Harvest cleanup

I officially put our veggie patch to bed this past weekend. I’ve left a few bits and pieces—like the kale in this picture—that seem to tolerate the frost we’ve been experiencing. It’s been a great year for our garden and it was satisfying to dig in the dead tomato plants and broccoli and even the disappointing eggplant that only just started to flower in the last month. I spent the time thinking about all the great meals we had from the garden (and continue to have with the tomatoes—both green and red), plus all the stuff I learned about growing both from trial and error, as well as the wisdom of our neighbourhood Garden Guru. I’m saving seeds and already planning next year’s fun.

Last week, there was a fascinating piece in The Toronto Star by Jennifer Bain on a school garden at a Scarborough high school. What sets Bendale Business and Technical Institute apart is the way the whole process—from growing to cooking, marketing to selling—is part of the curriculum. For instance, the landscaping and gardening students grow the food in the large garden, while those in the culinary arts program use the produce in meals they make to be sold in both the teacher and student cafeterias (swiss chard rolls stuffed with rice and beef, anyone?). Others sell the excess produce in a pay-what-you-can community market, while others still are writing a cookbook about the experience. They’re creating their own little food system. Now that is truly an edible education.

[Photograph by Andrea Curtis]

 

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