Garden of Wonder

GARDEN TO CAFE –  May 20th and June 6th So…we finally received the results from our soil sample which is A OK !!!!. A special thanks to Julie and Omena for leading the charge on this initiative and getting PS 133 registered with the Garden to Cafe Program.  We can now serve the food we grow in the garden to the students. George Edwards from Garden to Cafe will be working with Ms. Sherman in the lunchroom to prep and prepare a delicious meal for the students for them to try during their lunch period. The sampling will include produce from OUR garden and the green market.  He’ll be prepping on the 19th and serving on the 20th.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR THE SPRING FESTIVAL ON MAY 31ST. Email Jenna Musnicki if you can help.

The PS 133 Garden of Wonder Committee was created in 2011 to build a sustainable edible garden. Our goal is to build a garden classroom where principles come to life and growing connections will be made. Students will plant, maintain, study, harvest, and savor edible plants through curriculum-tied activities. Children will discover an appetite for fresh farm-to-fork food. The garden and the lessons learned will foster a lifelong engagement with healthy eating and healthy living among our students, their families, and the local community.

Scroll down for pictures of the Fall Harvest and a few of our favorite recipes using produce from our garden (try Apricot, Cornmeal, and Sage Cookies—they are delicious!). During the winter, we’ll be planning for our new garden space on Butler Street, as well as experimenting with grow lights and indoor planting. We will also begin cultivating some of our seeds indoors for spring planting.

To volunteer with the Garden Committee or find out more, please contact Jenna Musnicki.

2012 Fall Harvest Photos

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Garden of Wonder in the News

Earth Day at PS 133

The Garden of Wonder team needs parents to help plant tomatoes in our sub-irrigated planters on Monday, April 22, in celebration of Earth Day.  Every child will get a tomato plant to take home with them in honor of it.  They will be in the garden all day, but especially need help from noon to 3pm.  The work might include any of the following:  Wash and prepare recycled soda bottles for planting (i.e. take off the labels, cut them in half, poke holes around the top, put in wicks, assemble them, put in dirt, and help the kids plant and decorate them.

Seeds of Change

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The Garden of Wonder committee is pleased to host the visit of a Seeds of Change garden trailer to our school on Monday, April 15, 2013. The 27-foot mobile garden will be in our backyard playground on 7th Street and 4th Avenue from around 8 am until just before noon on Tax Day! Only lower grade children, pre-K to 2nd, are scheduled to visit the trailer because older children will be taking state tests. It is, literally, a “platform” to talk about gardening and the seed-to-plate story. This visit is one stop on the trailer’s “Share the Good” national tour, which is an outreach program organized by Seeds of Change. As many of you will know, Seeds of Change is a seed retailer that supports sustainable community-based gardening. Students will visit the garden to learn about the plants and seeds and talk about how they end up on our plate. Feel free to come by and check it out!

Also, the Garden of Wonder will receive a Mini Farm Box which includes a 4x8x11 planter (that’s easy to assemble) with soil and seeds from Seeds of Change. A picture is provided below.









A little more about Seeds of Change®

At Seeds of Change®, we are passionate about growing deliciously good food, from the seed, to ingredients, to your plate. We are growers and care about the way food is grown and the people who grow it. We think it’s important to help people know where their food comes from and how it is grown. Our mission is to help develop and support sustainable community-based gardening & farming programs.


We believe that goodness comes from the ground up and want to help make a difference and share the good by supporting sustainable community-based gardening & farming programs through our Share the Good grant program. To find out more about us:


2013 Composting Initiative

The Garden Committee is excited to be working with the school and our children on a new composting initiative! Since the beginning of March we have saved buckets of food scraps from the waste stream.  We’re using $500 in Eco-School grant funds, to enter into a four-month agreement with a vendor.  It’s called Vokashi,, and it will be picking the buckets up for us as we fill them.

We need volunteers for the lunch hour for the next few weeks–one or two daily would be fantastic from 11am to 1:15pm. If you can assist, please let us know when by using the following link:  When you go to it, you’ll see what dates and times are available, and can sign up saying, yes, no, or “ifneedbe.”  You can easily add a note to let us know if you cannot do the whole time.  We’ll send you instructions once you sign up.
We have an “Eco Team” that is central to this effort.  There are at least two kids from each grade level on the team helping to sort things out.  The composting is our team’s first big project, but we plan to involve them in more as we approach Spring and Earth Day.  By way of background, the Eco-Schools grant will help us develop composting onsite and reduce our waste stream.  This program is sponsored by Wrigley’s, and here’s a link for more on that:

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Watch some of our students talking about our garden in this News12 report filmed on our Garden Day in June 2012.

Garden Recipes

Try recipes inspired by fresh herbs from our garden!

Herb Smoked Popcorn
Feeds-20-30 people 1 cup serving

1/3 C Grape Seed oil
1 T Pink Himalayan sea salt
1/3 C Popcorn Kernels
3 T Agave Nectar
2 T Virgin coconut oil

I used 1/3 cup of Grape Seed oil enough to cover the bottom of the pan. I then seasoned the oil with 1 TBl sp of pink Himalayan sea salt Next I used about 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels enough to cover the bottom of the pot evenly.

I then used 1 TBL Sp of smoked flavor seasoning and spread it evenly across the kernels. Additionally, I added about 1/3 cup of basil evenly across the kernels. I covered the top of the pot, shook it in a circular motion and allowed the popcorn to pop.

Then I sprinkled a bit more sea salt on top, added 3 TBL Sp of agave nectar evenly across the popcorn and dressed the popcorn with 2 TBL Sp of virgin coconut oil. Afterwards I shook the popcorn up in down in a fast paced motioned until all of the seasonings blended perfectly together. I let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Health Benefits
Basil is herb plant that is wonderful for the reproductive organs, rich in vitamin B, C and iron, as well as phtyochemicals that reduce stress. Basil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It’s great for clearing various skin irritations and detoxifying the liver.

Pink Himalayan can increase hydration by balancing ones electrolytes. This is primarily due to it’s rich blends of minerals and nutrients. It also regulates water content both inside and outside of the cells while balancing pH levels (alkaline/acidity). It reduces high blood pressure and aids in proper metabolism functioning. It also helps the intestines to absorb the proper nutrients as well as dissolve toxins in the liver. There are many other health benefits to Pink Himalayan. But I think this will suffice for now.

Coconut Oil like basil is anti-fungal and is anti-aging. It is a fat reducer because it boost energy and increases metabolism. Additionally, it supports a healthy thyroid function. It’s anti-fungal properties allow it to be a great skin conditioner and is effective for combating psoriasis of the skin as well as dandruff, stretch marks and even acts as a SPF sunscreen 4 protector. Like all of the others mentioned here, coconut oil has a plethora of health benefits.

Grape seed oil is high in linoleic acid so it maintains moisture to the hair nails and skin. Grape seed oil like coconut oil has a high heat point which is favorable for frying and sauteing food. It is also a polysaturaterich in polyphenols and flavonoids which increases it’s anti-oxidant properties. it also has anti-inflammatory benefits which has been known to aid in preventing diabetes and other inflammatory diseases. Lastly to improve blood circulation and to heal broken blood vessels try applying a quarter size amount of grapeseed oil directly to the area.

Until the Next Discovery BE… Well P.S. 133 Family

Apricot, Cornmeal, and Sage Cookies
Makes about 18 cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened well
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves from the PS 133 Garden of Wonder…
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. and lightly grease 2 baking sheets.

In a bowl whisk together butter, sugar, and egg until smooth. Sift in flour and baking soda and add apricots, sage, cornmeal, and salt, stirring until combined.

Drop tablespoons of dough about 1 inch apart onto baking sheets and bake in batches in middle of oven 10 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool cookies on sheets 2 minutes and transfer to a rack to cool.

(Recipe courtesy of Epicurious)

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Savory Herb Popcorn
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 ounces popcorn kernels, approximately 1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Place the oil, popcorn, and salt in a 6-quart metal mixing bowl. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife.

Place the bowl over medium heat and shake constantly using a pair of tongs to hold the bowl. Continue shaking until the popcorn finishes popping, approximately 3 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the heat and carefully remove the foil. Stir in any salt that is on the side of the bowl. Sprinkle the herbs on the popcorn and gently stir to coat.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Slowly drizzle over the popcorn, while spinning the bowl. Stir to combine. Serve immediately.

(Recipe courtesy of Food Network)

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