Our Spring Harvest and Eat workshop was a great success! Our workshops attracted teachers from Learning Garden schools throughout greater Los Angeles to learn and discuss all things related to harvesting, washing, and preparing produce from the garden. If you missed the workshop this spring, take a look at the info below which highlights the main concepts and resources (linked) that were covered during the after-school workshop. Our next workshops will be in October. We hope you can join us!
Annual Garden Plan and QR codes for garden videos
The Annual Garden Plan, also known as the AGP (the Spring portion of which we sent earlier this year with your mailed seed package) was reviewed during the workshop. The AGP will help you plan out your garden with the seeds we send you. The plan includes theme garden guides, harvest guides, and essential planting and growing information. The QR codes on the Salad Garden and Companion Plants Garden will direct you to helpful gardening videos that correspond with each theme garden. Download the QR reader app link for Android or the QR reader app link for iPhone to begin using this great resource, or just click on the QR code from your desktop.
Harvesting best practices and food safety
When harvesting, wash hands and have a food safe, plastic tub or large tupperware with you to put all produce in once harvested from the garden. You may use your hands to harvest from the garden, or snippers when necessary for cutting stems, leaves, and fruits from plants. Use clean garden snippers or scissors intended for garden use only. For student participation, child-friendly scissors are a good option. Enjoy the Harvest Activity to familiarize students with harvesting, and K-2 and 3-5 harvesting lessons to dig deeper into harvesting concepts.
Washing produce best practices
To wash produce properly use a designated food prep or sanitized sink with running, potable water. You can use your food safe tub or tupperware in the sink to bathe the produce and then rinse. Transfer washed produce onto a clean dish towel, strainer, or salad spinner to prepare immediately or store in a food safe tub or large ziplock bags in refrigerator.
Big Green suggests 5 ways through which produce can be consumed from the Learning Garden: tasting tours, tasting activities, produce to school cafeteria, produce sold at mini-farm stand, and sending produce home with students for home use. Determine what option will be best for you after your next Learning Garden harvest!
Preparing tastings and sending produce home
It wouldn’t be Big Green workshop without some snacks from the garden. With supplies from our tasting kit (create your own with these items!), we demonstrated how to make these easy, fresh, and delicious tasting activities and recipes which can be easily prepared in the classroom with students or can be sent home with parents: Build-a-salad activity, Radish slaw activity and sautéed greens with garlic and lemon from our Recipes for Home Cooking resource. If you do choose to send produce home with parents, print out and send along the helpful Send Produce Home letter that includes produce cooking information for parents.
We want to make sure all students feel comfortable tasting new things from the garden, which is why we have created the tasting etiquette activity and guidelines. These rules remind students of respect and behavior expectations when tasting from the garden. “Don’t yuck my yum” and the “no thank-you bite” are some of the golden rules here, along with making sure hands are washed and all students are helping with cleanup. Use the guidelines we’ve offered or create your own!
Please reach out to your Garden Educator if you would like more information on the content covered in this workshop. Happy harvesting!