3rd graders are taking their studies of the Pilgrims to a whole new level! In a 3-part lesson, students will be working with Mrs. Skaane to learn about colonial kitchen gardens: why their design is important, as well as their choices of what to plant. This week the kids imagined themselves in the period of the Pilgrims, when Market Basket and CVS did not exist! They had to come up with a purposeful garden design that will not only feed their “family” for the summer months, but will also provide them with medicinal herbs. The kids worked with a partner to design their garden and then draw an artistic rendition of their garden fully grown. Next week, each class will plant their own kitchen garden!
Bell Organic Garden News
May’s Harvest of the Month (HOM) is SEAFOOD. Bell School students will be receiving a Seafood card and an “I tried it!” Sticker. Due to difficulties (allergies and expense), we are encouraging families to taste seafood at home with their children. Try this tasty, easy and inexpensive recipe and let us know how it goes!
For more information and more recipes check out: https://www.massfarmtoschool.org/harvests/seafood/
Baked Fish with Ritz Cracker Topping
Serving: 4 – 4 oz servings
1 lbs. of Local White Fish (such as, Pollock, Hake, or Haddock)
8 Ritz crackers, crushed
Sprinkle of Garlic powder
Shake of parsley, dried
Shake of Old Bay seasoning
Squeeze of Lemon juice
1T of Butter
Rinse fish & cut into desired portion size
Mix Ritz crackers, pepper, garlic, parsley and Old Bay seasoning with the melted butter
Place fish on an oiled pan and cover with Ritz mix
Bake at 375°F for approximately 20 minutes until fish is at desired temperature (155°F)
Sourced from: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
A few classes (see Ms Babbitt’s 1st grade class in the photo) have just started a pilot composting project. The kids will be collecting fruit and vegetable scraps leftover from their snack and lunch each day, then taking the “green” matter and emptying it into a compost “tumbler” in the school’s garden. From there they will add a handful of “brown” material such as leaves, cardboard or hay from the garden; spin it three times; and if needed, give it a little spray of water. Each class is excited to help reduce school trash as well as create some nutrient-rich soil for our garden!
Two 3rd Grade classes recently partnered with schools in San Anselmo, California and Portland, Oregon to exchange seeds saved from each school’s garden, as well as write letters to the respective students.
Bell School received a variety of interesting seeds such as showy milkweed, California poppies, lovage, slipper gourd, and elephant head (amaranth) to name a few, which we will plant in the Spring.
The kids are all hoping for another round of letters to and from their pen-pals as it was super exciting to not only receive a personalized letter, but to learn about another 3rd grader living across the country!
Check out some of the photos of letters and seed packets exchanged. More examples of the letters will be posted on the garden’s bulletin boards in the reception areas at Lower and Upper Bell after February break. They make great reading and show how much the kids enjoy working on garden-related projects.
Last month Bell School students got to taste local pears as part of the Harvest of Month program. The pears, which were supplied by Brooksby Farm in Peabody, were turned into a tasty pear sauce and the kids certainly seemed to enjoy it! On Wednesday February 14, they will be trying squash as part of the monthly tasting program. We’re always grateful for extra hands to help prepare the tastings and deliver them to the classrooms. Please let Sarah Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you’re able to help. It requires approximately one hour of your time right after drop off on the relevant day.