Here comes the sun. Welcome back to the Kitchen Garden, 2023!
This has been our hottest term in the garden, with summer surely stifling even some of our greatest heat-loving plants.
We have been trying our hand at hollowing out some huge cucumber specimens using a spoon. They resemble a small cup, which can then be filled with some other heat-loving vegetables like carrots and capsicums. Then topped up with some delicious ham and grated cheese. The result looks somewhat like pieces of sushi.
Capsicums and carrots can be grown nearly all year long in our subtropical climate. The recipe is provided below.
We incorporated some measuring of the cucumbers and discussed the various uses, textures and tastes. We also discussed the cylindrical shape and the children offered more suggestions of cylinders such as worms, drink bottles, caterpillars, corn cobs, sausages and toilet rolls!
We have been exploring the term ‘Harvest’ and beginning to investigate which vegetables are ready for a ‘summertime harvest’ such as beans, pumpkins, cucumber, eggplant and corn.
Over the next few months, we will begin to relocate many of our strawberry plants into stackable pots. They are currently in the ground and vulnerable to being stood on. This also means many of the fruits are sitting in the soil, exposed to ants and other creepy-crawlies taking advantage of their sweet deliciousness. One of the biggest pests is the dreaded Queensland fruit fly who lays eggs inside the soft fruits. When the larvae emerge, they have an immediate source of nourishment. This is definitely not ideal! So by relocating our plants, we hope to have more control over the protection we can provide by way of insect netting.
Your children may have already taken you to visit our rainbow corn patch. This has been a very exciting discovery for children who have never seen such a spectacle! We returned from the Christmas holidays to find our corn plants had developed some lovely ‘ears’ of corn, ready to be delicately unwrapped like gifts. The ‘glass gem’ corn kernels are multicoloured, some come in lovely pastels and others in darker tones. This type of corn is too tough to be eaten hot off the barbecue covered with butter and salt. It’s better suited for popcorn however, much to the children’s disappointment, it will not retain its rainbow colouring once ‘popped’.
In the subtropics, corn should be started around October, and it will take around 100 days before your rainbows are ready for the reveal.
Thanks to the P and F
A huge thank you to our Parents and Friends (P&F) committee who have generously raised funds for many different areas of our school. In particular, you will notice our new (huge) arbour in our garden which will house countless vining vegetables in 2023. Our ever-accommodating property team threw it up in about 2 minutes flat, thankyou thankyou thankyou!
Some children have helped with the construction of new steel garden beds. These have also been funded by our incredible P&F.
While the children are exploring the garden, we have been listening to some music by the Beatles, ‘Here comes the sun’. We hope by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in our garden, your children will feel encouraged to unwind in their own nature-filled space someday too.
You’re welcome to view our adventures in the Kitchen Garden by checking out our latest YouTube video. As always, you’re welcome to join us in our Kitchen Garden classes each Tuesday.
Cucumber ‘Sushi’ recipe
Ham, a handful (check possible gluten)
1 large cucumber
1 carrot, cut into small matchsticks
1 capsicum, cut into small matchsticks
Grated cheese, a handful (dairy allergen)
Cut cucumbers into 3cm thick slices.
Cut the ham into small ‘strips’. Roll them into small cylinders.
Cut carrot and capsicum into very small ‘sticks’.
Place cheese and small pieces of each ingredient inside the hollowed cucumber until the centre is filled.
Check all allergens before serving (dairy, possible gluten in ham or other deli meats).
Herbal Tea recipe:
A handful of:
Lemongrass, bruised to release juices
Grey Myrtle leaves, crushed
10 Mint Leaves, crushed
Place all ingredients into a heat-proof jug & fill with 500ml of water which has been boiled & slightly cooled. Allow it to steep.
Sieve & serve hot in the garden.
Please see the office to volunteer your time.
Nicole Young, Kitchen Garden Coordinator.