Decomposers, compost, worms, OH MY! Fresh from our Vermiculture Bin to your computer screen, we bring you news of our hardest workers in the garden: the Red Wiggler Worms.
These worms eat all the food scraps from our cooking classes and turn them into rich, beautiful, and nutritious soil! These red worms are known as Natures Wonder Worker because they eat their body weight in compost almost daily! Without them, all our food waste would go straight to the landfill and all those nutrients would be lost.
So in honor of our Red Wiggler Worms’ dedication to the garden, we celebrated a worm appreciation month full of compost sorting races, worm biographies, even taking turns to feed the worms by hand! The students were not afraid of getting their hands dirty when inspecting the “cool” and “cute” worms in our compost bin. Students learned the importance of giving the worms a well balanced diet of plants, sticks, food scraps, and paper. They also learned the valuable role compost plays in putting nutrients back into the soil in our raised beds. There is so much to learn and discover in the ground under our feet! With the help of decomposers like our worm and Rollie Pollie friends, we are able to grow beautiful vegetables to eat in our cooking classes.
Let’s give three cheers for the bugs under our feet who truly dedicate their lives to improve the world around them!!
Who says kids won't love a healthy snack?
Quite often when we tell people what we teach our kids in cooking class their response is, "Do they even like it?" Every time, with a satisfying smile, we reply, "Yes, they do!" And our doubter is left amazed. Take our Fourth Graders for example:
We walked Ms. Lafleur's fourth grade class to the orchard and began to harvest some of the last Granny Smith and Fuji apples of the year. The kids were literally jumping with excitement over the prospect of picking this delicious fruit. After we collected a bowlful of apples and took it back to the table, we washed and cut the apples. The students then learned all about fennel and chopped the bulb up as well. They also cut up some mint and sorrel they had harvested from the garden and tossed it all with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Finally, we took our forks in hand, and as a class we counted "one...two...three"...and we all tasted it! At first it was quiet, as everyone chewed up their first bite. But then, the exclamations started coming from all directions! "This is GOOD!!" "I love it!" "I'm going to want some more!" Every single student had something wonderful to say about the tastiness of this snack. Then from the side I kept hearing, "Miss Cassie, Miss Cassie" and so I walked over to my friend at the table. He stood up and looked at me with an almost desperate countenance and pleaded "Please! Can I take this recipe home and give it to my mom so that she can make it for me for my birthday?!?" At once my heart was overjoyed at this most sincere stamp of approval.
Fourth graders enjoying the salad
Try it for yourself and tell us what you think!
Apple Fennel Salad
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and halved
2 bulbs fennel, sliced thin
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
optional: 1/4th cup chopped sorrel
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the apple into thin slices and place in a medium bowl with the fennel and sorrel.
2. Whisk together the lemon juice, mint, and olive oil in a small bowl.
3. Toss the apples, fennel and sorrel with the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper.