Saturday, February 20, 2010

Turf Herb Story #1

This month, Sharon and I went to the Parkchester Library to try and educate the children there about herbs. To do so, I created a story on big poster boards about Mint, Oregano, Thyme, and Sage. Initially, we didn’t expect much of an audience, but when the time came to start, children filled the corners of the room and they were all looking at me and my storybook. At first I was a little nervous, but with the help of a little boy, which I called my “helper”, I was able to read the story while showing them the pictures that I drew. Whenever I introduced a new herb, Sharon would pass around a real-life sample of the herb so the children could smell, touch, and even taste them. It turns out that a lot of the kids ended up liking Mint the best! At the end of the story, I asked the children questions about the story to see how much they learned. The kids who answered right would receive a little prize. The kids got so excited every time I asked a different question, and to be honest, it was a lot of fun. This turned out to be a really fun and interesting experience. Not only was it educational for the kids, but I learned a lot from the activity too! by Erika (Turf's High School Intern)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Turf CSA Seedling Workshop

This month a small group of Turf CSA members came together on a cold Saturday morning to meet our farmer and choose the varieties of cucumbers and squash our farm would grow this season.

Csa members looked through seed catalogs, learning about different varieties of cucumbers and squash (their taste, nutritional value, and growing characteristics), and discussed what grows best on our black dirt farm. We narrowed down our decision to nine, they are:

Suyo Long—a dark green, long, ribbed, Asian burpless cucumber with a sweet flavor
Tyria—a dark green, seedless cucumber with a crispy texture and a mild sweet flavor
Boothby Blonde—a bright yellow heirloom cucumber with a sweet taste
***This cucumber has been recently recognized by the Slow Food “Ark of Taste” as a variety in need of preservation.

Summer Squash or Zucchini:
Costata Romanesco—a dark green, Italian heirloom zucchini that often wins best-tasting tests for its unique nutty flavor
Magda—a light green zucchini with a superb sweet and nutty flavor
Sunburst—a yellow zucchini that taste best when it is picked young
***Last year our csa had Sunburst zucchini and from my own experience they tasted amazing when sautéed with penne and olive oil.

Winter Squash:
Honey Bear—a type of acorn squash that is starchy and sweet
Sunshine—a bright orange squash with a sweet taste and is great for baking
Delicata—a cream-colored with green stripes and flecks squash that is very sweet, good for stuffing and baking