‘Plants have hands?’ - Glasshouse Christian College

‘Plants have hands?’

  • June 21, 2022

‘Plants have hands?’

The cool weather is upon us. A few windy polar blasts haven’t kept us from enjoying our time together in the Kitchen Garden.

My name is Nicole Young. I have been blessed with the opportunity to coordinate our Kitchen-Garden program for our Prep, YEar 1 and 2 students.

Growing food is a passion for me, and I am honoured to be in a position that enables me to inspire your children to grow their own food. To guide them in caring for our lovely garden space, and for us to prepare and enjoy some of the fruit of our labour together. 

Our orange trees have provided an abundance of fruit this season. Praise God! The children have taken great interest in ‘finally’ being able to harvest the ripened fruits which we will be enjoying freshly picked.

Snow pea plants are growing happily in the garden. We investigated their swirly-whirly ‘hands’ at the ends of the stems called ‘tendrils’. Many children already knew these as being part of a ‘vining’ plant. We began to investigate what would happen if we planted an upright ‘twig’ next to a snow pea plant. Will the plant eventually reach out and grab hold of the twig? Could it use the twig like a ladder, to climb upwards towards the sun? Or is the idea of plants having hands just nonsense? This was a fun idea for the children to contemplate and we will have our results after the holidays! Hopefully, we will enjoy picking the produce then too!

Worms are in abundance in our garden beds, and the children very much enjoyed finding them and giving them a ‘pat’. Our worm bins are filling up again and soon we will be able to discover all the lovely worm castings and utilise the worm wee back in our garden. It will be great for the children to explore how this loop works, as our worms use our scraps to provide us with more plant food.

It won’t be long before the Cabbage White Butterfly will be frolicking through our garden, looking for the perfect broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprout or tatsoi (all from the Brassica family) to lay their eggs on.

If we don’t prevent this from happening by catching every single white butterfly (eeeek!) or by placing netting over our Brassicas, these eggs hatch into dozens of caterpillars which will devour these plants seemingly overnight! The children will be participating in the construction of a basic netting house, designed to protect these important crops.

The last of our basil was gobbled up in a delicious pesto. Celery and carrot sticks were served as spoons and the request was, “more, please”.

I wish you all a safe and restful holiday.

Nicole Young, Kitchen Garden Coordinator

Please enjoy our Basil Pesto recipe and also our Lemongrass and ginger tea recipe.

Basil Pesto (nut-free of course!)

Contains possible allergens: Parmesan cheese (Dairy) and Lemon juice (Citrus).

Half a cup of olive oil
6 small handfuls of spinach
3 spring onions  (remember that you can replant the roots in your garden!)
2 handfuls of parsley
3 garlic cloves
2 handfuls of basil
Celery sticks to serve
Carrot sticks to serve
1 tbsp of Lemon Juice (allergen)
Half a cup of parmesan cheese (allergen)
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Add all ingredients to the food processor and blitz.
Serve with carrot and celery sticks for dipping.

Lemongrass and Ginger tea.

Harvest your lemongrass from the base. One of the nice thick pieces, not the thin grass-like leaves.
Once you have a 30cm long piece, use a rolling pin to bruise the stem to begin releasing the juices. 
Cut the stem into 4-5 pieces and place into a jug. Take a piece of ginger, approx 2cm wide and grate finely. Place ginger into the jug.
Pour boiled (not boiling) water over the lemongrass and ginger to about 500ml and allow to ‘steep’ for 5 minutes.
Sieve into your favourite teacup and enjoy!

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