The blessed rains have ceased, just in time for us to welcome our Preps, Year 1 and 2 students into the Kitchen Garden.
We are beginning winter here in Southern Queensland, which is merely a blink and it’s over for our ‘cool-season’ crops. We planted some broccoli and cauliflower seedlings amongst the pollinator-attracting (and edible!) flowers like calendula, alyssum, pansies, and violas. June is a great time to plant flower seedlings. Once spring arrives in a few months’ time, our garden will be exploding with colors and fragrances – and BUGS for us to explore.
Our students had a good look at a Cauliflower ‘head’ this lesson and we determined that we were in fact, eating an unopened flower which took over one hundred days to grow! – this was a great surprise!
We chopped, whizzed and grated vegetables and cooked up a fragrant cauliflower fried rice. We took turns carefully stirring the mixture before relishing a shared tasting. Some children asked for seconds and others were brave enough to simply savour the aromas!
We investigated herbs like basil, lavender and mint to find out how they are used in cooking, and nutrition and how they can be useful within our gardens. Their pungent fragrances can confuse garden pests and deter them from locating and eating our yummy crops. When they flower, they attract hordes of beneficial insects into our garden, to feast on pollen or nectar.
We learnt how to harvest and crush Lemongrass. We added some ginger and hot water and allowed it to ‘steep’- before we sipped and enjoyed the tea together in the garden.
We discovered how ‘scraps’ can be recycled, such as the roots from a store-bought spring onion can be planted and regrown, giving us a jump-start on our onion harvest.
Our basil plant is showing off its lovely, tall flower/seed stalks and asking to be picked, pruned back and eaten (hello pesto!). This may be an endeavor for the weeks to come.
Volunteers are warmly welcome to join us in the Kitchen Garden every Tuesday – please contact the office for more details.
Please enjoy our recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice.
Cauliflower Fried Rice. Serves two.
This recipe contains possible allergens: eggs and soy sauce, which can be omitted.
The leaves that may come with your cauliflower can be eaten. You can add them to this recipe, or you can create a side dish by sautéing them with some olive oil and crushed garlic.
4 spring onions, chop into 1cm slices, and separate into green and white pieces.
1 garlic clove, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
1tsp ginger, finely grated
100g snow peas, ends trimmed off, chopped into 1cm slices.
1 carrot, grated
Half a cauliflower, roughly chop using a food processor until it resembles ‘rice’. Over-processing will cause it to become ‘mush’.
2 eggs (allergen)
Soy sauce, to taste (allergen).
Add all ingredients to the frypan on low-medium heat (except Eggs, Soy Sauce, Cauliflower and Onion greens).
Cook for 2-3 minutes.
If using eggs, whisk two eggs and add to the frypan, chopping into smaller pieces as it cooks through.
Add processed Cauliflower to the frypan until it is heated through.
Add onion greens, stir and serve with the option of soy sauce.
Nicole Watts, Kitchen Garden Coordinator