Our very last month of Farm-to-School is upon us, and that means a few things. The end of the school year means the approach of summer, and in that there is so much that feels brand new. Little sprouts are emerging from the ground, birds are returning and bringing with them new choral melodies, and for Farm to School I am in a new role! This is my first month teaching Farm-to-School, and I am so excited to begin with the warmth of May. I feel lucky to have gotten the year of experience as an intern with Ms. Meg, and am looking forward to this shift that lets me build closer relationships with students and families in South Burlington’s communities. Please see my biography under the “Our Staff” for a more comprehensive introduction.
This month in Farm-to-School we will explore the ways that our food plants rely on soil, and soil-bacteria, for their nutrients. The food of the month is pea sprouts, one of the first cold weather crops we can grow in Vermont. The sprouts are the young, tender upper leaves, soft stems, and curly tendrils of pea plants (usually snow or snap peas) and are commonly used in various Asian cuisines. They are cooked and eaten just like other leafy greens and they taste like a cross between baby spinach and peas. They are highly nutrient dense, since they are concentrated versions of the entire pea plant, and provide a nice boost of protein, beta carotene, vitamin C, folate, and fiber. Peas, like all legumes, rely on the bacteria that live on their roots to convert nitrogen in the soil to a form that can be absorbed by the plant. The plant then uses that nitrogen to build protein!
We will be eating the pea shoots raw, with a small squirt of Maple Balsamic Salad Dressing to get a full experience of the fresh taste.
Here is the recipe we will use:
¼ cup balsamic vinegar (Bionaturae brand)
1 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp fresh chopped garlic (from the farm)
⅓ tsp powdered garlic (McCormick)
1 pinch of salt (Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt)
1 pinch of black pepper (McCormick)
Add the olive oil while mixing…
½ cup olive oil (California Olive Ranch Olive Oil)
Appreciate the thaw. Greener days are sprouting!