Since you’re all wonderful supporters of our Abernethy community, and fans of the SKG program, I want to invite you to join in our next SKG meeting, Tuesday Feb 7 at 6:30pm.
We plan to discuss the upcoming garden cleanup and the Earth Day event, check in with Julie Welch and Growing Gardens about the daytime program, and start thinking about volunteer opportunities for next year.
Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org for location. There will be refreshments and light snacks, but feel free to bring something to share.
We’d love to see you there. Please reply if you’re interested in joining us!
Kari Brooks Copony
This week the 3rd graders have been putting their mapping and math skills to the test. Working with a "blueprint" of the garden, they used tape measures and rulers to measure the garden beds, the shed and fences in centimeters. Most of the beds may look the same size, but as these 3rd graders found, looks can be deceiving!
You can either sieve for fine applesauce, or stop at the mash step for chunky applesauce.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Mix together in a saucepan:
Bring the ingredients to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium. Stir and simmer until the apples are soft.
Mash the soft apples (you can enjoy them at this stage or...)
Sieve them and enjoy the strained apple sauce (students even liked to eat the mash left after sieving)
Here are some notes from this week's SKG meeting. Thank you to the two new volunteers, Mara and Alex, who came to the meeting!
We're Looking for Volunteers!
We are looking to fill the following committee positions. Please contact email@example.com if you would like more information.
What's the latest on lead?
Yes, it is ok to eat produce from the garden! Here’s the info from Heather Hull: “We got the sink in the garden classroom cleared for washing produce. So, we can eat the washed produce from the garden.”
Garden Afterschool Program and their school grounds projects!
We have worked with Jennifer Jensen - PTA Grounds Maintenance Chair - to identify areas for GAP to maintain and cultivate. We are working toward a Backyard Habitat Certification for the area behind the portables, which GAP is going to help maintain. GAP is also in the process of revitalizing the outdoor gated area behind the school kitchen into the school chef's "Kitchen Garden," making available to our school chef herbs for use in school lunches!
What's coming up?
Look for "Hot Lips Pizza Night" benefitting the School Kitchen Garden program.
Let's hear it for WORMS!
Abernethy is now home to hundreds of red wigglers, which were donated by Abernethy dad Ed Copony. These useful little creatures have taken up cozy residence in what garden classes are affectionately calling "Wormville." Students in all grades are quickly becoming "worm farmers" and loving it - ask your child about it. Abernethy dad Austin Whipple has offered to create outdoor signage for SKG, including a Wormville sign, so you can find these worm homes more easily. Look for them now along the side of the shed in the Garden of Wonders!
Hello from the Garden!
September’s harvest of the month is corn. We spent this week learning about how corn kernels are the seeds of the corn plant, debating on whether corn is a vegetable or grain, and how they are pollinated.
We also tried these delicious recipes. Grades K, 1, and 2 had a choice of either the Mexican Elotes or the Italian Pannocchia. Grades 3, 4, and 5 prepared and enjoyed the Southern Succotash.
So far, 48 out of 56 students couldn’t get enough of this recipe!!!
As of Wednesday, 23 out of 28 students loved this recipe!
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about four minutes. Add bell peppers, zucchini, lima beans, and sautee for about 3 minutes. Add fresh corn kernals and stir for 1 minute. Stir in herbs, and serve.
As of Wednesday, 97 out of 107 students either loved it or liked it enough to try it again!
Hello Parents! Next week, September 12-16, we begin our Harvest of the Month cooking/tasting. This month: Corn! Grades K, 1 and 2 will be tasting roasted corn and choosing from a variety of seasonings and spreads. Grades 3, 4 and 5 will be making succotash with edamame. We are looking for one or two parent volunteers per class for roasting and cooking. If you can volunteer next week, please email Julie Welch firstname.lastname@example.org.
And speaking of volunteers, we could also use a regular, weekly parent volunteer per class throughout the school year. Please contact your child's teacher if you'd like to volunteer in the garden classroom.
Recently, Portland Public Schools made a recommendation that produce from all school gardens in the district should not be eaten because of concerns regarding lead. We want to provide information on the issue and assure parents that we are hoping for a resolution soon.
At Abernethy, we don’t rely on our garden to produce food for school meals because the garden is so small. We do have kids taste produce from our garden, which we will discontinue until more testing has been done. In the meantime, we will obtain our “tastings” produce from other local sources. We will also continue to source our Harvest of the Month foods from local growers.
We wanted to share a response from Growing Gardens, one of our partners and supporters, which you can find here: Our Official Response to Lead Concern in School Gardens
On August 22, Principal Hull sent the following letter to parents.
There have been a number of questions regarding the state of the garden produce for both the in school garden program and the GAP (afterschool club) in light of the Oregonian article this weekend. Here is what I know:
Based on a recommendation from the Oregon Health Authority, the district decided to ban the consumption of food grown in any PPS school garden until it is established there is no risk to anyone.
Dr. Fred Berman the head of OHSU’s Toxicology Information Center has been meeting with the district. Dr. Berman is also in conversations with Oregon Heath Authority, lending his expertise to the discussion. See more at: http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/research/centers-institutes/oregon-institute-occupational-health-sciences/outreach/toxicology.cfm
PPS supports school garden programs and continues to gather information from experts in the field. After reviewing data from sites consulting with experts, the district will make further recommendations.
Here at Abernethy: The lead levels for the outside spigots were tested (See page 5 of the Abernethy Test Results). None of the faucets used show elevated lead levels.
We will work with the district to determine the safety of the garden. We will adjust the plans for the garden and await further direction. More information will be communicated through the district shortly.
The building itself: This summer has been a whirlwind. Major construction has been completed inside the building just in time to welcome the teachers back. Work continues on the roof and on the playground. There will be a lot going on this week, but we will be ready to welcome kids on Monday, August 29th. We look forward to seeing everyone for a fabulous new year.
The School Kitchen Garden committee is looking for volunteers to lead or participate in the following events:
Email email@example.com if you'd like to be involved - our garden and our kids will thank you for it!
This week we introduced our harvest of the month: Asparagus. What a success!! We had kids begging for more! Here’s the recipe we made in class:
Sautéed Asparagus Spears
Enjoy this delicious spring time treat!!
Sending a HUGE thank you to Tim of Little T American Baker, who volunteered his time for our 5th grade bread making workshops. They were a huge success! We learned so much about gluten, yeast and fermentation. We got our hands dirty and flour all over; and in the end, we got to eat some amazing bread.
Thank you so much, Tim, for volunteering your time with us!! We are so appreciative.
Now everyone, get over to Little T and get some bread!