Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Our final kitchen-garden class for 2012

We had a lovely lunch today -
Pumpkin, Currant and Quinoa Salad
Christmas Tree Pizza
Christmas Vegetable Pasta
Tuna and Walnut Dip
Raw Christmas Vegetables
Christmas Vegetable Fried Rice

Monday, 10 December 2012

A Christmas Theme

Almost all of our gardening photos show our students watering this week! It certainly has been a priority activity for us with the weather being so warm. We have also completed some work on our compost heap and harvested radishes, salad greens, coriander, parsley, mint and spring onions.

Litiani watering our "Three Sisters Vegetable Bed" (corn, beans and pumpkin)

Darcy enjoyed watering the garden and anyone else that he could catch!

Our Three Sisters - Corn, Pumpkin and Beans

Cameron did a really good job watering the parsely

Jobe watering our leeks

Watering the leeks, coriander and rocket

Our approach of asking each cooking group to choose their own recipes this week has been very successful. It has been an interesting exercise for us to pass the responsibility for choosing the recipes over to others - a little scary at times!! Some staff gave us lists of ingredients, but wouldn't tell us what they wre making!  As the saying goes, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" and we can say without any hesitation that everything tasted delicious!. We have cooked some really tasty foods this week and some of the recipes given to us will definitely be published in our next recipe book. 

The official menu was:
Victorious Vegetables
Perfect Pizza
Pleasing Pasta
Ripper Rice
Super Salad
Interpretations of these dishes have included 'Quinoa, Pumpkin and Currant Salad', 'Christmas Tree Pizza', 'Roasted Carrot, Beetroot and Mint Salad' and 'Curried Banana Salad'. We think we might make this approach a regular end of term activity. It is certainly a good way to collect recipes!

Christmas Tree Pizza

Jackson made a great Christmas Tree Pizza

Very careful carrying to the oven

Jack chose all the ingredients for his salad

Jack 'hopped on' to Tomoko's hand to help with cutting the carrots

"Yes this carrot will be good in my salad"

Great Salad Jack

Ellen was very pleased with this Christmas Salad

Christmas Salad

Josh added pepper to the Christmas vegetable pasta sauce

This was our last week of kitchen and garden classes for the year, next week we will be cleaning, planning and planting.  However I plan to complete a reflection about what we have done this year and will be posting it to the blog in the near future.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

More garden progress

Two rainwater tanks sitting in position!

Our water tanks are now in position in the garden! We have a photographic time-line of our garden on display in our gym – when you look at the progress that has occurred since May it is really impressive. Many thanks must go to Michael and Craig for doing so much of this work, but also of course to Rotary Bellerive who are building our chicken house and to all the many staff, parents and students who have also contributed to the workload.

And in the kitchen it we have doubled our baking options by installing a new oven. It is the same type as the one we had previously, but is a double oven. Up until now we have had to use classroom ovens as well as our kitchen one during most sessions. It has made a huge difference to us to be able to do all of our baking in our own kitchen. Many thanks to Mark for organising this for us.

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation Newsletter was published this week and we were delighted to read their comment about us with regard to our contributions to their web-site called The Shared Table - this is what they wrote:

We would like to specially commend the Southern Support School in Howrah, Tasmania – throughout 2012 we have been inspired by the creativity of the students and staff at this dynamic school.
 We are continuing to work in our small garden too - it will probably provide us with our harvests for the first half of next term as planting in the new garden won't start until January or February. Molesworth Environmental Centre gave us a lovely selection of tomato plants this week:
          • Grosse Lisse
          • Earle of Edgecombe
          • June Pink
          • Kellogg's Breakfast
          • Wonderlight
          • Rouge de Marmande
          • Black Cherry
          • Tommy Toe
          • Black Russian

Cody was a great help with planting the tomato seedlings
We have a good crop of salad greens at the moment - Jacob visited us again and showed that he is going to be a real asset when he joins us next year:

Leeks, radishes, salad greens, carrots and coriander

This week we cooked:                                                                          
Cauliflower Fritters
Leafy Green Salad
Broccoli Cheese
Thai Carrot Salad
Potato Gnocchi with Silverbeet and Ricotta

We seem to say it frequently, but this really was one of our better menus!!
The cauliflower fritters seemed to vanish before they even got to the table!

Mixing the batter for the fritters

For some reason we took fewer photos this week, perhaps we were too busy enjoying ourselves! Here is a photo of Ellen grating cheese for the gnocchi:

A skill that has developed well this year has been the use of our hands to mix foods - it has resulted in us learning to be very gentle with food. At the start of the year our leafy green salads tended to be a little bruised by the time they reached the table - now they are just about perfect!!

Very gentle hand mixing by Jobe

Rochelle and Jobe made a delicious leafy green salad

Jobe carried a bowl of water to the table to wash the salad leaves

Getting ready to start

Next week will be our final week of kitchen and garden classes (during the final week of term we will be cleaning, sorting, tidying, planning and planting!). We decided to do something slightly different for our last week and so sent this note to staff:

Dear ....................
Next week we are going to have a bit of fun in the kitchen (we hope!!).
Our menu is set out below:
Victorious Vegetables
Perfect Pizza
Pleasing Pasta
Ripper Rice
Super Salad

Your group will be cooking …………………………….and you are absolutely free to choose what you would like to cook so long as it fits the title:
*     You can arrive on the day, check out what we have available to cook and come up with a recipe - OR
*      you can choose a recipe in advance and tell me by Friday  what ingredients you would like - OR
*      you can tell me by Friday if you would like me to choose a recipe for you

Please do not stress about this, any of the options are fine!"

We have already received some great recipes that staff want to cook - many with a Christmas theme. Watch out for the Christmas Tree Pasta that Nadine is planning!!


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Our Rainwater Tanks Have Arrived

We were very excited to take delivery of two rainwater tanks this week. They arrived on Wednesday and some of our students were able to watch them being taken from the truck and moved to the garden – Michael, Craig, Mark and driver Barry had to work very hard to move them with great supervision provided by Jo!!

We are very grateful to Tankworld at Derwent Park for giving us a generous discount. The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program is very dependent on the generosity of others for its successful implementation and forming community links with organisations such as Tankworld is invaluable . The motto on our school logo is “Achieving Together” – thank you Tankworld for helping with this bit of achievement.

This week we cooked:
Roasted Turnips filled with Spicy Rice
Potato and Rosemary Pizza
Leafy Green Salad
Honey Fruit Salad

It has to be said that for the very first time we did have an item that wasn’t very popular – the turnips! However, the spicy rice inside them was delicious so all was not lost. The pizza was perhaps this week’s favourite.
Leafy Green Salad with Edible Flowers
Jack enjoyed using the salad spinner

Riley tested the cos lettuce!

The salad spinner was very popular!

Cameron added pepper to the leafy salad

Riley added salt to the leafy salad

Some of the leaves that went into our salad

Rocket, leeks, radishes, coriander and spring onions

Leafy Salad

Harvesting leaves

More harvesting - Nick did a good job!

Josh collected the cabbage from the harvest table
Ryan stirred the coleslaw
Collecting some herbs from the harvest table

Potato and Rosemary Pizza

Adding the potato

Good stirring

We trialled using a mandolin slicer this week. It worked  very well, but we are still
searching for the perfect machine.

Honey Fruit Salad

Darcy enjoyed all the chopping, peeling and stirring

Ellen and Nick enjoyed eating the fruit salad

In the garden we planted giant pumpkins. We planted them between our fruit trees in the new garden, giving them lots of worm casts from our worm farm and compost as well. Students will be measuring the growth of the pumpkins next term and we hope to enter the largest ones into a pumpkin competition.

We had a visit from Jacob this week - he will be coming to our school next year.
Jacob did a great job with planting the pumpkins.

Hugo watered the pumpkins

And a few more photos:

Amelia shredded some paper for our compost heap

Patrick watered the potatoes

Jacob also completed  the weather board during his visit

Ellen helped to blend some food so that it was soft enough for Libby to eat

Darcy washed Kelera's hands for her with the hose pipe

A good job completed by Jacob

And next week our menu is:
Cauliflower Fritters
Leafy Green Salad
Broccoli Cheese
Thai Carrot Salad
Potato Gnocchi with Silverbeet and Ricotta