Fall


Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

Here’s a delicious recipe for onion dill bread.


Dill Bread
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking

Makes one 9×5-inch loaf

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm (105 to 115°F) water
3 cups bread flour (I replaced 1/2 cup of this flour with whole wheat)
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or 1 tablespoon dried dill or dill seeds
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
1 tablespoon wheat germ, toasted
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup large-curd cottage cheese
1 large egg

Optional, for top of bread:
1 egg, lightly beaten, or 1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt or a few dill seeds

Combine yeast and water in a small bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about five minutes.

Combine flour, onions, dill, sugar or honey, wheat germ and salt in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Add the yeast along with the cottage cheese and egg. Mix by hand or on low speed until the dough comes together, addition additional flour or warm water if needed. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (75 to 80 degrees) until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Grease a 9×5-inch (8-cup) loaf pan. Punch Gently press the dough down, form into a loaf and place seam side down in the pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. If desired, brush the top of loaf with the egg or melted butter, and then sprinkle with the additional salt or dill seeds. (I highly recommend the butter/salt combination.)

Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 35 to 40 minutes. (My bread read just about 200°F on a thermometer when I took it out.) Remove the loaf from the pan to a rack and let cool completely.

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As I type this, I can hear the gentle chords of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon playing in the background filling me up with fond memories of a night that just passed us by.  The Harvest Moon Celebration, Garden School Foundation’s annual fundraiser, was this last Saturday.

The night took on a life of its own as guests arrived for the evening festivities. We had converted The Barn Studio, GSF’s Headquarters, parking lot into a space of beauty and class. Overhead hung hundreds of twinkling lights, flowers and gourds danced between the divine hors d’oeurves from Real Food Daily and Andrew’s Cheese Shop.

Chef Gino Campagna set up his cooking station where he created a feast of polenta and sausage followed by the most decadent pumpkin raviolis! The owner of The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories had donated her beautiful son’s baking talents to the evening. He had made the most incredible French Macarons that simply melted in your mouth.

Music by Fur Dixon and Steve Werner filled the pathways, making the cool evening warm with western-folk energy. Her voice made everything feel brighter.

The amount of generosity and love for the organization was overwhelming as people stepped into the Barn for the Silent Auction. There was a quiet rush for Karen Haas’ handmade jewelry, a not so quiet rush for tickets to Wicked, gorgeous dresses by Rachel Pally were bid on over and over again, and Maureen Selwood’s artwork was a dream.

The Live Auction was nothing less than lively! A couple in Tuscany (aka Westwood) called in to make a bid on famed Chef Travis Lett of Gjelina, cooking a private meal for 8 people in their own home. Original artwork by Nancy Goslee Power was actively sought after as was an in-home cooking class with Amelia Saltsman.

The night would not have been possible without the support of our amazing volunteers, friends, and local community! You made the night memorable and we thank you for that.

With our garden classes underway and our cooking classes yet to begin, we have been taste-testing our homegrown goods.  And it has been a success! If the students’ excitement for seconds is any indication of flavor, we are growing some tasty fruit!!

Getting ready to try the melon!

Here are some of our beautiful apples begging to be picked.

Our Fuji Apples

Come experience this beauty firsthand at our next workday: October 8th from 9 am until 12 pm we will be in the garden working on some garden beautification projects.  Then at 12 pm Master Gardener and fruit tree expert, Herb Machleder, will be teaching a fruit tree pruning workshop.  All are welcome, so come and join us for the fun!!

Autumnal Equinox, you have arrived with such grace and style; I hardly saw you coming! But it is true, today is the first official day of Fall and I am so pleased that it is here. And even though we are still wearing t-shirts and shorts around the garden, I can certainly feel there is magic in the air.

That lovely shift of the seasons changing is ever present in our fruit orchard. Apples are in season! They are ripe and ready and are desperately wanting us to enjoy them (I’m not entirely sure that last bit is true but like to think it is!).

This afternoon we had Ms. Lam’s kindergarten class come in for the first time. It was wonderful watching them get oriented in the garden. We learned the garden’s cardinal rules and promised, hands over hearts, with fervor, to respect each of the rules that protect both us and all that live in the garden. We went on a guided scavenger hunt and stood next to purple flowers, the red leaves of chard, aging corn stalks, youthful cornstalks and finally, we scattered about to find the tallest plant in the garden — the sunflower.

The Sunflower Tower

 Each item we found was touched gently, smelled, and fully appreciated. Children are so wonderful. Ms. Lina taught them the 6 parts of the plant song which brought them from teeny, tiny seeds to full grown plants, and with all the might of their little bodies, they lifted their arms as leaves and said, “leaves!” and stood taller as their plant-bodies grew taller. I could have sworn that there were children blossoming all over the place! That may have been the best part of the day but we still had to harvest those apples that were begging to be enjoyed. And with that, Miss Cassie taught them what it meant to harvest, and they hopped their ways over to the apple orchard where they each got to harvest an apple.

Orchard Hops

We sliced them up and there they sat, attentive and patient, for their little slice of heaven. We took a moment to appreciate the fruit and discussed what it smelled like, what it sounded like (the ocean!) and what we thought it would taste like. Then the crunching began, the oooohs and mmmmms were quick to follow. Success!

Recently, we decided to take classes into the garden and forage for food. After all, what better way teach kids that food doesn’t have to come pre-packaged in a can? We still had some of our spring and summer crops growing in the garden so we were able to walk through the garden and find a bounty of food! Since our herb beds are thriving, the kids were able to pick some parsley, rosemary, basil, dill and oregano. What a great way to learn about all the different smells of herbs, huh? After, they found some zucchini and swiss chard for their pasta. On their way through the garden, they insisted on putting a few apples into the mix. Hey, can you ever say no to a kindergarten classroom that want to eat more fruit? I think not.

cooking

After a quick wash, cut, and stir-fry, we mixed it in with some pasta and feasted like kings! Try it out at home with your kids!

cooking2

Recipe: Zucchini, Swiss Chard and Fresh Herb Pasta

Ingredients:

  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Pasta (any kind you like)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 large zucchini sliced or cubed
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard chopped
  • 1 small apple- sliced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Pour olive oil in the pan on medium flame. Add zucchini and swiss chard into pan and saute for 5 minutes until cooked. Add apples. Add whatever herbs you’d like. (We put them all in just for fun and found it to be pretty tasty!) Mix together and salt and pepper to taste.

It’s a very easy recipe to do with children. It was also a great way to introduce them to swiss chard.

With it, new classes and new garden plots! The students are back in school bringing great energy into the garden.

Since we’re blessed with LA seasons, the children are having a hard time figuring out what “Fall” crops are (I’m sure most LA adults too!).  We have been putting great efforts into teaching them which veggies are great to grow in this season. Additionally, the students have been working hard to planning the layout of their classroom gardens, weeding, laying out new soil and compost, and planting seeds in their classroom gardens. So far, we’ve planted beets, broccoli, brussell sprouts, turnips, radishes, peas, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, chives, lettuce, blueberries, strawberries (isn’t LA weather great?), and kale.

The turnips and peas are already starting to make their way above ground. I’ll post pictures of it soon!

Things to Plant in the Fall:

  • beets
  • broccoli
  • onions
  • leeks
  • brussell sprouts
  • turnips
  • radishes
  • peas
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • garlic
  • carrots
  • chives
  • lettuce
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • kale