Special Thanks to Sylmar High School!!

8 04 2013

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Where would we be without the generosity of others? The Farm King garden volunteer staff would like to thank the good and giving people at Sylmar High School who donated the transplants we will soon plant in the garden. These transplants will become the means by which Thomas Starr King middle schoolers learn (and reap) the benefit of locally grown fruits and vegatables.

Thank you Sylmar High!!

http://www.sylmarhs.org/





Meet Our New Friend!

14 03 2013

Mr. Grasshopper!

Students discovered Mr. Grasshopper catching some shade in the Artichoke plant.

Students discovered Mr. Grasshopper catching some shade in the Artichoke plant.





Mr. Eageler’s Class Upcycles!

14 03 2013

Did you know that Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour?! That’s a lot of waste!

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This week Mr. Eagler’s class tackled the plastic bottle overload problem by converting  water bottles headed for the trash into lovely flowers vases. It’s called upcyling. Upcycling is the process of converting waste into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.

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The students had fun picking and arranging their bouquets in uniquely decorated plastic water bottle flower vases.

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Can you find a secondary use for products headed for the trash? Here’s some cool ideas: http://www.upcyclethat.com/





Salad with Mint Dressing

7 03 2013

ImageThe best thing you can make from a bursting garden is a big, beautiful salad!

And that is what we did this week. It was fantastic. We had a great turn out, with lots of kids clamoring to help make our harvest in to something delicious.

The kids gathered up what was on hand and we put it all together in to a GORGEOUS salad. We were able to harvest the first of the shelling peas, a lot of mint, radishes, nasturtium flowers, carrots and celery. We blanched the peas along with some bok choy greens in some salted boiling water and then everything went together with an amazing salad dressing that was SO simple!

How simple?

Three weeks ago we picked and dried some mint. This week, we crushed that mint and added it to 3/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Whisked together, it created an emulsion…that’s what it takes to make dressing, but what it really is, is “a fine dispersion of minute droplets of one liquid in another in which it is not soluble or miscible.”  And it was delicious.

Amazing, how much we can learn in the garden.





Pasta Salad!

27 02 2013

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What makes cooking in the Farm King Garden so great is that we never know what is going to happen. We are only there once a week, (on Tuesdays! Come join us!)  and when we show up we only sort of have an idea about what’s going to be ready to harvest. Will the broccoli be ready? Will the mint still be abundant? How many radishes will we have to work with? In other words, it’s a bit of garden-roulette.

This week, with the fabulous warm weather, we decided to make a simple, green, pasta salad. Nothing fancy, but oh-so-good. We used the flowers and stems of our bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower and a few lettuce plants that had bolted because of the heat. Flowers are usually edible, but check before you eat them.

1 lb whole wheat, rotini pasta. Cooked, cooled and set aside
1 cup shredded kale
1 cup celery, chopped fine
Flowering bok choy (including stems and flowers!)
Flowering broccoli, chopped (including stems and flowers!)
Flowering arugula (including stems and flowers!)
Nasturtium flowers
1 head lettuce, cleaned and torn in to bite sized pieces
1 large bunch dill, minced
1 large bunch mint, minced
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the kale, celery, bok choy, broccoli, arugula, nasturtium and herbs.

In a bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add more seasoning as needed. (That means, taste it and decide if you like the way it came out. Want it more pucker? Add more vinegar! Not salty enough? Add a pinch more. It’s all up to you.)

Toss together the pasta, vegetables and dressing. Let rest for 5 minutes to meld, then serve.

We hope you like the recipe! Oh, and we almost always post pictures on Twitter, FourSquare and Instagram with the hashtag #farmking. Check them out some time, and next time you’re in the garden, take a few pictures of your own to share!





Purple Cauliflower!

14 02 2013

Look what sprouted in the garden! Purple Cauliflower!

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Garden Soup

20 01 2013
Garden Soup

Garden Soup

After our long winter break, it was great to see so many students join the Garden Club at Farm King on Tuesday. But wow was it cold!

With the chilly weather there was no better choice than to make a cozy winter soup. It’s *super* easy to do with all the greens we have right now.

This made a large pot-full. It was perfect for the day and almost everyone went back for seconds. Team work made it a quick endeavor, too.

The only ingredients we added that weren’t from the garden?: Olive oil and salt. It’s always thrilling to use what we grew! And it’s sooooooooooo healthy, too!

3 teaspoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 spring onions. White and green portions. Minced
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 cups water
2 handfuls celery leaves
4 cups, mix of bok choy, chard and kale
5 radishes, chopped
3 tablespoons, mix of fresh, minced thyme and oregano
1 small chile, de-seeded and minced

Saute the garlic and onions in the olive oil, until brown, in a large soup pot over medium heat.

Add six to eight cups of water or vegetable stock. Add the sweet potatoes and some salt. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 6 – 10 minutes. You are waiting for the potatoes to cook. How long that takes depends on how small or large the pieces are. When they are soft, proceed to the next step.

Add the remaining ingredients.

When the greens are wilted, the soup is ready. Add salt as needed and serve with a green salad. Our salad was fresh escarole dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

 

And check out this beautiful purple and green cabbage, bringing amazing color to the garden!

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