Farm to School News
April & May 2021
April Showers Bring May Flowers...and lettuce, and chives, and asparagus
The growing season is finally here! It may seem early to start picking but there is all sorts of produce available even this early in the year. Many hardy herbs like thyme, chives, and sage will have new green shoots to toss into homemade soups and sauces. Ramps, spring onions, and fiddleheads (the tender early shoots of ferns) are also out right now to enjoy!
When I was a kid I used to pull ramps straight out of the ground, rinse them off in the brook they grew alongside, and enjoy them on the spot...I can still remember how amazing they tasted, fresh and green with a pop of tangy garlickyness. Its been a long time since I sourced a wild ramp but now I can find them in the grocery store!
Not sure what to do with a ramp or fiddlehead when they show up in your local grocery store (other than eat them raw right there in the produce department, who'd blame you)?
Here are a few ideas:
Speaking of grocery stores, did you know that some of our local stores have excellent websites that highlight local produce and provide maps and other information about what's in season and when? Its true! Are you a Tops shopper? You will find more than you'd expect about locally growth produce on their website. If Wegmans is your grocery go-to you might be interested to know about the investment they have made in the local agriculture scene with the Wegmans Organic Farm & Orchard. Inspiring!
While Buffalo is a bit of a drive from here (I live in Buffalo so I do the drive everyday, trust me, its not as bad as you think!), there are some amazing options if you are looking for fresh and local, Dash's Market, The Lexington Co-op (on Hertel Ave. and on Elmwood), and the Elmwood Village Farmer's Market located on the Bidwell Parkway green, are all great choices.
Rather keep things more local? Don't forget about the Lockport Community Market...
The Lockport Community Market heads back outdoors soon!!! May 15th will be the last day of the indoor market at Harrison Place, after that you can expect to see local farmers, craftspeople, and vendors back on Canal Street ready to share their goods with you! Take a look at the vendor lineup and plan your purchase before you go!
Tip: Click the pictures for more content!
April & May Monthly Harvests: Field Greens, Radishes, and Garlic...Oh My!
In April we begin to see the first growing things pop out of the earth...what are these little treasures? Field greens (including radishes) and hardy herbs! Some of our first green and leafy friends of the season.
Field Green Facts:
- This traditional mix of greens comes from the South of France where they call it Mesclun
- Mesclun, Spring Mix, or Field Greens (all the same, really) include the shoots and very young leaves of early growing plants such as dandelion, endive, sorrel, arugula, and lamb's lettuce
- It can also include edible flowers, like violets and rose petals!
- Only 3oz of Field Greens contains more than 100% of your recommended daily value of vitamin A and are high in fiber
- Most people only think to eat the red root of the radish, but radish leaves are great in your Spring Mix and also make a delicious pesto!
In April students enjoyed a Green Goodness Smoothie packed with baby spinach and in May Roasted Radishes with Ranch Dip will be the featured taste test item, click here for the recipes to make them at home!
Get to Know Your Herbs!
There are so many different types of mint...from catmint to spearmint to pineapple mint! We usually think of mint as an herb used for sweet foods but its often used in savory meals too.
The beautiful flowers and leaves of the borage plant taste a bit like cucumber and have been a symbol of bravery and courage since ancient times.
Sage is an herb that is used for cooking, as medicine (a remedy for stomach ache), and for spiritual purposes (some Native Americans burn sage during religious ceremonies) .
LCSD works with community organizations to make information about activities and enrichment opportunities available to families. We cooperate with approved community partners by posting eflyers online and distributing them electronically.