End of School Year Garden Plan (May/June lesson):
Explain that we are going to be harvesting, feasting and preparing the garden for the summer. If you are comfortable with the students you can allow them to pick which station they would like to do for the day. Explain briefly the stations. Station 1 will make the salad. Lettuce will be washed and torn apart. Other veggies will be washed and cut (7-9 students needed). Station 2 may prepare a homemade salad dressing, if you wish, using ingredients from the home and garden herbs. Station 3 cleans out the box and prepares it with manure for the summer. Begin with the whole class in the garden (7-9 students). Students who are going into Stations 1 & 2 pull out a veggie of choice to take to the class. Have the volunteers of station 1 & 2 take their students and the veggies back to class.
Station 1: Preparing the veggies
Divide the students into smaller groups to do these jobs.
1. Washing: Washing and cutting the edible things (radishes, carrots, broccoli, edible flowers-borage and nasturtiums – if you aren’t sure about a flower don’t put them in or check with someone else).
2. Drying the washed vegetables
3. Tearing up lettuce into a large bowl.
4. Shredding the carrots or beets. Scrub with the brushes and use the peelers to shave off thin salad-ready slices.
Note: It is nice to make a couple different combinations of salad (i.e., one that is mostly greens and carrots and one that has everything). Leave dressings on the side for the students to choose.
Station 2: Making a salad dressing
The following are two recipes you can use or bring in one of your own.
Oil/Vinegar: 1 c. olive oil, ¼ c. balsamic vinegar, herbs from the garden, salt and pepper to taste
½ c. oil, 1/3 c. white wine vinegar, 1 clove of garlic minced, 2 tbsp. Packed brown sugar, 2 tbsp. Minced chives, 1 tbsp. Curry powder, 1 tsp. Soy sauce
Station 3: Preparing your box for the summer
Locate your three bags of manure/compost. Bring newspaper and containers to bring live plants home. Clean out the garden box completely. If there are any plants that are still usable, please bring them home to your garden. Please take the other plant material home and put it in the recycling compost bin for pick up (our school compost box will not be able to handle all of the material. Anything that has not gone to seed may be chopped up and added to the bins if there is room). Put a layer of newspaper (a few sheets thick) over the soil in the garden box. Then spread the manure/compost on top of the newspaper about an inch thick.
Why do we do this? This should keep the weeds from growing and the boxes easy to get started next year.
Put away tools and lock the shed when done.
Conclusion: When all the work is done, enjoy the feast! Allow the students to pick the variety of salad and dressings. It’s fun to see how many will eat the salad!