Thursday, March 17, 2016

Good news!

We received funding!  Our Oregon Department of Education Farm to School grant was fully funded at $26,269!

It is quite gratifying and makes me very happy.  Now comes the hard work of doing all the work, like building the outdoor classrooms and raised beds, and creating the STEM kits, etc.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Farm to School Grant Application

Whew, yesterday I completed and submitted an application for a Farm to School grant from the Oregon Department of Education.  I did this task for a local non-profit that I volunteer for called Planting Communities.

Out school district currently has three school gardens.  The money we are requesting is to add funds to make daily work in the school gardens more amenable.  We were requesting garden tools, science tools, outdoor seating and funds for an After School Garden Club Coordinator.

The grantors also wanted to be sure to fund the promotion of Oregon-grown products, so we needed to include that in the work that we will do in order to score well.  

Here is one question from the application (they wanted all of our answers in a blue font):

Please describe the types of food, agriculture, and garden-based activities for students you plan to implement with grant funds.
Students will have many direct learning experiences:
Students will plan garden activities, and do planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, washing and preparation.  In addition, there will be exercises that link foods to math, science, and language arts.  We will teach about the impact of food choices and about environmental issues and sustainability, e.g., what does it mean to grow organically.

We will conduct tasting tables for garden vegetables and Oregon grown and produced products.

Lessons will be hands on/experiential in that students have the outdoor garden/classroom area for inquiry and investigation.  Most of the teachers will conduct hands on activities out in the garden.  New outdoor classrooms will create an environment that is much more conducive to outdoor school work.

The grantor has stated that they will let the applicants know the outcome of their applications by March 11th.  Keep your fingers crossed for us.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Review of Spigariello Neopolitan "Friarielli" Brocoletti

This year I grew a leaf broccoli in my garden, or I should say I’m growing it – present tense.  It’s still producing wonderfully flavored leaves as it has been for six months now!  The variety is called Spigariello Neopolitan "Friarielli" Brocoletti.  It is a smooth leaved Italian leaf broccoli that has sweet broccoli flavor.  I found the seeds at Seeds of Italy.  Their website describes it as “One of the most renowned vegetables in Italy”, “fast growing, great flavor” and “Cool season brassica with a very long sowing window.” 

In my garden, it started producing edible leaves in June, and as I’m writing this in mid-November, it is still producing tasty beautiful leaves.  
I have used the leaves mostly as a salad green.  It has a much longer usability window than lettuce which I’ve sown twice (spring and fall) in the time this one crop has been growing.

Here are some photos of a salad I made today.  

I added a chopped up home grown tomato.  I still have these ripening in the garage.

And I added cooked quinoa, cook pinto beans, chopped walnuts, salt and olive oil.

I mix it all up and it makes a really tasty and very healthy meal.  I love the flavor of these leaf broccoli leaves when made into a salad.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review - Siberian Pink Honey Rozovyi Myod Tomato

This is a FABULOUS tomato.  I tried these seeds from Ohio Heirloom Seeds. The name is a long one - Siberian Pink Honey - Rozovyi Myod.   And it has a long season to match its long name.  At this writing on October 20, I have four ripe tomatoes ready to picked on my one plant.  I started picking them in early July.  Granted, it was an extremely warm sunny spring here in Western Oregon. It's also true though that this plant got placed in a partly shady location in my garden.

Because of the shade perhaps, I didn't get many fruits that were the advertised two pounds.  But mine were good sized, enough for a slice to fill a hamburger bun.  This plant supplied me with tomatoes for the entire tomato season, and it's still giving me numerous fruit.  I will have several green ones to bring in the garage to ripen over the next several weeks.


The taste of these tomatoes is wonderful.  They are sweet and full of flavor. Every bite is a burst of pleasure.  

I really enjoyed having these home grown treasures, and will definitely grow this tomato again. The seeds can be found at Ohio Heirloom Seeds.  

You can see from the above photo that this tomato does produce a few seeds, so it's possible to save your own to grow the following year.