In this lesson, students discuss the seasons, explore seasonal food from the garden, and participate in a mystery vegetable tasting.
Herbs de Provence
In this lesson, students identify a variety of herbs and spices as well as taste and harvest their own herbs. Students work with ratios to create a customized herbs de Provence blend.
Students will be able to:
- Recall that herbs and spices are from the leaves, roots, bark, buds, seeds, berries, fruit, and rhizomes of plants and used for flavoring food
- Identify the difference between fresh and dried herbs, using the senses
- Identify herbs that are ready for harvesting
- Understand how to use a ratio to develop a customized herb blend (herbs de Provence)
Students will be able to:
- Correctly identify herbs and spices in the garden
- Correctly harvest herbs
- Make observations about the difference between fresh and dried herbs
- Use a ratio to determine the quantity of herbs to include in a customized blend of herbs de Provence
- A variety of fresh and dried herbs available for identifying, smelling, and tasting (basil, marjoram, rosemary, savory, thyme, oregano, sage, lavender, fennel and/or fennel pollen, bay)
- Bread and olive oil for tasting dried herbs
- large bowl for mixing herbs
- small bowls for dried herbs
- measuring spoons or cups
- scissors for harvesting herbs
- Make sure you have a variety of fresh herbs growing in the garden
- Set up a station with dried herbs, olive oil, and bread for tasting
- Set up a station for removing leaves from the stems of fresh herbs
- Set up dehydrator
- Set up a station with a large bowl and measuring spoons or cups for mixing herbs
At the beginning of the lesson, review herbs and spices: where they come from and how they ar used in cooking or medicine. Lead students through the garden to identify which herbs/spices are growing.
Meet in the kitchen to taste a variety of dried herbs, used in herbs de Provence, with olive oil and bread. Using the senses, ask students to identify which are their favorites. This is a great group activity. Once the favorites have been chosen, students may go out to the garden to harvest fresh herbs to use in a customized blend. Guide students in discovering the differences between fresh and dried herbs.
Have groups prepare fresh herbs for going into the dehydrator: remove leaves from stems, spread on dehydrator sheets and dry according to instructions, usually overnight.
The next day, crumble each dried herb separately into bowls. Discuss using a ratio and create a blend of herbs de Provence. Name it! And, write your own recipe!
A recent student-created blend is as follows:
- 4 parts dried rosemary
- 3 parts dried thyme
- 2 parts dried basil
- 2 parts dried savory
- 1 part fennel pollen
- 1 part lavender