En el huerto de primavera: try something new! We have a school garden and I was surprised when we visited the garden recently that most of my Spanish 2 students couldn’t predict what they would find growing there in the spring (versus the summer or fall). As our garden teacher suggested, students tasted col rizada, espinaca and melisa (toronjil) by pulling off some of the leaves and snacking on them right there.
There also were some edible weeds growing in several beds, including chickweed (la pamplina o la maruja) and what later turned out to be Pennsylvania bittercress (a member of the mustard family-not sure how to translate it into Spanish!).
My students had just started keeping journals about their health and I had challenged them to try two new healthy foods or activities during the two week assignment. So I gave them this sheet I created with nutritional information for col rizada, espinaca, melisa and pamplina, along with some recipes they could try at home (all in Spanish, of course).
But you don’t need a garden to plant something unique and tasty with your class! What’s in a name? In Spanish the flower is called taco de reina, capuchinas, llagas de Cristo….. in indigenous languages (I believe), pelonchile, texado..…in English, nasturtium. Native to Columbia, Peru and Ecuador, this spicy, edible plant can be started from seed in small yogurt containers and replanted in larger macetas, window boxes or in the ground. They’re good with full to partial sun, sprout in 7-14 days and in another two months you’ll have flowers and leaves you can eat! They don’t need any special fertilizer or care–in fact too much fertilizer or plant food will inhibit the growth of blooms and make the plants produce lots of leaves, instead. To eat, put them in a salad or sandwich, use them as a garnish or snack on them right from the plant. Here’s a brief info sheet (three copies to a page) students took home with them after we planted nasturtium seeds in containers.