The project began last fall when we saved some of the seeds from the pie pumpkin that came in our Wild Earth Farms CSA bin. I think it is important to not only know where your food comes from but also where your seeds come from. Most of the plants we grow in our garden start as seeds we collect from plants we have grown or food we have eaten.
In the early spring we started some of our seeds indoors – the seedlings really liked the box window location. The preschool table is located in front of this window so the children got to see the progress of seedlings every day.
Once it got warm enough outside we moved all the seedling to our outdoor gardening space. The various squash plants got planted a block away in my daughter’s back yard – she doesn’t use her outdoor space and we don’t have enough room for those sprawling plants.
Throughout the summer we often stopped by her yard when we were out for a walk. We are supposed to do some weeding and yard work when we go but mostly all the plants are ‘wild’ and just grow however and wherever they want. Between the squash plants and the weeds there are so many prickly things but the children are still excited to explore every time we visit.
By the end of September her yard looked more like a jungle than a garden. The children enjoyed searching for things to harvest.
We found quite a few on this trip over – had trouble carrying them all back. All the drivers were smiling as they watched our little parade cross the street.
When we got back we examined the various produce and discussed what we would do with them.
The flowers were added to our spaghetti at lunch that day. The zucchini was used in a stir fry the following week.The rest were displayed as decorations until the end of October when all the pumpkins had turned orange. Then we cut open the pumpkins and scooped out the innards.
Then I roasted the pumpkin halves to prepare them for the next phase.
The following day the children took turns mashing the cooked pumpkin.
We added the other ingredients – everyone got to smell and even taste some of them before we mixed them in.
We poured them in to pie shells and baked them in the oven. Afternoon snack on Friday – perfect end to a busy week;
There were comments like “This is better than birthday cake”. Some of the children recognized the taste or smell of the various spices – savoring every bit to pick out the individual flavours.
A year long project from beginning to end – but, its not really the end, is it;