Herbs can Help the Way you Feel–October 9, 2013

We started with a cloudy, warm 63°.

From Sustainable CAPE’s Facebook page:

“Whoa. This week’s gardening class was extra, extra awesome. First, we played a fast moving game of fruit tag, which is when you are “safe” if you call out the name of a fruit before the It person tags you. I heard pineapple, persimmon and granny smith thrown in there!

Then, we had a visit from Helen Grimm, nurse at Truro Elementary School and herbalist. Mrs. Grimm taught us how plants, herbs, and other things we can grow can help us if we don’t feel well. We sniffed peppermint to wake up and ease an upset stomach, lavender to feel soothed, rosemary (which has antimicrobial properties…cool!) and looked in our garden for more herbs with medicinal powers. We learned so much!

Then, Anna brought out her juicer and we experimented with different fruits and vegetables like kale, beets, oranges, apples, cucumbers, and carrots. We literally drank the rainbow, which we learned from the food color wheel means we were getting a mega dose of fresh, cancer fighting, free radical busting, energy making goodness.”

Favorite quote of the day?
“If you think, admit it, an apple (a day) could ruin a doctor’s business plan” Jacob, age 8

Pulling up Carrots–October 2, 2013

Eric and Robin recorded the temperature as a sunny warm 74° and that they “played tag, sat in a chair, played with a dog, digged, went in the garden and pulled up carrots.”

From Sustainable CAPE’s Facebook page:

“Today we had a most excellent treat…warm summer-like weather AND cool, crispy carrots! Carrots are heavy feeders (meaning they need nutrient rich soil) and like cool earth and lots of water to grow fast- and it looks like our farmers-in-training have that down! It took some huffing and puffing, but we each pulled up a big, bright orange carrot. We also learned about the ins and outs of transplanting as we transferred new kale into the garden and feeding our plans with organic Plant Tone to keep our soil alive and healthy. We think October was made for gardening!”

Why We Save Seeds–September 25, 2013

A cool sunny 56° day with a special guest visitor, Irene Cooper from the Master Gardner Association of Cape Cod, speaking to us about the benefits of saving seeds:

  1. It costs less money.
  2. Preserves a favorite variety of vegetable.
  3. Grows well in sandy Cape Cod soil.

We tried a method of saving yellow jellybean tomato and French fillet bean seeds on paper towels and in baggies to see if we can plant them in the Spring.

After tasting the bolting lettuce, the kids tossed the bitter stuff into the compost and then pulled up all the sunflowers and vigorously shook the roots. We finished off with lots of water for the plants.


Separating Seeds–September 18, 2013

74° today with plenty of sun.  Anna brought in a stevia plant for the garden and kids loved tasting the leaves! Then we finished the seed saving process by straining the soaked seeds (Sungold, Red Cherry, Roma, and Plum tomato seeds) from last week through a fine sieve, then separating them in bowls.

We picked the last of the lemon cucumbers which had a few worms in them and pulled the rest of the cucumber plants and put them in the compost. The bean plants still look healthy with lots of lima beans to harvest. We watered, weeded and played tag.

The tomato seeds are drying in the library and we can use them for next year’s garden!

Saving for the Future–September 11, 2013

From Sustainable CAPE’s Facebook page:

“Did you know you can save certain kinds of seeds to grow more of your favorite crops again next season? Heirloom tomato varieties (rather than hybrids, which will grow, but into goodness knows what) can be harvested at the peak of perfection, and their seeds saved for the future. We learned that each seed has a protective jello-y, gelatinous coating that must be removed before they can sprout into new plants. We started this process by squeezing the seeds out of the tomatoes and letting them ferment or mold over in a jar with water for a few days, then we can strain out the seeds to be dried and saved. It’s probably to keep the seeds from sprouting inside the tomato, we think!

It’s so easy, you can do it too, and have enough ‘cheery’ (cherry) seeds to share with your friends.”

After collecting the seeds, the kids watered all the plants on an 80° day. Then peppers, cucumbers and beans were harvested and eaten. Yum!

Truro Ag Fair–August 28, 2013

We focused on preparing for the Children’s Community Garden table at the Truro Ag Fair by making signs, drawing vegetables and harvesting all the ripe corn and lemon cucumbers. The kids also planted some young kale plants.