Diggen' In With FoodCorps Fin--March 12, 2021

Diggin' In With FoodCorps Fin - March 12th 2021

Greetings folks!

Have you ever experienced something familiar but for some reason or another, it feels completely new? I had this experience when I stepped out onto the porch on my way to school this morning, as I do every morning, and then noticed something different… birds! So many birds singing in the morning light. It filled me with joy to hear them singing in the new season. What signs of Spring have you seen around you? Which are you most excited for?

Speaking of experiencing familiar things in a totally new way, this week with Cougar Cooks, we tried cooking a vegetable that myself and our 4th grade chefs knew well, but had never had prepared this way: We had asparagus that was breaded, baked and dipped! Using flour, eggs, and bread crumbs, we covered our whole asparagus sticks in a crispy coating, baked them in the oven until golden brown, and then dipped in a mayonnaise-based sauce which we could all customize to our liking. I added crushed garlic, red and black pepper. Double yum!! 

Shoutout to Cody for cooking this beautiful asparagus pictured on the tray above. Here’s a similar recipe if you want to try it yourself: https://www.spendwithpennies.com/oven-baked-asparagus-fries-with-lemon-aoli/ 

While we were cooking we also learned a little bit about how the asparagus plant grows: Asparagus is a perennial plant, meaning it comes back every year. After being planted, it can take 3-5 years for the first edible sprouts to appear, and the sticks that we eat are those sprouts that emerge in the Spring. When left to grow, they turn into large fluffy, green bushes. Fascinating!

In other news, garden planning is in full swing here at Central. We are very excited to be preparing an edible portion of the Outdoor Sensory Classroom (a sensory space wouldn’t be complete without the sense of taste!). But these plants won’t grow themselves! Knowing that we’ll be needing many hands to grow these plants and be able to enjoy them, this week we acquired a pile of new garden tools to use for years to come! Shovels of all sizes, hand weeders, pruners, hard rakes, and a wheelbarrow! Soon, we’ll be “diggin’ in with FoodCorps Fin” for real!

If that weren’t exciting enough, there is something else already growing in our hallways! A few weeks ago, thanks to a few passionate students in childcare, we planted a new round of vegetables to plant in the Tower Gardens (indoor grow systems) at Central. And they’ve sprouted! 

Instead of the usual leafy greens and herbs, we decided to experiment and grow some other foods. This time we are growing yellow squash, cucumber, bush beans, broccoli, and even mini watermelons! With luck, we’ll be transplanting these into the towers in a week or two, and harvesting veggies at the end of April-- even before the official growing season begins in this part of Oregon. 

Speaking of the gardens, something caught my eye when I was watering them this week: a flower! It’s a small purple flower, and I have no idea what it is-- it’s in none of the other towers and I’m not sure how it got there... I will owe a prize to whoever can guess what it is!!

Email Finley at finley.tevlin@foodcorps.org if you’ve got a guess, or for any other gardening/cooking/food questions! Drop a line, any time. 

That’s all for now. Be well, friends!