Summer in the School Garden
Summer is in full swing at Thetford Elementary School. The school’s pollinator beds are abuzz with zinnias, snapdragons and cosmos in full bloom. In the lunch beds, mammoth sunflowers—towering over 8 feet high—have started to open their heads to the sun. To celebrate the start of all the bounty to come from the garden, a group of students from Lebanon’s Rec Camp joined Thetford Elementary Schools’ summer students to harvest and prepare a taste test with fresh veggies from the garden. On the menu: Cat’s nasturtium pesto and fresh vegetable rolls with lemon tamari dipping sauce.
Under rainy skies, the day started just after by 9:00 am by breaking into three groups: harvesters, gardeners and cooks. The first group plucked yellow and orange nasturtium flowers from the pollinator beds, collected squash blossoms, and harvested basil, chives, cucumbers, lettuce and squash from the garden. The students helped wash the bounty of veggies under a rain tent we had set up in the garden and then brought them inside the gymnasium, delivering them to the cooks who were well under way chopping, whisking and stirring under Cat’s guidance.
Meanwhile, the gardeners formed a bucket brigade, filling five gallon pails with mulch and then handed them off from one person to another in a line until the mulch reached the newly planted raspberry patch where the students dumped and spread the mulch to help keep out the weeds.
As the rain gave way, everyone gathered in the gymnasium at 10:30 and rolled up their sleeves to assemble veggie rolls with rice paper. One of the cooks’ handed out crackers topped with nasturtium pesto and everyone gather to taste and eat together in a circle in the center of the gymnasium.
By 11:00, the sun was shining and students helped wash dishes and clean up. All in all, the pesto and spring rolls were a big hit and many students brought home recipe cards to try the recipes again with their families. Check out Cat’s recipes here: