For the fourth year now, the Tom McCall Roots&Shoots group has planned to take 4 field trips to Nana Cardoon Urban Farm and Learning Center. Our primary objective would be to explore and have “hands on” experience with natural food systems. Nana Cardoon offers a rich environment for developing understanding of plant growth, harvest, processing, preservation, and preparation. A secondary objective would be developing deeper connections to our community and its assets. Expanding our understanding of Forest Grove will help us develop meaningful community projects.
This year we have made 4 trips to Nana Cardoon, one in the Fall and three this Spring. Our Spring trips were in April and May. We are looking at how nature changes with the seasons. One of our focuses this year was the role that soil plays in growing plants. Each visit we have done activities that help builds quality soil. As well as observing and exploring, we have planted potatoes and corn, and helped remove invasive English Ivy. We even learned to weave the ivy into baskets, making something useful from it. We have made various flat breads from grain grown at the farm, made tortilla of 3 colors of corn, made tabbouleh salad with dandelion greens, and short cake for a strawberry feast! We have explored changes in the garden, the role of pollinators, as well as methods of recycling, including vermiculture (worms). We also used the sun to cook delicious banana bread. Our visits have ended with a group meal, enjoying our food creations. The results have been tasty. For our final visit, we had a strawberry feast with cooked pound cake. This was our celebration of a successful year!