Glenaeon Garden Culture

02 August 2023

Giving and Receiving Attention + Family Recipes

Rudolf Steiner emphasised that we should share our biodynamic food, plants and knowledge with everyone we could; all of humanity, animals, plants, minerals and the cosmos benefit. That’s what we practice in Glenaeon’s garden culture. We are most grateful to have a social culture that enables us to receive such bounty as we do from families, colleagues and community members. We are equally glad to have an abundance to give that includes knowledge, composted soil, school-made fertilisers, plants, seeds, tubers, vegetables, flowers - and family recipes too.

As we have shared in previous newsletters, we collect the fallen leaves from our campus' trees and decompose them in the leaf litter cages to make nourishing sustainable soil. Food scraps and their containers, weeds from the garden and paper from the classes and office are collected in the black bins around the garden before being heaped up together to make a compost pile vitalised with specific biodynamic preparations.

Thanks to this rich soil, our plants thrive in the biodynamic garden, and we have enough to share with students, volunteers and staff to take home. After the Glenaeon gardening workshops, families receive vital compost, wriggling with worms, to take home and rejuvenate everyone's gardens. Worm ‘juice’ and DIY weed fertiliser also go home in repurposed jars.

We share our plants and hear stories of how they fare at their new homes:

  •  Tree dahlias (taller than our Castlecrag buildings!) whose stunning stark star-shaped flowers are now popping up in many Glenaeon families’ gardens thanks to children taking home cuttings and propagating by sticking them into their own home soil. Ever useful and delicious;
  • Land cress, is an edible ground cover has come back to school in pesto form;
  • Sorrel, a green leaf with lemony taste is surprising parents whose children ‘don’t like greens’;
  • Calcium rich Comfrey, great in soups and composts;
  • Crocoseum (copper tips) with its delightful tall orange gladiola-like blooms, perfect in bouquets;
  •  Scrambling sulfuric Nasturtium, with its edible flowers and leaves that can be used in pesto;
  • Amaranth, a ‘weed’ that adds magnesium and zinc to the soil while its leaves are rich in folic acid (and can be substituted for spinach), its maroon flowers and teeny black protein rich seeds enhance our playgroup baking!

"From you I receive, To you I give, Together we share, By this we live"

Joseph & Nathan Segal - this is our Glenaeon garden class song.

More examples of giving and receiving in the Glenaeon garden community:

  • After pruning the Lemongrass plants, students take home a bunch to make some tea or cook it with their rice. Yum!
  • At Glenaeon Preschool families regularly take home the Bay Tree prunings.
  •  Our prolific Castlecrag Tamarillo tree was gifted to us from farmer Helen Bryant in Coffs Harbour in 2019. Who would know that hundreds of the fruits would be enjoyed by sooo many students at Castlecrag and that expert cake baker Carolina Ou Smolinski would treat our compost heap makers on 13th May to a divine Tamarillo Cake?
  • With Lemons from her garden, parent Nobuko taught Class 4 students how to make preserved lemons during gardening class.
  • In home learning times, students received packets of sunflower seeds from their gardening teacher Kathy Thangthurai. Many months later we heard of the marvelling at hundred tall stems and bright suns in each home garden! Even the cockatoos flew in for a feast.
  • Together we are a vibrant gifting community: valuing each other's efforts gives radiance for us all. “We are here for the sake of the universe” said our gifter of Biodynamic Agriculture: Rudolf Steiner.

Do you have a story or recipe to share? We love hearing from you!

Family Recipes from the Glenaeon Garden Community

Charlotte's Wild Rocket and Land Cress Pesto

-        2 handfuls of wild rocket

-        2 handfuls of herbs and land cress from the garden (rosemary, parsley, 1½ land cress)

-        Zest and juice of 2 lemons

-        1 cup grated parmesan cheese

-        1 cup roasted Brazil nuts and cashews

-        1 cup olive oil

-        Sea salt

       Roast nuts and blend all together!

Nasturtium Pesto

-        1 cup tightly packed nasturtium leaves

-        ½ cup olive oil

-        ¼ cup pine nuts

-        1 large garlic clove - peeled and roughly chopped

-        ⅓ cup nutritional yeast (optional)

-        Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

       Wash and dry the nasturtium leaves

       Toast the pine nuts in a small saucepan over a low heat until just browned

       Add all the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and whizz until smooth

       Spoon into a clean jar

       Keeps in the fridge for about 10 days

Glenaeon Garden’s Simple Forager Stir Fry

In the Middle Cove garden Classes of 3, 4, 5, 6 students take turns cooking and serving food that they have foraged/harvested and prepared for their classmates. Frequently parents tell us their child has returned home and ‘made the same’ for their family that very evening.

       In a wok or fry pan heat a large splash of oil

       When ‘spitting’ hot add sliced garlic, leek, ginger or turmeric (if you have)

       Stir it constantly with a wooden spoon

       When above items are ‘turning colour’ add chopped up or grated root vegetables (beets, carrots, parsnips) or pumpkin

       Cook for a few minutes then add handfuls of freshly foraged greens from the fridge or garden: chickweed, dandelion leaves, warrigal greens, silverbeet, kale, celery, parsley, mustard greens, pak choi, broccolini, radish leaves, green beans

       Cook for a few minutes and add handfuls of fresh thyme, oregano, sage whose leaves have been ‘stripped down the stem’

       Liberally add Celtic salt and freshly ground pepper (mortar and pestle chunky style is very flavourful)

       Add tamari or freshly squeezed lemon juice (if you wish)

       Serve on a green leaf of sorrel, nasturtium, broccoli, cabbage or lettuce

As Glenaeon teacher Emily Watt says: “It tastes amazing because it’s sooo fresh”. What a difference it is to be fresh ‘out of the garden’ rather than from the long storage life of supermarket food.

Tamarillo Curd

From Magnolia Kitchen - Bernadette Gee

-        2 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks

-        85g of butter

-        75g of caster sugar

-        280g fresh fruit (tamarillos)

-        2 tbsp lemon juice

-        1 tsp lemon zest

 Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until combined.

 Pour into a pot and heat on low, stirring occasionally. By the time your curd begins to produce large, slow-popping bubbles, it will have thickened. Remove it from the heat, put it in a clean jar, let it cool and store it in the fridge.

 If you are making the curd with pink or red fruits, add 1 or 2 drops of red food colour while cooking, to give the curd a more vibrant colour-pink as red fruits tend to go brown when curded.