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Friday, February 17, 2012

February Farm to School Lunch today!

Farm to School Lunch

Salem-Keizer Food & Nutrition Services and Sodexo and McKinley PTC have partnered to pilot a monthly Farm to School lunch this year at McKinley. There will be a special menu highlighting some of Oregon’s farmers and producers, and the Pick of the Month—pears for February.
Menu & Pricing
Teriyaki Chicken w/Leeks
Chez Gourmet Veggie Burger
Purple Cabbage and Apples
Wheatberry Tabouli Salad
Whole Bosc Pears
*The offering bar will include a variety of fruits & vegetables from local growers
Prices:        Adults        $3.00            
                         Students       $1.75 (regular price; free and reduced prices apply)

Time: 11:20-12:30


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Planting trees on Valentine's Day

 So...what's going on over there in the garden? During recess on Tuesday we had a group of students gather around to watch the planting of McKinley's orchard. 18 students were selected by a raffle to help plant the pear and apple trees that were donated to us by Colin, a Willamette MBA student and generous school garden supporter.
Students helped place the trees and fill in the holes. There was a lot of muddy shoveling! I don't think I heard a single person complain about getting dirty.A finished tree! Look at how straight it is! As an espalier tree, that's important because the branches will grow horizontally. There are 3-6 different varieties of pears and apples on each tree. That's a lot of fruity diversity!

 With all the trees planted we still had some grapes to go in. These garden assistants planted the first grapes under the arbor that runs along the windows outside rooms 5 and 6. The first graders are going to see first hand how well this part of the garden grows.

Thanks to everyone that came out to help, and Mrs. Morton that made sure everything ran smoothly.

Those of you that didn't get to plant today, don't worry!!
There is a lot more planting that needs to be done once it's not so muddy and it's a little in a couple of weeks. Is that wishful thinking?

Come out and see how things are coming along in the McKinley school garden.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Maybe you have noticed the hoop houses? Wonder what's inside? Good question!
We have some little baby greens growing in there. Maybe it's kale, maybe it's mustard greens...
They have had a warm, semi-dry home to weather the snow, wind, rain and flooding we've had lately. Eventually they will make their way into the cafeteria and a tasty lunch for McKinley students.

Does this sunny weather make you think about gardening as much as me?
Well phase two of the McKinley school garden is up. There's a fence installed. There's a grape arbor. There are posts to support some espalier trees. And guess what showed up last night?
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This is one of the 6 espalier trees that were donated by Colin, an MBA student at Willamette. There are 6 different varieties of apples on this tree! Eventually--these things take time and care and time and patience and time I hear--we will have a "fence" of apples and pears in our orchard. How cool is that?

Thank you thank you thank you to Colin and Justin!

Stay tuned for some fun-filled days of digging and planting in the garden in the next few months. Dates will be posted in the McKinley Messages.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tasting Tables!

McKinley's first Tasting Table 
One of the cool things happening around the district this year is Tasting Tables. This is one of the many great Farm to School activities that is starting thanks in part to SKEF's Learning Gardens program. Brenda and Christopher (garden coordinator & Food Corps volunteer) are the two people we have seen the most of, but there are many others helping this program move forward, including Marion-Polk Food Share, Sodexo, Americorp volunteers, and on. Kids are getting the opportunity to try foods they may have never seen, let alone tasted. Thursday, they had delicata squash, carrots, pears and apples. 

Thanks to Lifesource for providing the delicious produce. Christopher and friends showed kids what a carrot can really look like, greens and all! I heard the squash just "melts in your mouth." I also heard, "tell 'em to bring Ranch next time." Sometimes the learning process can be slow...

Here, try this yummy carrot!

Did you notice the sun today? Makes me think that we can start planting peas soon!
The little plants in the hoop houses are still there, safe from the torrential rain and morning frosts.
Look for more information soon about planting and activities for this Spring. It will be here before you know it. Really!