Spring Gardening with the Purple Carrot Team

Spring Gardening with the Purple Carrot Team

The Purple Carrot Team met on April 12 to share garden planting and curriculum successes, learn about Climate Screens, and taste a delicious cauliflower recipe.

Stella Thomas of Ludvig Svensson gave an interesting and instructional presentation about Climate Screens. This company makes special screens that are used to control the amount of sunlight that is directed on a garden. The screens are easily mounted over the Green Teacher Network gardens that have been planted at schools across the region.

A sample Svensson Climate Screen

A sample Svensson Climate Screen

They are made of a very strong, mesh fabric that allows rain to fall on the plants while diffusing the harsh sunlight that can cause some plants to wither during the hot summer months. The screens can be mounted on a simple pole system, making them ideal for use in our schools. Thank you, Stella, for your generous donation of a screen for each Purple Carrot school!

 

Elliott Royal of the Mecklenburg County Health Department shared another delicious recipe. Her Savory Cauliflower uses just a few key ingredients to turn the simple vegetable into a delicious dish that students will love.  She also shared a few tidbits about how we should treat our fruits and vegetables when cooking in order to reap the benefits these foods provide.

The turmeric root, grown by a local NC farmer

The turmeric root, grown by a local NC farmer

Fruits such as strawberries should be bitten into, not sliced and served. Cauliflower and other fibrous vegetables should be sliced or cut and left to rest before cooking or serving.  In addition, did you know that turmeric is a knobby root? It is grated like ginger, and used in many cuisines around the world. It has many health benefits, and can be used in soups, stews, rice dishes, to flavor teas, and to add a beautiful golden color to food.

 

 

Savory Cauliflower Recipe

The meeting ended with each Purple Carrot Team member receiving a bounty of fruits, vegetables and herbs to take back to the schools to plant. Plus, the Team is participating in Native Pollinator Garden Planting Day on Friday, April 15, during which a Pollinator Garden will be planted. Students will learn about the importance of planting native plants in our area to attract native pollinators, such as bees, birds and butterflies.  Native Pollinators ensure that NC farmers and gardeners can grow healthy crops of fruits, vegetables and plants. Everyone at Green Teacher Network is excited to see each garden grow and flourish this spring, and to see the students make connections about creating healthy communities in which they can thrive.

Special thanks to Stella Thomas, Elliott Royal, Jeffie Hardin, Suzanne Beckman and Edna Chirico!

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John Huber

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