August 19, 2010

Our Summer by the Numbers:

98: # students K-8th grade attended

84: % of enrolled students who were returning NCFC students

3,500: # hours spent in gardens

20: % increase in  knowledge test about  plants when comparing pre– and post– tests

95: % of our students reported that they learned a lot about the garden and how to eat healthy

93: % of our students reported that they told their   parents something new they learned this summer

100: % of parents who   reported being ’very satisfied’ on parent  surveys

22: # recipes cooked by the students

15: # of feet our sunflowers have grown

We had a wonderful summer and look forward to the fall (and the cooler weather!).  Stay tuned for updates on our upcoming fall garden!

Questions or comments about the garden?  Email Nadine Duplessy Kearns at


August 6, 2010

End of Summer Celebration

It’s hard to believe that our summer program has finished up all of its six weeks!  We had a fantastic summer full of new discoveries, exciting lessons, good friends, and incredible food.  To celebrate, NCFC held its 4th Annual End of Summer event to celebrate all that the students learned.  We had more than 90 students and 20 parents attend.  Here are a few photos to tell you about the day:

The much anticipated giant water slide:

Good times with families and friends:

Cooling down in the water slide:

Our 2nd Annual Double Dutch Tournament:

And our champions!

August 4, 2010

Sunflowers galore!

As we near the end of our summer program, the sunflowers in the garden seem to know and have grown to be too heavy for their stalks.  Master Gardener Rick cut off the flower so that the Kindergarteners could see it up close, compare and contrast to other flowers, and look for sunflowers seeds.

As Ms. Hyman shows the class what Rick brought in, the class erupts with excited screams:

Micora, Isaiah, Mackenzie, and Jermarr take a closer look at the sunflower:

Micora, Mackenzie, and Noah compare two flowers. “They’re both yellow”,  “one is big, the other is small”, “this one is heavier”:

Finally, the class enjoyed using the sunflower leaves as fans:

August 2, 2010

This past Friday, our 1st-4th graders spent the morning with our Master Gardeners, Rick Skinner and Carmella Mazzotta, and UDC’s Sandra Farber and Mary Farrah harvesting some of our ripe-and-ready vegetables.

Aniya and Shad pull out some carrots from our garden:

Aliyah picked a green pepper:

Saniya and Zeima found some eggplant and snipped two off very carefully with shears:

And Rasheed, RoVaughn, and Isaiah harvested some corn.  It took a lot of muscle and courage (and a little help from Rick) to pull the corn from its stalk, tear away the husk, and to take a little bit of a bite.

With the help of some students, Program Director Ruth found a funny cucumber that grew around the chain-link fence:

“We harvested all those!” – Zeima

As a special afternoon snack, the students made a salad with all that they harvested:

July 29, 2010

Today is another day full of cooking from raw ingredients.

3rd/4th Grade went to City Blossoms’ Marion Street garden today and made a vegetable wrap.  After trying their first taste test, they worked together as a class to explain what they did:

  • “I would like to make this again!”
  • “First we harvested chives and char from the garden.  The tomatoes were already picked.”
  • “We washed them and washed our hands and broke into groups.”
  • “Then we pulled the vegetables into little pieces so we could eat them easily.”
  • “We put it in a bag and mushed it up.  We put in oil, lemon, and salt, and mixed it all up.
  • “We mixed it all with tomatoes and avocado.”
  • “And we rolled it up and ate it!”
  • “But a little bit of pepper is really hot!”

In a vote, the class assessed their own cooking.  They gave 9 thumbs up, 1 sideways thumbs, 1 thumbs down, and 1 two thumbs up.

Tyonne, Jada, Sarah, and Raevyn try their own cooking masterpieces:

Back at headquarters, our ABLE students made a St. Louis special, Toasted Ravioli, led by Ms. Sharonda (A St. Louis native).

Ronald dips the ravioli in the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs that they prepared:

Jalysa, Trinity and Ronald can’t wait to taste their cooking:

July 28, 2010

While the Kindergarteners sport our Summer Program shirt on their field trip to Common Good City Farm,

The 3rd and 4th graders water our garden with their water bottles.  “We need to water at the roots because that’s where water goes in.” – Jordan.

Raevyn takes a break.  “These leaves have the best shade!”

July 27, 2010

In the Kindergarten class, the students made Apple Smiles with healthy ingredients.

CiAhna steals a little taste test of the peanut butter before creating her Apple Smile:

Jermarr shows off his Apple Smile:

At the end of the day, the Kindergarteners took their spider hats home.  Here is Isaiah’s:

July 27, 2010

At City Blossoms today, the 5th and 6th graders harvested and prepared a barley, cucumber, and feta cheese dish.  With four weeks at Marion Street Garden under their belts, the students are showing a little more courage in trying new things (though not as boldly as the 7th and 8th graders).

Dylan peels a cucumber at one station, while his friends helped crush feta cheese at another:

Kevon helps water the garden:

July 26, 2010

CiAhna brought this drawing from home.  She had drawn it the night before to show her mother what they’ve been learning about in the summer program.  It’s exactly this sort of enthusiasm, and transferring of knowledge to the family that ultimately demonstrates how successful our program is.

July 26, 2010

Our sunflowers won’t stop growing!  We even have our first flower.  Cyniah shows us just how big one of our sunflowers has grown: