Children’s Vegetable Garden Program – Spring 2019 Registration now open!

About the Program:

CVG Girl with entries resizedThe Garden is proud to present one of the nation’s oldest youth gardening programs. Children ages 7-16 get their hands-on horticulture with the help of our partner organizations, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Bexar County Master Gardeners.

The Children’s Vegetable Garden Program at the San Antonio Botanical Garden is an opportunity for children to grow their own vegetables and ornamental plants with the help of instructors from the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Service and Bexar County Master Gardeners, as well as other volunteer organizations. Each child is allotted a 3.5’x28’ garden plot. Children will have fun growing different types of seeds, vegetables, and ornamental annual flowers. Children can also earn their Junior Master Gardener certification by participating in fun, hands-on activities each week after they have tended their garden. In order to gain the most from the learning experience and to help ensure successful growing, participants are required to attend all sessions (two absences are allowed). Families are welcome to share the gardening experience with their child. A parent or guardian must stay with their child.

Fee: Thanks to a generous donation from our friends at Milberger’s Landscaping and Nursery, the Spring Vegetable Garden Program will be $40 per child or $60 for two children to share a plot (non-refundable). Expanded to include ages 7-16.!

Donations welcome.

Questions? Please contact Timothy Roan at 210-536-1412 or troan@sabot.org

THIS SECTION SHOWS THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMITMENT TO THE GARDENING PROGRAM

Child   must   be   able   to   attend   the   Children’s   Vegetable   Garden   Program   every
Saturday,  March 2nd through June 15th from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm (only two absences will be allowed).

Will child:  (1) be on time every Saturday by 8 a.m. (unless told otherwise); (2) do their daily
chores; (3) attend the daily presentation; and (4) participate in the daily Junior Master Gardener (JMG) activity?

Will child: be able to attend the first four-weeks of planting (very important)?

Will a parent/guardian be in attendance with their child, each and every Saturday?

Will child and family be able to attend the Vegetable Show, Picnic and
Recognition Ceremony on June 1st which ends around 1 pm?

Will child and family participate on cleanup day Saturday, June 15th for their plot and the garden?

 

The Spring 2019 Children’s Vegetable Garden Program

Saturday mornings, March 2nd through June 15th from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Register here for Spring 2019 Session

Children’s Vegetable Garden (CVGP) Week 15 – December 15, 2018

Hi Friends! 

Can you believe this is our last workday of the season? What an interesting season it’s been, weather-wise. First all the rain and then the unprecedented freeze?! It really gives you a new appreciation for those who work in agricultural businesses that are weather dependent – farmers, ranchers, beekeepers, nurseries, ag researchers, etc.

So today’s workday was all about harvesting and putting the beds to sleep for the winter. The inconsistent nature of the weather at the beginning of the season created a less predictable harvest for our garden – in the end, we were all able to harvest lettuce, cole crops, radishes, cilantro and carrots – some of us enjoyed cucumbers at the beginning of the season. Take a look:

After we harvested all the goodies we grew, we focused on leveling the soil in the beds, and assisting to re-mulch the walkways.

That’s a wrap on the season!

BIG THANKS to all who participated and to all the invaluable volunteers who arrived early each Saturday morning to help ensure the success of our Children’s Vegetable Garden Program!

Interested in joining us this spring? Take a second to learn about and register for the Spring Children’s Vegetable Garden –

http://www.sabot.org/education/childrens-education/childrens-vegetable-garden-program/

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 14, December 8, 2018

In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.

William Blake

What other choice do we really have?  The exception of course is South Texas where we are most fortunate to be able to have an abundant winter garden.  Is there no rest for the weary?  Putting the garden to sleep for the winter truly amounts to just a short cat nap.  catnap

Rather than hitting the snooze button, take the opportunity to tend to maintenance of compost, tools, irrigation and the like in preparation for the challenges of spring.

compost en routeCabbage leaves en route to the compost pile. 

Saturday morning the gardeners spent time carefully weeding the plots and walkways.

weeding PVC irrigation lines are a particularly favored place for unwelcome weeds such as purslane.  The following link is useful for identifying the multiple varieties of purslane in Texas.  Purslane is considered a weed but it is edible.  https://lubbock.tamu.edu/programs/disciplines/weeds/identifying-weeds/portulaca-oleracea-common-purslane/

There were some beauteous broccoli crowns ready for harvest:

broccoli.jpgThe abundant cilantro can be used to garnish a lovely green vegan soup prepared from broccoli, spinach, onion, garlic and broth.  A simple version can be found on the Bon Appetit website. https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spinach-broccoli-soup-with-garlic-and-cilantro

The perimeter plots were thriving thanks to the mid-week work parties.  Special projects included tending the hops on the exterior fence:

hopsBrewtiful!

So back to the original point of this entry……… winter is an excellent time to fantasize/imagine/plan for the spring.  This could include planning and designing a garden at your home/redesigning your ‘big picture’ life in ways that make sense to no one but you……. or just taking a break.  With that all said – a garden is absolutely positively unequivocally an awesome part of the plan. You might want to plant a ‘decision tree’……however please be forewarned….they need to be weeded on a daily basis.

Best wishes,

Anne Marie S.

 

 

 

 

Children’s Vegetable Garden: Week 13, December 1, 2018

Hi Friends!

This weekend in the garden was a gorgeous one! The weather was AMAZING and felt more like spring than winter. Of course colder weather is on the way, so we all took the time to bask in the brief warmth (talk to us in summer, though, and we’ll most likely curse the heat).

The seasonal vegetable show was cancelled because of the absolutely crazy weather we’ve had this fall. First it was way too hot, then there was too much rain, followed by a freeze like we haven’t seen in 100+years…it was a tough one for Central Texas gardeners and farmers. So, in light of the cancellation, we simply tended to our surviving plants and enjoyed a small picnic and recognition ceremony.

Some of the broccoli might be ready to harvest by next weekend, and it’s entirely possibly some of the cabbage too!

One thing we were sure to do was to tie up the cabbage to prevent the head from turning yellow. First we looked for any bad bugs, and then we used rubber bands to wrap the leaves around the head so it doesn’t see the sun. Take a look:

One last chore we made sure to complete was weeding. Man, we tried to get out of weeding bc it looked like our beds were clean from weeds, but once we kneeled down to really look they were there! So keep your eyes peeled – you don’t want any weeds stealing nutrients from your beloved veggies.

Despite all this fall/winter has thrown at us, some of the plants just refuse to quit. Take a look at our carrots, lettuce and cilantro. That patch of lettuce has already been harvested twice and it’s still producing gorgeous leaves.

We also planted peas the weekend that our awesome volunteers realized that our cucumbers were toast for the season. Some of them have done pretty well, we’ll see this weekend if there are any to harvest:

IMG_3780

Take a look at some of the activities we enjoyed:

We ate some good food and planted some baby plants (poppies pictured!) – what more could you ask for?

That’s all for now, friends! Remember to check back next week to see the last few weeks of our garden’s harvest!

Cruiser Cilantro

Cilantro tastes like death. 

Julia Child

I must say I beg to differ.  However given the divisive nature of this herb it seemed apropos to honor the opinion of America’s most celebrated chef.  For more information on why cilantro is so unpleasant to part of the population read here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/dining/14curious.html

But!  For the (better) half of us who love cilantro…….. we are fortunate that the Cruiser Cilantro planted last year at the Children’s Vegetable Garden graciously reseeded itself to produce this vigorous bunch of plants with a foothold under the Balsamic Basil:

cruiser cilantro

Abundant advice on growing this variety is available at the following link:

https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/browse/featured-solutions/gardening-landscaping/cilantro/

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this herb is in a raw salsa.  I typically combine tomatillos, white onion, garlic, serrano chiles, advocado and lime juice with a large bunch of cilantro.  The amounts of each ingredient may vary depending on personal taste and what you have on hand.  The ingredients can either be hand chopped or chopped in a blender or a food processor.  The salsa is great on chips but is also delicious on grilled meats or stirred into rice.

Happy Gardening and Happy Eating!

Anne Marie S.

 

 

 

Children’s Vegetable Garden Program (CVGP) Week 12, November 24, 2018

Gardening is not a rational act.

Margaret Atwood

I’m sure the Extension office would beg to differ with Ms. Atwood, however this has been a frustrating yet fun fall session.  In any event, pressing on against all odds is what separates the bona fide gardeners from the dilettantes (I think).

The snow peas were scampering up the trellises which had formerly supported the cucumbers:

snowpeasAny gardeners who were (un)fortunate enough to lose their cucumbers can relish enjoying snow peas in a quick stir fry later in the session. https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016281-spicy-wok-charred-snow-peas

The “Snow Crown” cauliflower was holding it’s own but one of the plants in Section 8 appeared to have been invaded by an unidentified alien creature:

IMG_0742

Despite the casualties from the early freeze the Cheers cabbage were faring well.  Inspection of the heads indicated very little insect infestation.

cabbageMore information on growing “Cheers” cabbage can be found on the AgriLife website:  https://bexar-tx.tamu.edu/homehort/archives-of-weekly-articles-davids-plant-of-the-week/cheers-cabbage/

Besides the obvious choice of consuming cabbage raw (cole slaw) it is also delicious in a number of cooked dishes.  Although most folks associate cabbage with German cookery it is also a favorite in Italian cuisine – particularly in the home cooking of Northern Italy.  A favorite of mine is this rice and cabbage soup from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking:  https://food52.com/recipes/27213-marcella-hazan-s-rice-smothered-cabbage-soup.   I always begin by sautéing a large amount of green cabbage:

smothered cabbage

While your cabbage is braising there is ample time to stroll through your home garden and weed the paths.  It is also a perfect opportunity to gently wash all the beautiful lettuce harvested on Saturday morning:

IMG_0757

Dress simply with oil and vinegar for a salad and dinner is complete!

Happy Gardening and Eating!

Anne Marie S.