Children’s Garden Program

The July Children’s program included a workshop from Wildwood’s own Chelsie Anderson. Youth Central volunteers joined the children and parents in attendance to learn about the many techniques and processes involved in composting. The children got to put their newly learned knowledge to use as they worked the community compost bins to ensure they mature into rich soil for garden use in the future. Thanks to Chelsie for this great learning event.

Despite many gardens, including the community garden and Jackson’s Garden at SAIT, being hit not once but twice by damaging hail in August, the ’Enjoying the Harvest’ CGP session was still full of delicious offerings from the bounty of the season. During the two-hour class, we tasted a variety of herbs, edible flowers and carrots (who knew you could grow so types many in Calgary!)

Chef Andrew passed on countless ideas on how to use all these plants in our everyday meals. Herbs are chalk full of good things for our bodies and are easy and fun to grow. If you don’t want to start from seed, Andrew recommends purchasing them at one of the many nurseries in our city. To close, the group was treated to the most simple, fun to make, and loveliest of lemonades ever! Thanks to Chef Andrew Hewson for an informative and tasty event.

Here’s the recipe, with a delightful surprise, for the lovely lemonade served at the August Garden Program.

Violet Lemonade**
2.5 C water
½ C loose packed blossoms
¼ C honey
2 Tbsp sugar*
Ice cubes and clean lemon wedges to serve

In a pot, add water and blossoms (violets, violas, John Jump Ups – all found in your flower garden), honey and sugar.

Bring the mixture to a gentle to a boil, gently stirring as you go. Take your liquid off the burner and let it steep for ½ hour. Let cool. Pass the liquid through a coffee filter into your favourite serving container.

To serve:
Add a couple ice cubes to your favourite summer serving glasses. Pour the blue-ish liquid equally into each glass. Gather your group around and hand each guest a glass. Now serve each guest a wedge of lemon and ask them to wait until each guest has their lemon wedge in hand. At the same time, have everyone squeeze and then place the lemon wedge into their glass and gently swirl the mixture. Viola!! The chemical reaction will turn your blue liquid into the loveliest of violet colours and the tastiest lemonade!

You may just become your children’s favourite science teacher with this recipe/experiment!!

*If you have no honey, use ½ cup of sugar instead.
** This recipe works just as well, and tastes just as lovely, with the yellow violas, violets and Johnny Jump Ups. These flower blossoms freeze very well. Collect them all summer and freeze in a Ziploc so that you have a larger quantity to use come August or early September.

Cool Mexican Herb to try:
Epazote – This herb has a strong, even unpleasant, fragrance but produces an excellent flavour. Epazote is great to use in Mexican bean dishes and it may even reduce flatulence!
Check out this link for all the info.

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