Garden News

School's Out...

posted Jun 5, 2014, 11:34 AM by Unknown user

But our fun in the sun is just getting started! 

The June Bugs Garden Club will meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in June from 9 AM to 11 AM starting on June 9th and going until June 30th. We'll have lots of great activities, from cooking to crafts, and even a few optional field trips! 

Any participants will need to fill out a form to return to Ms. Sanaz. You can find them in the middle school office. 

Summer Squash in Spring

posted May 13, 2014, 9:18 AM by Unknown user

Since we had such a very hard time last year with squash vine borers, I decided to plant our squash in the greenhouse. By getting an early start, we have seen our squash fruit before the vine borers are even out for the season. 

The downside of moving our squash into the greenhouse has been that pollination is low. Lots of fruit shrivels because the pollinators are also not in full swing or don't forage in our greenhouse. However, Mrs. Green's science classes came out on Wednesday the 30th of April to help hand-pollinate. They learned about plant reproduction by studying the squash, which is fairly unique in that it has separate male and female flowers on the same plant. They used paint brushes to move pollen from the male flowers to the female flowers (the ones with fruit at the ends). 

Here's our first big zucchini. Thanks to Mrs. Green's students for being our stand-in bees!

How Sweet It Is

posted Jan 24, 2014, 6:59 AM by Unknown user

Yesterday, instead of going to work in the frigid weather, our garden assistants practiced their cooking and healthy eating skills. We used our garden sweet potatoes and whole wheat flour to make simple and delicious pancakes. Even those who didn't like sweet potatoes went back for seconds! Try these at home as an easy way to sneak healthy ingredients into a breakfast favorite. 

HMS Sweet Potato Pancakes

3/4 lb. boiled, peeled and mashed sweet potato (about one large)
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs,  beaten
1 1/2 c. milk (we used 2%)
1/4 c. melted butter 

1. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. 
2. Mix mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, milk, and butter in a separate bowl.
3. Blend sweet potato mixture into the flour mixture to form a batter. 
4. Lightly oil a griddle with vegetable oil and heat it to medium-high heat. 
5. Drop batter into griddle and flatten with a spatula. Cook until golden brown, turning once when surface begins to bubble. 
6. Enjoy with honey or sorghum syrup! 

(Recipe adapted from 

Happy New Year!

posted Jan 10, 2014, 3:20 PM by Unknown user

Wow! How time flies when you're having fun. 

As the first quarter of this service term has come to a close, here's a look at what GardenCorps has been doing across the state: 
  • Number of volunteers leveraged this period: 329
  • Number of volunteer hours served by your volunteers: 3,616
  • Number of clients served: 2,440
  • Number of individuals receiving garden-based education: 1,521
I also recently added up our productivity at the HMS garden. We have harvested over 870 pounds of produce and delivered over 190 hours of education since I started here last November! 

Here's to an equally productive and fun 2014! 


posted Oct 25, 2013, 8:32 AM by Unknown user

Did you catch us on Region 8 on Wednesday evening? If not, watch the story about our community outreach here. Thanks so much to Courtney Brown for putting together such a great story!

The Peanut Gallery

posted Oct 7, 2013, 6:21 AM by Unknown user

On Friday, students from Mrs. Gray's 5th grade social studies class came out to the garden to learn about the peanut, a crop championed by scientist and inventor George Washington Carver in the mid-1800s. When I asked students "What about George Washington Carver's life is inspiring to you?" answers included: 

-his humility; he turned down offers for large amounts of money, explaining that God had given him the ideas for free and that he in turn must pass them along to those who needed them most. 
-his creativity; he invented over 300 new uses for the peanut in order to make the crop more profitable and thereby help poor farmers earn a better living. 
-his dedication; he donated his life savings to an agricultural group in his will. 
-his optimism; he persevered despite coming from a broken home and facing intense racism. 

We then learned that the peanut is not actually a nut, but a bean. We saw how peanuts send up stems, which then send pegs back underground to form peanuts. We harvested some of our peanuts by hand, and compared the taste of a raw peanut to natural peanut butter. Yum! Now every time we have a peanut butter sandwich, we can think of the farmers who grew our peanuts, and of George Washington Carver, who made the peanut shine. 

Wednesday Workdays, 9 to 6

posted Sep 23, 2013, 6:45 AM by Unknown user

To all of you who are looking for a way to help out in the garden, look no further! 
This year, instead of setting a specific time for workdays, the garden will be open to volunteers every Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. All you have to do is sign in at the front office (you can enter through the main doors facing W South Street) and then sign out when you leave. 

I'll have a list of tasks that need to be completed, and may or may not be there to work with you. Please note that this is dependent on the weather--I probably won't have much need for help on rainy days. 

Looking forward to seeing you in the garden!

Into the Swing of Things

posted Aug 30, 2013, 12:22 PM by Unknown user

This week in the garden, we have been trying out a new system for bringing volunteers in at recess. 

Here's how it works: If you are interested in working at recess, you can sign up for one spot per week. There are spaces for eight students during each recess. The sign up sheet is in the front office. 

Recess workdays are generally for fun tasks. So far, we have harvested herbs, carrots, tomatoes, and peppers, as well as planting peas. Lots more fun is in store!

Back to School

posted Aug 23, 2013, 1:09 PM by Unknown user

Although summertime won't officially end until September, summer vacation is now at an end. We've had a great summer here in the garden--but certainly not a break!

We had a great time with our hardworking summer interns. 

We held a very fun Cooking Matters course, to introduce topics of healthy eating, meal-planning, and budgeting. 

We donated lots of produce to the food pantry and held several farm stands at the Harrisburg Historic District Farmers Market. 

We won lots of ribbons at the fair--including the purple ribbon for Best in Show for our Mammoth sunflower!

And just today we had our first taste-test in the cafeteria--watermelons!

Now that school is starting back up, we have plans to: start up recess workdays; create a garden team during advisory period; join with the Harrisburg Garden Club for an afterschool Junior Garden Club; put on a Cooking Matters for Teens course at the high school; host the ASU dietetics interns; teach special education students in the garden twice a week... and LOTS more! 

Details regarding community workdays will be posted as soon as these are scheduled. Hope to see you out soon!  

Sunny Skies

posted Aug 4, 2013, 2:03 PM by Unknown user

Many, many thanks to Jack Osier and Duane Doyle of ASU Newport for setting up our solar panels! We're glad to be adding sunshine to the list of things harvested in the garden. We will be using the energy to power the fan in our greenhouse heater this winter, and potentially to power circulation fans or cooling fans next summer.

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