Meadowbank’s gardening teacher is involved with the ‘For the Love of Bees’ (which us folk at The True Honey Co. are proud to support) project and the School is doing all it can to make its grounds and surrounding community a sanctuary for bees.
September’s Garden to Table classes focused on awareness of bees and other pollinators, with the creation of a new Pollinator Garden beside the School’s Butterfly Meadow. The Garden’s wildflowers will soon be attracting pollinator insects, which will in turn get busy (and buzzy) pollinating cucumbers, pumpkins, peas, beans, tomatoes, strawberries and a new apple tree donated by T and G Global.
The Garden has not only been decked out for honeybees either – there’s also a bee hotel for solitary and wild bees tucked in a quiet corner. Despite Auckland’s gloomy spring weather, there is plenty of activity in the garden, with bright spring bulbs blooming and other flowers growing, so the bees have plenty of reasons to visit.
Packs of sunflower seeds are going home with all pupils to grow over the holidays as a food source for bees and simply for their very cheerful sunshiny blooms. The kids hope to harvest the seeds later in the year to use in the School’s kitchen as a nut alternative.
Classes have even been getting crafty making beeswax candles, as well as sharing and researching bee facts to create a display in the Pollinator Garden. Resident cooking specialist Kate has been incorporating The True Honey Co. special multi floral honey into recipes for the classes to try out, like this lovely light and fragrant recipe for Lemon Balm Tea.
Garden To Table Recipe: Lemon Balm Tea
(Grown up volunteers helped the kids with straining the tea into teapots and demonstrating the safe way to pour the tea into the teacups.)
Kitchen things needed
- Large saucepan and lid
- Teapots or large jug
- Chopping boards and knives
- Lemon juicer
- 1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped
- 1 cup lemon balm leaves, tightly packed. (Tip: squeeze the leaves gently to release their fragrant oils)
- 3 Kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 litre water
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Good quality multi floral honey
- Bring water to the boil, add all of the herb leaves, bring back to the boil then turn off the heat.
- Let the tea steep for at least 15 minutes, the longer the better.
- Add the lemon juice and sweeten to taste with the honey.
- Strain to serve. This would also make a delicious iced tea.
Take a look at Meadowbank School’s Garden to Table programme