Thursday, September 27, 2012

SMU Learning Garden Spruces Up in an Effort to Thwart Weeds

Many thanks to  all of the FYS students that helped out this Wednesday. The Learning Garden has been both beautified and made less vulnerable to weeds by their direct action. We achieved these goals by laying down weedcloth and securing it with staples and then covering this with river rock pebble.This created a nice clean weed free environment around the shed and the foundation. This had been an area of  nuisance weed seeds that were infiltrating the Garden.

The area near the Rhododendrons got a complete makeover a layer of cardboard was stapled down and is ready for the bark mulch next week.  Enough Ivy has been taken out that we are creating room for more raised beds.

You are all Garden Heroes!!

Here is a link to a website dedicated to Ivy removal

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Some Local Sustainable Websites To Check Out

Here are 5 local websites for organizations doing work related to a more sustainable world. Take a look!
 This is a great local organization.Let's go to the solar tour in April 2013!
Another excellent place to volunteer.
They have great educational programs.
We donate our surplus here.
I have never been to this farm, but would love to go. We have their starts growing in our greenhouse.

Garden Party September 19, 2012

A huge thanks to everyone who came by and worked with us!

 Here we have some FYS students transplanting Tatsoi and Chard into gallon pots to go into the greenhouse for winter greens. This week's workshop was very productive. We worked in teams and accomplished at least 18 person hours of work. We completed almost half of a forty hour work week in two hours. Now that's people power in action! There were 3 teams, team 1 worked on transplanting, team 2 worked on Ivy removal, team 3 worked on moving the Raspberry Canes. Everyone did an amazing job.  

After all that hard work we took a break and tasted and prepared a variety of greens, Kale, Arugula, Chard, Mustard, and Beet greens. A little toasted sesame oil and soy sauce with ginger and garlic very tasty and so good for you! Keep posted to see how things are growing in the greenhouse and where did those Raspberry Canes go?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A variety of greens

Tomorrow, 9.19.12 in the Learning Garden at SMU join us in tasting 5 kinds of greens and 3 or 4 different types of Kale. We will sample Mustard Greens, Arugula, Chard, Beet Greens, hear are some pictures of the greens you can taste.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recipe for Green Beans Almondine

Green Beans Almondine

2 pounds Green Beans stem ends removed snapped in half
1 cup or less slivered or chopped Almonds
4 Tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic

steam the beans first just until tender
melt the butter
add almonds and garlic
Toss in the steamed beans Enjoy!!

Garden Party with Green Beans Almondine 9.12.12

Hello and thank you to everyone who stopped by to see the garden and eat green beans almondine, recipe to follow.. Many students dropped by and were not shy about trying the beans.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Growing our own transplants

Here are pictures from last winter when a group of FYS students planted seeds in flats which we grew out under lights. This is how they looked after one week.  And a week or so later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Wednesday Garden Parties

Join the garden party during our regular hours while the weather holds
Wednesdays 12-2pm
In the Learning Garden (just outside of the cafeteria)

bush beans growing
 This Wednesday (tomorrow) we will be transplanting heirloom lettuces, bunching onions and weeding. Lynn will be preparing a tasting of Green Beans Almondine with green beans from the garden. Come help out, learn about gardening with your hands and with your taste buds
flowers in the squash
Upcoming workshops in October:
  • Adding Minerals to our PNW soils. what minerals? what benefits?
  • Making an earth worm bin ( With Rebeca Potasnik )
  • Managing raspberries
  • Mulching

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Greetings from the Learning Garden at SMU

I would like to introduce myself my name is Lynn Villella and I have been organic gardening for a few decades. I learned it from my Italian father who learned it from his relatives and J. I. Rodale Press publisher of Organic Farming and Gardening magazine to which we had a subscription. I was and avid reader and gardener from an early age. I have been working with students and faculty for one season in the Learning Garden and have pictures to share with you. The workshop on Wednesday September 5, 2012 went well
above you see our ingredients are assembled for our Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms (recipe to follow) Squash plants often make more flowers then  they need to make plenty of squash and the male flowers are very prolific, both types of flowers are great for stuffing. I also stuffed some lettuce, mustard and arugula leaves dip in egg and fried in raw virgin Coconut oil absolutely the best oil for this type of cooking!


six or more squash blossoms
Important collect the blossoms in the morning they curl up as the day goes by. They can still be used after they have curled, but are harder to work with.

a dozen or so leaves from tender greens like Mustard, Arugula and Romaine Lettuce.


6 ounces Creamy Goat Cheese split in 3 parts
2/3 cup Roasted Pine nuts 
2/3 cup Roasted Hazelnuts (with pelicles removed, skins rubbed off) chopped
2/3 cup Walnuts chopped
By hand or food processor
3 T spoons minced, fresh Garlic
Fresh Herbs! Basil, Parsley, Cilantro, Fennel whatever you have and whatever you like!
Mix one 3rd of the cheese and one Tablespoon Garlic with each kind of nut add herbs as you please.

3 or 4 fresh eggs whipped
Coconut oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste.

Put a teaspoon or so of stuffing into the blossom and fold petals over dip in egg and fry
if blossom has curled gently unfurl and then stuff, refurl, dip in egg and fry
simply wrap a leaf up (start at stem end) around a teaspoon of stuffing and dip in egg and fry.
Easy and delicious... Enjoy.

When we were done cooking we moved on to a little gardening we transplanted some Heirloom Lettuce plants into gallon pots to go into the greenhouse. I found some winter hardy bunching onions similar to scallions or green onions. also into the green house and a basil plant. We finally have the heat Basil loves plus the greenhouse boosts the heat factor.

My next workshop will be next Wednesday September 12, 2012 I will cook Green Beans Almondine. Please join me from Noon to 2:00

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wednesday, Sept 5 Garden Workshop and Party

We are getting that new roof up on the shed today hooray! This Wednesday, Lynn will bring the camp stove again and prepare fried stuffed squash blossoms for people to try between noon and 2:00pm. 

Cooking from the garden will be a part of the September series workshops. 

We also have lettuce starts for transplanting into gallon pots to put in the greenhouse as well as seed some lettuce directly into pots and into the greenhouse. 

fried squash blossoms
This will be great fun and delicious!! Lynn will have her books for plant Identification and garden questions too.

Next workshop is Wednesday, Sept. 5 from 12-2pm in the Learning Garden (located just outside of the dining hall by the outdoor tables)