Purple Cauliflower

purple cauliflower

Ever hear the dictum, Eat Your Colors? The reasoning is that colorful fruits and vegetables contain various nutrients that are vital for good health.

According to Wellness Today:
Green foods contain chlorophyll;
Yellow foods are rich in Vitamin C;
Orange foods are high in beta-carotene;
Red foods are rich in the phytonutrients lycopene and anthocyanin; and
Purple foods contain the most antioxidants of all the colors.

Cauliflower is a cool weather crop in the Brassica family. Cauliflower can be white, green, orange or purple.

The great thing about purple cauliflower is that it retains its color even when cooked.

I see a colorful stir-fry in your future!

Butterflies and Caterpillars in the Garden

If you want to attract something like this, a swallowtail butterfly,

swallowtail-butterfly

your going to have to put up with caterpillars, which are swallowtails in the larva stage.

adultcat01

Caterpillars can do enormous damage to a vegetable garden. They are voracious eaters. In this photo the host plant is a 3 foot fennel bush. This particular specie also likes dill and parsley and other members of the carrot family. The caterpillars will eventually strip all the fronds from the stems.

You can identify different butterflies and caterpillars in your backyard or school garden with this great tool from gardenwithwings.com.

If you are not interested in saving the caterpillars then ridding them from your garden can be done in two effective ways:
1. Pick them off by hand and put into a pail of soapy water;
2. Spray the plant and underside of leaves with Bacillus thuringiensis, commonly known as BT.

Photographer Bob Moul has a great slideshow showing the morphing of a caterpillar into a butterfly.

Middle School Nutrition and Garden Curriculum

 

diggin-it

Diggin It! is a Middle School Nutrition and Garden Curriculum created by Nutritionist & Certified Health Coach, Jill Parsh.

This 100+ page pdf is available as a free download by simply clicking the link above.

As owner of Food for Health, LLC Jill works with kids and families (one-on-one and in groups) to teach them how to eat healthier.

If any teachers or schools are interested in Jill hosting a cooking workshop with students, and/or would like to show the movie FedUp, she would love to make that happen.

You may reach Jill through her website, www.foodforhealth.net or by email at jparsh@foodforhealth.net

Job Opening – Director Position – Seeds to Plate Program

MTMS

Job Opening: Director Position, Seeds to Plate Program at Mark Twain Middle School, Los Angeles, CA

About Us
The Seeds to Plate Program aims to create and maintain a school garden that is integrated into the academic environment, promote a healthy food culture, nurture physical and mental well-being, and provide hands-on gardening and eating experiences for students, families and staff to foster mutual respect, appreciation of diversity, community spirit and sustainability of the earth. This modern incarnation of the garden program at Mark Twain Middle School was started in 2009, and consists of a team of seven volunteers, predominantly UCCE Master Gardeners.

Why Should I Grow My Lunch?

By Ben Eichorn of GrowYourLunch.com (Reprinted with permission)

School lunch continues to be a hot topic these days. At the end of September, The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was up for re-authorization and voting was postponed until December 2015. For now, the 5-year-old standards for increasing fruit, vegetable and whole grain consumption and reducing salt in public school cafeterias remain in place, though on shaky footing.

The primary question at the heart of the debate around re-authorizing the Act is not about whether the food is good for our children, but rather, “Do kids actually eat the healthier food if it’s provided to them.” And the answer is yes and no – both sides of the debate can provide evidence to support their claims.

Plant Part Tacos

At Grow Your Lunch, we are heartened by the significant strides being made toward increasing the availability of healthy food in schools (see National Farm to School Network, Chef Ann Foundation and Center for Ecoliteracy, among many organizations doing great work in this area) but we remain troubled by the barriers to consumption due to our local youths’ lack of familiarity with fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Science and Our Food Supply – Free Supplementary Curriculum for Middle Level and High School Classrooms

scienceandfoodsupply

What captures the interest of students? FOOD! Yes, food can be used to engage students in inquiry-based science — really! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have created Science and Our Food Supply, an innovative, interactive supplementary curriculum for use in middle level and high school science classes. An advisory board of experienced teachers just like you developed and tested the materials.

Show Me The Green

Show Me the Green book cover

Show Me The Green is a new children’s book by DS Venetta that teaches gardening in a “novel” way.  It is intended for a middle-grade audience but can be enjoyed by a much wider age group.

The story revolves around a sister-brother team, Lexi and Jason Williams, who are determined to win the First Annual Garden Contest sponsored by the local Farmer’s Market.

In the process, we learn about such gardening subjects as: the importance of planting certain vegetables at certain times of year, the importance of fertilizers, worm poop, rotating crops, trellises, beneficial insects, pollination and much, much more.