Harvesting food straight from the garden is a powerful act. For many kids the school garden is the only place they will experience eating “straight off the vine.” Students who harvest straight from the garden are often more adventurous and try food they might not sample otherwise. Use this time to explore the garden and show students what is good to harvest in the garden. Remember to follow safe hand and produce washing practices. If garden production is low consider supplementing the garden harvest with produce from the farmer’s market or store.
View our Eating from the Garden handout for suggestions on safe harvesting straight from the garden and more creative “one-bite” tastings to encourage snacking in the garden.
One Bite Lesson Examples:
One Bite Salsa – Harvest a pepper and snip off some onion greens. Have kids harvest a couple of cherry tomatoes. Break pepper into pieces, tear up small pieces of onion greens. Eat cherry tomato, pepper piece, and a bit of onion in one bite.
Flower Feast – Discuss which flowers in the garden are edible. Harvest a variety of edible flowers and eat a mini bouquet or go on a floral walk sampling different flowers as you pass them.
Six Plant Part Burrito – As a group, harvest edible roots, stems, leaves (large ones like roman lettuce, one per student), flowers, fruits, and seeds. Wash veggies. Use a cutting board or plate and cut plant parts up in small pieces (minus the large edible leaf part). Have kids fill their leaf up with samples of each plant part. Roll up your “burrito” and munch on down or sample each part separately. Also know as 6 Plant Part Tacos, Finger Salads, and many other creative names. Shared by Life Lab Garden Classroom
A Taste of Nectar – A Taste Of Nectar-To prepare for this activity, grow a variety of edible flowers in the garden. Borage works great also try plants like cilantro and radishes that have bolted. Have a discussion about flowers, nectar and pollinators. Have the children observe the insect activity in the garden and ask questions. Give each child a borage flower. Have them gently remove the pistil of the flower and lick the nectar from the receptical. Try this with the radish flower too. With cilantro flowers, have the children “dab” the flower on their tongue a see who can taste the nectar! And don’t forget, all these flowers can be eaten too! Shared by St. Corenlius School
Flavored Water – Add crumpled mint leaves to your water bottles or glasses of water. Shake or stir, enjoy the minty goodness. Also try with other herbs or fruits. Sliced strawberries, cucumbers, lemon verbena leaves, citrus slices, or lemon balm leaves are all good options. Shared by CAFF.
Bubblegum Kale – Sandwich a piece of Moroccan spearmint inside kale. Invented by Samantha, age 4.
Pick a salad Day – Take the class out to the garden with a spray bottle filled with water. Each student has a small cup of Ranch dressing, paper plate and a napkin. They get to choose what veggies they want to try from the garden. They harvest their vegetables, wash them with the water bottle and sit down for a salad party. They will try things they have never eaten before just because they grew it and picked it. Swiss Chard was a favorite. Shared by Bethune Academy
Popeye’s Juicy, Sweet Treat – Have each child harvest a leaf of spinach. Everybody washes their spinach leaf. Walk over to a Pomegranate tree (if you have one), and look and discuss the fruit (grew from a flower, the juicy seeds are the part of the fruit we eat, native to Iran, a very ancient fruit, popular in the Mediterranean, Middle East, and North Africa, brought to California by Spanish in late 18th century). Then take out your bag/plate of already separated pomegranate fruit/seeds and give each student several to wrap in their spinach leaf. Deeee-licious! Shared by Grimmway Academy
Rad Rabbit Roll-Up – Not only is it a fun tongue twister, it’s a tasty tongue pleaser!! Say that five times fast. After your main broccoli head is harvested, take advantage of the sweet secondary stems that continue to grow. If necessary peel off the fibrous outer skin of the stem. Break off a piece of stem then wrap it with two shelled peas in a piece of mild lettuce. Also works with small section of carrot instead of broccoli. Share by Olivewood Gardens