A s summer fades away. here’s a look at some of our crops and more reasons to have school outside in our learning center at the Earth-Kind® WaterWise Demonstration Garden.
Chinese Red Yardlong Noodle Beans and Amaranth Love Lies Bleeding
We are growing these two exotic edibles at the Demonstration Garden to learn more about them ourselves. In our first picture Cindy is stretching out the yardlong bean and the amaranth is blooming with cascading ropes of flowers in front of it.
To find out how to cook the yardlong noodle beans read Garden Betty.
Amaranth aka, Love Lies Bleeding, loves the heat and does not need much water. The leaves and seeds are highly nutritious. Its creepy name refers to its use in the middle ages to stop bleeding. A whole social studies unit could be written about Amaranth and the uses of it around the world today and historically. Our garden setting would be the perfect place to teach this!
Garlic Chives Plop the ornamental seeds heads into your salad along with the chopped up stems or leave them so you can gather their seeds.
Pomegranate We grow the variety, ‘Wonderful’, and it started producing for us the summer after we planted it in 2009. It will become a multi-trunked small to mid-size tree . We have an orchard in the planning stages with Pomegranate trees and other Dallas oriented fruit trees to be planted and more school lessons to be taught!
That Pomegranate opens the way to lots of other teaching as well. I can’t imagine a more spectacular demonstration of the life cycle of a plant than it gives us with the beautiful glossy green foliage turning to bright yellow in the fall then emerging again in the spring; pair that with eye-catching flowers visited by many pollinators then brilliant red fruit with a uniquely interesting structure, big enough to study easily. Good for botany and art both.
Then there’s the tradition surrounding this plant. It appears repeatedly in the Hebrew scriptures. Many Biblical references can be found on Google.
In Greek mythology, it’s the fruit that Persephone ate in the underworld. As a result of her eating it, she was condemned to spend half of each year with Hades, lord of the underworld. The Ancient Greeks believed that while Persephone was underground, her mother Ceres mourned for her. Since Ceres was the goddess of plants and crops, winter came and the farms languished. When Persephone returned to her mother each year, the spring came.
I would sign up for this class! Imagine if every child had this opportunity-out of the house and into the garden!