Friday, October 10, 2014

Rickson Ridge Grade 2 Class at the Honey Bee Research Centre

Today was a very exciting day for Garden2Table. We got take a grade 2 class from Rickson Ridge to visit the Honey Bee Research Center on campus. With so many eager-to-learn kids and beautiful fall weather, it was a recipe for success.

            We started off by learning all about the different types of bees and what makes a honeybee a honeybee. It is so interesting how bees use such a complicated system in order to create the honey. We also learned all about the other reasons bees are so important such as pollinating plants, which feed us as well as the animals we eat. After a lot of pictures and even some dead bees, and of course some bee dancing, it was time to go take a look at the hives!

            The Honey Bee Research Center maintains about 300 bee colonies! We got to a look at one of the hives to see what goes on inside. Not surprising, when we took out a part of the honeycomb, it was covered in bees and lots of honey!  We even got to try a very special type of honey called goldenrod honey, it was delicious!

            After learning just about everything we could about bees and honey, we took the school bus over to the arboretum for some fun and games. Starting off with a quick game similar to duck, duck, goose, but much for fun because we were buzzing bees instead! Then we divided up the class into worker bees (girls) and drones (boys) and simulated the honey making process. The worker bees were looking for honey (hidden puzzle pieces) to bring back the Queen Bee! Everyone worked together to put the puzzles together to create our honey! It was pretty tough dodging the bears (Garden2Table coordinators) that were trying to take the honey!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

St. Ignatious Grade 7s (second class) in the Garden!

What a fantastic way to finish our garden tours this season! The spirited, insightful grade 7 class from St. Ignatious came out to learn all about organic farming….and of course to get their hands dirty.

            The garden tour highlighted the innovative techniques in preserving the crops such as the use of comfrey tea and shiny objects that help keep our “frenimies” a.k.a the animals away. The ever-popular spilanthes plant kept its reputation in intriguing all of the kids to try it, followed by almost all of them spitting it out! It is interesting to think about the medicinal plants and how they were used! Imagine having to eat some spilanthes in order to get rid of a toothache…YUCK!

            Once the kids learned all about the farm, it was time to get dirty! We grabbed our pitch forks and headed to the back field to harvest some red potatoes! After lots of hard work we took our buckets of dirty potatoes to be cleaned and ready for the thanksgiving market. Once the potatoes were ready to go we moved on to plucking out all of the delicious carrots for the market as well!

Cant wait to see you back here for some cooking and of course eating!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Chris Hadfield and Irma Coulson in the Kitchen and St. Ignatius Public School in the Garden!

This week we were fortunate enough to have Chris Hadfield and Irma Coulson’s Eco-teams come to the kitchen. They were a FANTASTIC group of students and teachers, who were all incredibly passionate about gardening and whole food, and eager to learn new skills and knowledge.
On Monday, September 29th the students came to PJ’s restaurant on campus to use the state-of-the-art kitchen and appliances. Everybody was very enthusiastic about putting their kitchen skills to work and all the recipes turned out delicious. We made a Fall Harvest Salad with roasted beets, carrots and parsnips on a bed of mixed arugula, Celeriac and Potato Soup, and for dessert an Apple Cobbler. All of these recipes were inspired by what is available in our garden as well as at local farmer’s markets right now.

Later on in the week we welcomed Grade 7 students from St. Ignatius Public school to the garden. It was a beautiful fall morning to be at the Urban Organic Farm, even with the smell of comfrey tea lingering in the air. Our Garden Assistant, Hannah, took the kids for a tour of the garden and talked about all of the eco-friendly and sustainable practices the garden uses. We also tried spilanthes,  which is also named the toothache plant. But unfortunately, it was nothing like the minty flavor of Oragel. To say the least, most students (and volunteers) will probably not be using this remedy in the near future.


After a quick snack break and sometime to enjoy the scenery and sun, the students help harvest some potatoes that we will be using in a soup for their kitchen visit! 

This group of students will be back on campus on Monday to cook up a storm with the Garden2Table team and volunteers!

Friday’s visit marked our second last garden visit of the year. As the days get cooler the Garden2Table team is sad to say goodbye to this part of the program for another year!