1 each).

They enjoyed a fresh vegetable salad for snack.  Thanks to Laurie Vander Veen, Caron Lewis and Sara Drake for volunteering today.

Thanks for a Great Garden Workday!

Over 25 people joined in to help in the garden on October 17. Special thanks goes to Zach Eastland who picked the edible garden for his Eagle Scout project. He designed and installed a large raised bed cover with removable panels that will keep the squirrels out of the vegetables. In addition, he coordinated volunteers who painted the garden shed a lovely shade of blue.

Other garden improvement done by other volunteers included moving heavy bags of soil, installing weed barrier fabric and new soil in two beds, painting signs, planting seeds, weeding and pruning.

Thanks to the Wahling family, the Burch-Roby family, the Eastland family and others for helping!

If you're interested in helping but couldn't help on Saturday, please email Ms. Marie at info@palisadescares.org. There's always something to be done. Next on the agenda is emptying bags of xerimulch and weeding in the next phase of the Native American Garden (to the right of the staff driveway).

Friday, October 16, 2015

Ms. Bihari's Class Makes Salsa

Today Ms. Bihari's class made salsa. The students remembered that they'd planted a salsa garden in the spring. One of the chilies in the salsa was from that garden. The rest of the ingredients were donated by Gelson's. The students liked the salsa so much that they wanted seconds but there were none-we'd given them generous servings after they'd done their cutting of tomatoes, chilies, onions; measuring of olive oil and lime juice and pressing of garlic.

Thanks to Laura for assisting!


8 tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro-torn into small pieces
3 T. olive oil
3 T. lime juice
1-2 jalapeno chilies-cut
2-3 green onions-cut
2 cloves of garlic-pressed and cut

Basically, cut everything into small pieces and mix together. Wear gloves when cutting peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired (we didn't). The salsa was very colorful due to the colorful heirloom tomatoes. (We discussed the meaning of heirloom and heirloom seeds).

After eating, the children and Ms. Bihari voted for their favorite vegetable. They'll plant seeds of the most popular. Cucumber was the most popular so they can plant that in the spring. Since some students like lettuce and carrots, they'll plant those and also some peas and radishes.

Ms. Gardner's Class in the Garden

Today's Ms. Gardner's 4th grade class visited the Native American Garden, planted some kale seeds and ate kale. In the Native American Garden we discussed how Chumash made flour from the acorns of the coast live oak. The students planted California poppy seeds. They also learned that students who did reports on the native plants last year had their reports linked to the plant signs via QR codes. They'll have the opportunity to do this later this school year.

The students chose between kale smoothies and kale chips for their snack.

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale
1 T. olive oil
sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 350. Take off center rib of kale and tear remainder in small pieces. Wash kale and dry well. Put in bowl and mix with olive oil and salt. Place on baking sheet that's lined with parchment paper. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove from sheet. Add parmesan cheese if desired. Eat!

Kale Smoothie

8 oz. liquid (almond milk, apple juice, orange juice) we used almond milk at school
½ c. frozen mango chunks (or any other frozen fruit)
1 medium banana
1 c. curly leaf or lacinato kale

Blend and serve.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mr. Jacobs' Class Visits the Garden

Today Mr. Jacobs' 2nd graders visited the garden for their first lesson. We reviewed the parts of plants using a broccoli plant as the model.  They then examined various vegetables, named them and discussed which part of the plant we eat. We eat more than one part in plants, such as green onions, celery, broccoli and beets.

They also voted for their favorite vegetables. The results: potato (4), corn and celery (3), onion and tomato (2), carrot, zucchini and spinach (1).  Perhaps we'll graph the results next time.

After writing about their favorite vegetable (s) or the parts of a plant, the students enjoyed a vegetable salad.

Thanks to Laurie Vander Veen for assisting and to Gelson's for donating the vegetables.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ms. Farrell's Class Makes Salsa

Last Friday Ms. Farrell's 3rd grade class made salsa. This was a follow-up to the salsa garden that they planted as 2nd graders. The tomatoes and peppers from that plot were harvested over the summer. The ingredients for the salsa were donated by Gelson's. We used heirloom tomatoes and discussed the meaning of heirloom.

Thanks to Grandma Linda for helping!

Salsa Recipe

8 ripe tomatoes
2 green onions
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno peppers
3 T. olive oil
3 T. fresh lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

Each group of tables prepared a different ingredient. The ingredients were cut into small pieces with plastic knives and or measured and then combined in a large bowl.  The students that cut the peppers wore gloves to protect their skin ( and were instructed not to rub their eyes)! Other students used a garlic press and a small juice squeezer.

The students were good chefs and the salsa (with the chips) was very tasty!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

National Kale Day at Marquez School

Marquez students celebrated National Kale Day and Walk to School Day on October 7. Several students including Sophie, Taylor and Bailey served kale smoothies to parents, students and Councilmember Mike Bonin.  The smoothies were so popular that children even asked for seconds!

Mr. Bonin enjoys smoothies and shared his recipe with us. We'll be making it soon! The ingredients include apple, cucumber, celery, kale, parsley and ginger.

The recipe for today's smoothie:

3-4 leaves of kale torn without stems
1 banana
1\4-1/2 c. frozen mango (or other frozen fruit)
1\2 c. almond milk (can substitute orange juice)

Put all ingredients in a blender. I use a Blentech. If using fresh fruit add ice cubes. Adjust amount of liquid to your taste. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ms. Fein's Class Learns about Vegetables

Today Ms. Fein's 2nd graders reviewed parts of a plant. We discussed what parts we are eating when we eat the following vegetables
- leaves: lettuce, chard and kale;
- stem: celery
- roots: beets, radish, carrots, onions and turnips
- flowers: broccoli
- fruit: tomato, cucumber, peppers, squash (e.g. zucchini)
- seed: corn

The students wrote about or drew the parts of a plant in their Garden & Nutrition Journals. They also completed the sentence "My favorite vegetable is...".

The children enjoyed a vegetable salad consisting of lettuce, corn, celery, tomatoes, beets and broccoli for snack.  The favorite dressings were lemon juice/olive oil and olive oil. Thanks to Gelson's for donating the food.

An upcoming lesson on cool season vegetables will include planting lettuce, carrots or radish.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Alice Waters and National Farm to School Month

October is National Farm to School Month. In honor of that, here's a quote from Alice Waters, the amazing chef behind the Edible Schoolyard and the farm to table movement:
"And we don’t teach farming and cooking, we teach math in the garden and English in the kitchen. We use those food spaces as labs. Every course is connected to the garden, the kitchen or the table in some way. That way it is an interactive pedagogy, so that kids can learn by doing. This is what John Dewey wanted and Maria Montessori preached and what I believe. When kids grow it and cook it, they all want to eat it."
The last sentence represents the goal of the Marquez Edible Garden and how it and other garden programs can work to encourage healthy eating and counteract the obesity epidemic.