Schoolyard Gardens

August, 2013
A Pea(k) Into the Schoolyard Gardens

School is out and kids are on vacation, but across Brookline many parents are hard at work taking care of the schoolyard gardens. Stop by at the right moment and you’ll catch them weeding, mulching, and watering to make sure healthy gardens greet students when they come back to school in the fall.

Many of the schoolyard gardens grew sugar snap peas this summer, and some are planting new rounds now for the fall . They’re popular because they can be planted early and late in the season while school is in session, and they can bear fruit in early June and in the fall. As some of the middle schoolers at Lincoln have learned, their roots also attract nitrogen fixers, bringing much-needed nutrients up from deep down in the soil, and making them accessible for other plants.

Peas are one of the oldest known cultivated plants. People all over the world have cultivated different varieties of them for almost 10,000 years.  Some pea varieties have fibrous shells that we usually don’t eat. In the case of English Peas , for example, we open the shells to get at the peas themselves, which are technically the plants’ seeds.

The sugar snap peas growing in the schoolyards are very sweet, and the whole fruit—shell and all—can be eaten raw. They’re delicious plain, or dipped in dressing or hummus. Below are some other recipes that feature sugar snap peas
.

Many of the ingredients for this recipe ( peas , mint, and garlic) can be found in Brookline’s schoolyard gardens.  It’s quick, and perfect for the hot weather we’ve been having this summer.

This recipe for chilled summer pea soup is only a little bit more involved, and invites adjustments for your preferences. Skip the crème freche/sour crème to make it dairy free, or replace it with Greek yogurt for a lower fat version. Replace chicken broth with vegetable broth to make it vegetarian. Or add your own favorite spices instead of (or in addition to) the suggested pinch of cayenne.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We are excited to begin a new project with the Brookline Schools to celebrate all that's growing in and around the schoolyards across town.

Bountiful Brookline looks forward to doing our part for more learning and lettuce in the garden!

Check back to see what's growing in school this summer!

--> SAVE THE DATE!
Fall Greening the School Conference

5 th annual Fall Conference for Educators
November 9, 2013
Clay Science Center , Dexter & Southfield Schools, Brookline.
Workshops on gardening, composting, natural resource conservation and local foods.
$50 fee includes lunch, materials and ten professional development points with activity. .