Early Friday morning, the farmers in Anne Siskin’s third/fourth-grade class headed to Sunflower Sentry Garden to harvest baskets of fragrant basil. When they returned to their room, Barbara Adams showed the class how to wash and dry the leaves and prepare ingredients for a French pistou sauce. Much like Italian pesto, this sauce uses freshly squeezed lemon juice rather than pine nuts. Within the hour, the kids had a huge bowl of the delicious sauce that they slathered on to slices of baguette. Later this week, students will pour the leftover sauce over hot pasta for a delicious, morning snack.
Farmers were amazed at the gorgeous scent of fresh basil. As they picked the sprigs, their hands were permeated with its scented oils.
The kids learned that pistou is really easy to make. Measure four cups of basil leaves and place them in the bowl of your food processor. Add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan-reggiano cheese, 1 clove of garlic, 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper to the bowl. Pulse the ingredients until just chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour ½ cup of olive oil into the processor tube and mix until smooth. Stop. Taste. Adjust to your personal preferences. Enjoy.
The kids made five batches in one hour!
Kids practiced their measuring skills and helped each other create this fresh, fragrant green sauce.
Grating cheese is one of the most popular duties in all of the cooking sessions. These girls prepared lots of real parmesan-reggiano cheese for the sauce. And if you were watching, you would have seen them nibbling all of the little pieces that broke off the main block of cheese.
Tasting is very important so that cooks can adjust seasonings for best results.
Everyone took turns slathering the sauce on top of the baguette slices then topping them with a sprinkling of parmesan-reggiano cheese.
Beautiful! Delicious! The kids took trays of the pistou crostinies to Sunflower Sentry Garden and devoured them.
Sunflower Sentry Garden is more than a place where kids grow their own food. It’s a place to study, read, write and create beautiful art projects.. This summer farmers painted signs for the planting beds and the new chicks. Their work made the garden even more special that it already is.
Three sisters who have loved Sunflower Sentry Garden since it began in the fall of 2013. The one on the right helped build the garden, the one on the left worked in it last year. Little sister wanted to make the Hen House sign so everyone would know where the chickens are.
Roo, the baby rooster will be very proud of his sign.
Oh, what fun! Rosie the hen will be so proud of her name plate.
Hey, how about spattering the signs?
Proudly showing a few of the planting bed signs. The center giant purple potato sign looks just like the humongous potato that this girl harvested earlier in the summer.
The best part of working in Sunflower Sentry Garden is that you get to play with the chickens.
Oh, the babies love their cuddles!
Life is good–happy chick, happy girl.
New friends share a chick between painting the signs.