Today in Dirt to Dinner the kids made an amazing Massaged Kale Salad with a medley of Roasted Root Vegetables. Delicious! And as you can see, beautifully presented. Can you imagine how satisfying it was for a bunch of parents to stand around and see the kids going for seconds of a salad made with raw kale right from the garden! Not to mention they were also eating roasted turnips, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas, carrots and more. All in all a very satisfying meal to help consume. You can find a recipe for the salad (not exactly the way we made it–but close) on the “I Love Kale” blog at http://iheartkale.blogspot.com/2009/01/massaged-kale-salad-with-grated-root.html
And they had worked up quite an appetite finding garden bugs, playing an elaborate kind of tag that reinforces ideas about predator – prey relationships and food webs at work in a garden. And designing and digging the space for the Dirt to Dinner planting beds.
One thing we can already tell you after just two sessions of Dirt to Dinner is that when you have twelve plus kids on hand and lunch to prepare for 25, three hours goes mighty fast. Because there is so much to do, we are already guessing that the kids likely to get the most of the program will be the ones who are able to be here on Mondays for Open Garden hours when they can move at their own pace.
Just today while the group was together we had a scavenger hunt to see what kinds of insect life we could find in the garden, met the worms who will inhabit our worm farm, picked kale, celery and lemons and played the predator-prey game about cabbage, cabbage worms, moths and birds.
Then one group prepared and roasted the root vegetables and then planted potatoes outside in flexible bins and the other group prepared the Massaged Kale Salad and did a math and spatial awareness puzzle to try to figure out what shapes the pieces for the garden boxes could be arranged in to maximize the square feet for gardening while still allowing kids to reach all the plants that would be in the beds without putting their weight on the soil.
Want to try it? You can cut up sticks, straws, string, strips of paper, etc. into four 4″ lengths and eight 6″ lengths and let us know what shape configuration gives you the most square inches while still allowing easy access to the space inside the sticks. We know of two shapes that will give you 112 square inches. The largest configuration the Dirt to Dinner kids came up with today was a 112 square inch “L.” So that’s the shape that the kids measured and marked out and eventually framed with our 4′ and 6′ lengths of willow hurdles to make a 112′ garden bed.