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Friday, March 30, 2012

APRIL--National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry month and what better way to start it off than a poem about daffodils, which are swinging and swaying in yards and gardens everywhere, showing off their sweet, yellow buttercups. 

Here's a great Springtime poem to get you thinking about gardening and all the fun that comes with the end of March.

Daffodils : A Child's Garden of Poetry : Video : The Poetry Foundation

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring is here!!

Ok, so the weather is cold and wet, but what do you expect in Oregon in March? I was in Lincoln City this weekend and it was sunny and almost warm-ish Saturday. When we left Sunday morning it was snowing harder than it does in the Cascades. Huge, fat flakes of white snow. At the beach!! This--this is Spring in Oregon like all true Oregonians know. You just never know what you will get, especially in March. But you know what else happens in March? Bulbs start to bust through the cold earth, Daphne blooms their intoxicating flowers, snow drops burst forth and daffodils start to show their lovely faces. And the sun shines once in awhile.

And...Spring Break!! Teachers and students return to school eager to work and learn after a lovely week of relaxing, unstructured time. What better time to plant something in the garden!! Ask your kids what they are doing in the school garden. You will be thrilled and amazed. Then ask your child's teacher how you can get involved. Or ask me! I have lot of ideas!!  Here are some pictures to ignite your interest.

Daffodils--sure sign of Spring

This is a little pea from Mrs. Henneke's raised bed last year that slept all winter and sprouted this spring

What is this?
A perennial that comes back every year?
Artichoke! Wait until you see how big it gets...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March is National Nutrition Month

What a great time to eat a rainbow! Not only is there enough sunshine-rain-snow-sunshine-rain in the Oregon early Spring weather forecast, it's National Nutrition Month. We are encouraged to "eat a rainbow." What's that, you say? A rainbow? Well, look for foods--fruits and vegetables in particular--in every color of the rainbow. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. 

How many colors can you get into one meal?
Let's have a contest. The best rainbow menu will win a most delicious prize

1. Must include all necessary food groups--grains, veggie, fruit, protein.
2. Must include as many colors as possible.
3. Must be a kid-friendly meal. (this is the most challenging, I think!)

Now here's a little hint. There aren't many followers to this blog, so your chances are pretty darn good of winning the above-mentioned most delicious prize. Of course, I might have to tell all my friends about this just to make it less of a cake walk. (great idiom for Mr. J's class)

Not sure how to post your fabulous menu to the blog? Just turn it in to the office and we will collect them and announce a winner before Spring Break. One entry per person. Good luck and good eating!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March Pick of the Month

The Pick of the Month for March is cabbage. And how timely, since it is the month of St. Patrick's Day and we all know that Corned Beef and Cabbage is a fabulous way to celebrate that holiday, along with anything and everything green. Have you noticed all the green that pops up in March? Not only in the supermarket, but in the yard, on people's's Spring! Well nearly.

So I have the great cabbage mystery for you. This incident took place this summer, when all water to the school was turned off and an industrious, dedicated group of garden tenders kept our lovely plants alive with lots and lots of buckets. The construction workers were gracious and helpful. But on to the story of the...

Disappearing Cabbage

This is a little cabbage plant that someone put in our garden this last Spring. Cute, isn't it? Well they get plenty big, let me tell you. And you know what loves cabbage? Fat little green cabbage worms. You will see how much they love them in the next picture. Pay attention to all the little holes in the leaves. The hungry caterpillar!
So, the cabbage plant got huge. And it had a really round, perfect looking head of cabbage on it. Until...someone cut it off!
Oh no! Who did this? It happened the week I was on water duty. One day it was there, the next it was gone. Now, I did tell the construction workers to help themselves to peas and lettuce, but the one, lone, lovely head of purple cabbage? 

Little did I know that cabbage are incredibly resilient plants. Just because the one, beautiful head of cabbage was gone did not mean the plant was done. Oh no. It sprouted several little baby cabbages as you can see in this picture. Cute, huh? Kind of like a cabbage bouquet! I bet those leaves would have been tender and delicious. But it was too cute to cut so I just took a picture.

The mystery remains unsolved. Somewhere, someone, enjoyed a lot of coleslaw, or braised cabbage, or cabbage rolls, or...

So, this month, enjoy some cabbage. Try some sauerkraut. Or whip up an Asian slaw with sesame oil, peanuts and cilantro. Toss it in your salad for some added crunch. Or do like the Irish do and make colcannon--mashed potatoes and cabbage. Delicious with lots of butter and salt. That's how my mom makes it and she's Irish and she knows. Of course, she puts lots of butter and salt in a lot of things. Experiment! Look for local cabbage at a farm stand, or at Roth's.

And come have lunch at the next 
Farm to School lunch.
Friday, March 16th