An apple a day

14 10 2012

Our team spent a day at Ricker Hill Orchard a few weeks back. The students learned about cranberries and apples. We got a tour of the apple sorting & packing station as well as the cider pressing building. All pretty interesting stuff to someone who had never seen it before. I was amazed by the sorting of the apples.  They had a conveyer belt that took the apples along and then all of a sudden the apples would -pouf- disappear from the middle of the conveyer. They were being sorted by size and when they “disappeared” they would roll onto these rotating tables with like sized apples. Pretty cool in my opinion.

After we had our tour we ate lunch and the students had a chance to run around a bit and enjoy the activities and animals….which they did… the fullest extent.  If anyone knows how to have some serious little kid fun, it’s middle schoolers. It was entertaining…..see the pictures below to get an idea of what I am talking about.

Duck races.

Spider web.


The corn pit.

The corn pit, that was a favorite.  They were utterly amazed by it, they loved it but, I finally had to make them get out so a little boy could play in it!

Next stop was the apple orchard at the top of the hill. It was a incredible blue bird sky day and the views were exceptional.

The view from Ricker Hill.

Each student got to pick apples for themselves. We also picked a few boxes to bring back to school for math and language projects (and snacks).  I had some students come with me to seek out a few other varieties of apples for our apple lab. We picked McIntosh, Jonagolds, Gala and Honeycrisp. Overall we had a great day and hope to do something like this again in the future.


Gotta’ love those lunch ladies!

5 10 2012

Just last week I received a special delivery. I was busy trying to get ready for our field trip (pics to come later) when Cindy appeared with this…..

Fresh pizza and roasted potatoes!

…..we’ll actually, it didn’t look half eaten then. It was hot out of the oven. The kitchen staff made a pizza with basil, garlic and tomatoes from the garden as well as roasted Maine potatoes using our garlic. Special delivery! WOW! They were amazing…..and to have this plate show up in my room as my mid-morning snack, I couldn’t ask for anything better. As you can see I barely remembered to snap a photo of my plate because I was too busy devouring the contents!

Thanks so much to the MVMS kitchen staff, they are truly great people to work with.  I know that many schools have kitchen staff that are not too thrilled with using school garden produce. Luckily, this is not the case here at MVMS.  The staff are excited when the kids show up with produce.  Thanks so much for all your support!

Jack Frost is coming…..

19 09 2012

It is that time of year again.  You know, that time of year when you see the weather report, see a frost warning and think, “OH MY GOSH, I NEED TO GO PICK EVERYTHING!! AHHHHHH”.

We have been taking our NWEA tests for the past two days.  After two days of testing, we felt the kids deserved a break! We went outside to run, play and harvest everything we could.  Luckily we had a good day to pick with bright sun and breezy blue skies.

We harvested cabbage, basil, parsley, zucchini, cucumbers, flowers, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Lots of yummy veggies! We’ll see what happens tonight….maybe it won’t get cold after all?! I’ll miss seeing all those beautiful flowers!

The self proclaimed trash bag ninjas. (We needed trash bags to house our massive amounts of basil and parsley!)

Harvesting parsley in windy conditions!

Squash……we don’t know the type!? Any thoughts?

An armful of cabbage!

A flower for YOU!

Open House!

10 09 2012

Come on in for our annual MVMS open house.  Meet all the teachers and don’t forget to stop by the garden table to buy some fresh produce! All of it was harvested today by the 7th grade science students!

Getting ready for open house.

Summer’s Bounty

22 08 2012

It is that time of year again when the gardens and farmers markets are overrun with lots and lots of veggies! Zucchini, tomatoes, beans, squash, eggplant, carrots, kale….you get the picture.

Zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, squash and a cucumber.

So for those of you that get stuck when you look at all that produce and think, what in the world am I going to do with all this zucchini?!? I have a few links below for your culinary repertoire! Enjoy!

Currently in the oven, Buttermilk Zucchini Bread by Miri Leigh.

Originally featured in Cooking Light this Garden Harvest Cake is a hit amongst the middle school crowd. They made it in health class a few years ago with Mrs. Grimaldi. It uses zucchini, apples and carrots and is more of a bread than a cake (in my opinion).

This recipe for refrigerator Dilly Beans via Cook. Can. CSA. is on my to-do list before school starts.

Another one on the to-do list is this Kale Caesar Salad from Mrs. Lilien.

One of our all time favorites (as of this summer) is this recipe for Broccoli Parmesan Fritters from Smitten Kitchen. If you are not familiar with Smitten Kitchen Deb Perelman is an amazing cook and photographer. I have yet to find a recipe on her site that I don’t like!

Do you have any favorites? Share!

Thanks a bunch!

22 08 2012

Just a few weeks ago the Legere family volunteered to tend the garden.  We would not be able to run this garden without the help of volunteers like them.  So, a HUGE thank you goes out to them! Here are a few of their pictures from the week.

Picking peas……

…and eating them.


Checking on the tomatoes.

Enjoy summer folks, it is quickly fading away!

Garlic for good….round 2

12 08 2012

Just this last week I had some great help in the garden. We harvested a few zucchinis the size of our forearm, peas, cucumbers, onions, a few cherry tomatoes and all of our garlic. Wow, some of the bulbs are the biggest I have seen in awhile!

Garlic bulbs

Half of our harvest will be donated to Maine Harvest for Hunger.

Drying garlic

In place of the garlic we planted a bed of radishes, a bed of beets and a bed of lettuce. Hopefully we’ll be able to get a full harvest this fall.