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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wow. It's November and it hasn't frosted yet!

 This is that awful aphid-infested cabbage from a month ago. Well, I didn't get out there to spray it with soapy spray, but it has rained a lot the last few weeks and the cabbage is looking a lot better, and the aphids are looking a lot worse.
Better, right? I think we better harvest this and eat it before the aphids come back!
Do you like cauliflower? What about a really lovely magenta-colored cauliflower?! It's almost too pretty to eat!
I think this was a really delicious meal for many birds and maybe a few squirrels too. Kind of dead looking now. It's done it's job.

The 2nd, 3rd, & 4th graders have been busy getting some of the garden beds ready for the winter.
2nd graders planted cover crops of vetch and rye grass in two of the beds. The cover crops will grow over the winter, and nourish the soil. We will dig them into the beds in the Spring to make the soil even healthier for the plants to come. 
3rd and 4th graders prepped their beds for some hoop houses and winter greens (they did this last year with great success). There is still some chard, cabbage, onions, and parsnips that will grow a bit longer in the cold weather.
1st graders will be planting garlic next week. They will learn all about the many parts of a garlic plant you can eat. 

Isn't gardening great?!
Come out and help put the garden to bed for the winter on Monday, November 19th. Look for a flyer coming home with more information in your child's backpack this week.

OCTOBER--Pick of the month--APPLES

If any of you pay attention to that lovely garden calendar your child brought home, you would know that the "pick of the month" for October is/was apples. Do you know what the "pick of the month" is? Well if you don't, let me tell you more. 

Oregon has a bounty of crops that are grown here, especially in the Willamette Valley. And the Oregon Department of Agriculture has a program called "Harvest for Schools." This program features one crop a month--we try to make it seasonally appropriate--and they provide posters with all kinds of great information. Lesson ideas for teachers, recipes for families, and interesting facts about crops grown in Oregon.

At McKinley we will have a tasting table every month that highlights the Pick of the Month. Students will get to try the pick, in various forms, and learn about that particular food crop. In October, we had 8 different varieties of apples to try, and they were all grown in Salem!! EZ Orchards and Wandering Angeus donated the apples. Parent volunteers and Miss Chelsey, our Food Corps volunteer, manned the tables. Students voted on their favorite.

Here are some pictures from the day.

5th graders learning about their apple choices
from Miss Chelsey

Hmm...I have 3 kinds I can try.
Is this the one I want?

The Winner!!
The sweet & delicious Liberty!