March 2015 Newsletter

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School Garden Open House

As you sow the seeds for this year's garden, consider celebrating a growing season of learning and hard work in the fall with a School Garden Open House.  

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March in the Garden

Are you wondering when you’ll ever to be able to garden again? There are garden related activities to do in your classroom and outdoors in your hoop house, right now!

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Pea shoots growing at Goranson Farm, Dresden

Consider growing a variety of microgreens and pea shoots in your classroom. These are a good alternative to sprouting seeds, which have been found to harbor pathogens. Several seeds that you can use for growing microgreens include peas, arugula and sunflowers. Celebrate with a salad party when your greens are ready in 1-2 weeks. Snip the microgreens, sprinkle on top of salad greens, and add dressing. Here are several links to how to grow microgreens, what seeds to grow and a microgreens salad recipe:

How to Grow Microgreens Indoors

Grow: The Microgreens Mad Scientist-Steamy Kitchen

Homegrown Microgreen Salad recipe

Here is a lesson on germination.

If you’re planning to start seedlings, now is the time to inventory and purchase your seed starting materials.   

You can grow many different hearty greens in March in a hoop house or cold frame. Some folks grow them all winter! First, clean up your beds by composting old plant material and add soil amendments if needed, turning them into the soil well before planting. Some greens to grow include winter density lettuces, spinach, mache, mizuna, mustard and kale. If the nights are going to be below freezing, cover the seeds/seedlings with remay fabric or plastic. Remove the covering once your structure warms up during the day.

Vegetable of the Month: Watermelon Radishes

White on the outside with a beautiful green and red interior. A perfect taste test surprise for a snowy winter’s day!

 

The Watermelon radish, also known aclose-up radishs Rooseheart and Red Meat, is an heirloom Chinese Daikon radish. A member of the Brassica (mustard) family along with arugula, broccoli and turnips, it has a peppery flavor just like other radishes.These radishes are delicious eaten raw or try this recipe for a different treat:

 

  1. Cut radishes into wedges, as in photo.
  2. Mix with 2 tbsp. olive oil and put on a baking tray.
  3. Roast radishes at 375°,  stirring occasionally until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. Toss gently with 1 tsp. oil and a dash of sea salt or dried Maine kelp flakes-yum!

 

See more about growing and eating radishes from  University of Illinois Extension.

 

At a recent FoodCorps taste test, 4th grade students made these comments about watermelon radishes:
 
"I don't like the red ones (globe radishes) but I LOVE the watermelon radish!"
 
"It is a little spicy to my throat."
 
"I thought it would be white inside but it wasn't! It's like a smaller version of a watermelon."
"We should enter it in a competition!"
 
"Where do you buy these?!"

School Garden Regional Gatherings

Network with school garden educators, local farmers and resource professionals! There will be garden tours, workshop presentations, round table discussions and more!

In March we are featuring Gatherings at the following locations:

Bonney Eagle Middle School, Buxton - March 14

Robert's Farm Preserve, Oxford - March 20

Falmouth High School, Falmouth - March 29

Find your county here! More dates and locations still to come!

Maine School Garden Intensive - May 2, 2015

K-12 EDUCATOR TRAINING WORKSHOP

At Johnny's Selected Seeds
Saturday, May 2nd, 8:00-3:30

Click here for more information

Maine School Garden Day - May 9, 2015

Maine School Garden Day will be held at Sanford Regional Technical Center, hosted by the Landscaping and Horticulture Program from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.  REGISTER HERE

 

 

Protecting Your Backyard Poultry Flock from Disease

Saturday, March 14, 2015 10am -12pm Penobscot County Extension Office, 307 Maine Ave, Bangor

Backyard biosecurity, recognizing diseases, and NPIP participation will be discussed at this free program for current and future backyard poultry keepers. There will also be updates for NPIP Independent Testers and bird owners.

For more information and to pre-register for the meeting contact: Melissa Freeman at 207-287-6564 or Melissa.freeman@maine.gov