An Energetic Afternoon

Our Grow-Make-Eat! session started off today with a spot of detective work… what needs to be done in the garden? “Watering!”, as usual, since it’s been a dry and warm couple of days; “Weeding!” well spotted, there are a few things in the beds that we didn’t sow or plant! Some potatoes and watercress we missed from last year’s crop had sprouted so we pulled those up to make room for the plants we’re looking after this term.

We thinned out the carrots and put the strongest plants into a tub full of sandy compost. We learnt about how the carrots grow bigger in sandy soil as they are the roots of the plant, and the roots stretch out to search for more nutrition. If we planted them in rich compost they’d be happy where they are and stay small and stumpy!

What had changed in the garden since last week? The wildflowers are getting even bigger and look like they’re about to burst into flower any moment now! The cabbage had bolted (bad news!) and had sprouted an enormous stalk of pretty yellow flowers! But hang on, where did those pretty broad bean flowers go? Zofia knowledgeably suggested that they had turned into beans. We looked carefully and there the young bean pods were! All very exciting, hopefully we can eat them in the next couple of weeks.

We also planted some Charlotte potatoes, which will be great in salads. Some interesting reactions when planting them in; “The sprouts are disgusting!” and “They look like babies!” Hopefully they’ll look more appetizing once they’ve grown new tubers…

In the kitchen we made some raw balls as the kids had really made such a great effort with all our weird concoctions of late. Moving away from chocolate and indeed our popular flapjack balls we decided to try a peanut butter and banana ball. Now I mustn’t forget to write the ingredients because for some reason the children LOVED these!

Before we made them we had little chat about palm oil and deforestation due the fact we had sustainable palm oil in our Whole Earth peanut butter. Encouraging children to read labels and lead their own investigations about what they eat is very important.

You can read more about the subject here.

http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php

So as always we blend the hard ingredients first. We have a Magi Mix at school but any food processor will do. So this time it was cashew and dried bananas first then all the rest till blended and the dates are pureed. We left some bananas a bit chunky.

 

Ingredients:

A pack of unsalted cashews (or a nut like almond)

A pack of dried bananas (We like these fair-trade sulphur free ones)

A table spoon of peanut butter (the good stuff ideally)

A handful of pitted dates

Some raisins

A small squeeze of agave syrup or honey

A sprinkle of cinnamon

We used coconut oil but I would omit it next time as it all came out too greasy!

 

A great afternoon snack and is a meal in itself!

Grow-Make-Eat heads north!

 

First-Hand-Experiences-GrowMakeEat16

The growing season may well and truly be over, but here at Grow Make Eat HQ we’re cultivating ideas instead!

We’re making plans for our new site at Lycée International de Londres in Wembley that, much to our excitement, includes our very first polytunnel. A polytunnel will make a fantastic addition to a school allotment, as it extends the growing season, increases crop yield and creates a sheltered ‘outdoor classroom’ when the weather is bad so we can still give our green fingers a workout.

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Inside the polytunnel, a sectioned off area will create a space with tables and chairs. Here the children can gather to be briefed on the session’s activity and to prepare freshly harvested fruit and vegetables to eat.

We’re planning to build raised beds inside the polytunnel and outside too. During the whole project, we want to use as much reclaimed and recycled materials as possible, so if you’ve got anything you think might be useful, don’t hesitate to get in contact! In these cold winter days it’s hard to imagine a bountiful allotment, but with careful planning and hard work, we’re confident it will come into fruition.

Grow-Make-Eat! Sinclair House School

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We have kicked off our new term at Sinclair House School’s Grow Make Eat club. In our first session the kids got a treat as they got to harvest the summers crop of new potatoes.  Each one found was like piece of gold dug up in the mud! The excitement was certainly inspiring.

We also had some lovely watercress planted in early summer that was ready to be picked as it was beginning to bolt.  We picked a good lot then made a group pesto with the watercress, almonds, garlic, lemon, olive oil and parmesan. Some fancied a try and the rest weren’t too sure. It is a new group so as can be expected. Perhaps if it was poured over some spaghetti…

I also took some home and made some watercress and pea soup. Delicious and really easy!  Please try at home with your kids if possible!

Watercress and Pea Soup Recipe

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/summer-pea-and-watercress-soup/

Pesto Recipe

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2121664/linguine-with-watercress-and-almond-pesto