Friday, May 22, 2015

Healthy Children, Healthy Planet Garden Fair Raises $5000 for Riverside Garden Programs

Build a garden, like Dorothy Mullen did over many years at Riverside School, and they will come. Dorothy has since moved on to other projects, but only after the garden had become woven into the school's curriculum. It's role in educating kids is sustained in part by the spring garden fair, which this year raised $5000. Dorothy had a table, where she was giving away seeds and making small batch sauerkraut with massaged cabbage and salt. She has an amazing website at that's full of recipes.

The cider press got a workout, turning apples bought at Terhune Orchards into cider. I asked a few questions, and got a story about how apples originate from an area of Asia where forests of wild apple trees still grow. He agreed that Stayman apples enhance the taste of cider, and said that most cider is made from red delicious apples, which originally had a lot of taste but lost it over years of breeding for color.

I had a little display about the Friends of Herrontown Woods and the Veblen House, along with some native wildflowers to sell.

A couple tables down, I was surprised to see edible insects being sold. I didn't think the future would arrive so soon. Competing with the grasshoppers and crickets were silkworm larvae and chocolate covered scorpions. I decided to be conservative and went with the grasshopper. Tastier than the batch I bought at a tourist site in Mexico.

Even the bees came to the fair, to check out the garden, to be checked out themselves, or to just bee.

It was a very pleasant way to raise money for a good cause. As chief organizer of the event, Beth Behrend, described, "These funds enable us to maintain our beautiful school gardens and offer over 120 hours of garden lessons per year to our 250+ Riverside children. These sessions are life-changing for our children and their families. Kids enjoy hands-on lessons about healthy food, where it comes from, how to plant, cultivate and harvest, and what it tastes like - and share this knowledge (and even requests for vegetables) at home. Princeton elementary schools now use garden “classrooms" to teach science, social studies, health, math and other subjects."

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