Today at the Mill Valley Children’s Garden, we ended up spending most of the morning in the kitchen/classroom part of the garden, as well as indoors due to rain. Before the rain started, the third grade class used tall cherry pickers to harvest persimmons off the large tree in the garden. We then transitioned indoors and Kristy passed out hand outs with pictures of the traditional japanese method of drying persimmons which involves a much longer and tedious process of dehydration. She explained each step of the process, beginning with peeling and hanging, then squeezing each one every four days in order to break up the fiber, until they become very dark and firm and are covered in crystalized sugar. Afterwards, the kids sliced their own persimmon into half-inch rounds and we laid them out on trays to be put into the dehydrator. They also got a chance to taste a couple fully ripe ones.
The fifth grade class did the same mushroom activity in the garden that the other half of their class did before thanksgiving break. We then went inside and they played a fun fruit and vegetable guessing game where a fruit or vegetable card was placed on the board and one student stood facing the class with their back to the board (unable to see the card). The rest of the student then took turns describing the fruit or vegetable to him or her using only one word, such as the color, texture, taste, shape, how it’s eaten, etc. and the student had to guess what it was.
The kindergarten classes then did the art project with paint and fall leaves that we did with the first set of kids before break, however this time we did it inside.