Friday, July 31, 2009

Fishing on the Chesapeake!!!!

Some of the BUGS students had the unique opportunity to go fishing on Thursday, 7/30. We arrived at the Frederick Douglass/Isaac Meyers Maritime Park in Fells Point to be on our way.
With our lunches and water bottles in tow, we boarded the boat of Captain Ken and his crew, Sellfish Charters. The kids were able to get themselves acclimated to the boat very quickly. Luckily, for them, they have been on many boat trips in the Inner Harbor and tend to be old fogies at sailing.
It was going to take an hour and a half to get to our destination, Swan Point. As we sailed to the destination, April, one of the crew members, pointed out to the kids the different kinds of ships and historical places along the route. They saw a hospital ship for emergencies out at sea, the roll out ships that transport cars and other bulky vehicles across the waterways, and the fire ship. Just before we passed under the Key Bridge, there was a red, white, and blue buoy. This was an indicator to let people know where Francis Scott Key's boat sank. As we passed under the Key Bridge, one of the students pointed out these two big apparatuses that had black bumpers which sat on either side of the one of two main legs of the bridge. April stated that they were used for ships that may be heading to the main legs and would divert them from hitting the legs. Seeing the perplexed look on the student's face, I stated, "They're bumpers for the bridge! Who knew bridges needed bumpers, too!"
Continuing onward the kids got to meet Drew. Drew is the son of Captain Ken. Drew was cutting a fish, preparing it as bait for the Rockfish we had to catch. There are so many amazing aspects to Drew. Drew is 9 yrs old. The same age as many of our students. He knew how to gut a fish, cut it up for bait, and, most amazingly, drive a 25 foot boat. Not bad for a 9 yr old!!
We were part of a program to help develop interest in fishing. We had to tag Rockfish. If you were able to catch a Rockfish and tag it, you would win a prize and then have your name entered into a lottery for a large cash prize. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong!! The Rockfish had to be 18 inches or bigger. We sat bobbing on the water, initially, getting all of the bait eaten off of the hook but then we all got the hang of it. The fish starting biting!! But they were all two small. Jerwon was able to come the closest with a 16 inch Rockfish. Many of the kids caught small Rockfish. All of the students were excited when they were able to catch something and bring it in. Once the fish were caught and didn't meet the legal size, it was tossed back into the Chesapeake Bay along with any other fish we caught.
In between catching Rockfish, we caught Blue Fish. This fish had teeth that could bite through a finger. When the first one was caught, you could hear, "Don't touch it!" Captain Ken explained why and then showed all of us the teeth.
He tossed it into the cooler. The Blue Fish was the only fish we kept. It was later cut up into filets and given to the kids. Along with Blue Fish, we caught Toad fish that you could actually hear croak.
The one thing that gave us a real tug of war was the Cownose ray. Three of the kids caught these rays. Jeremiah was the first to get a ray. Later on, William caught two that were actually mating. Lastly, Quante was able to catch one. His came the closest to the boat.
This ray gave Quante a real workout. The ray would swim away then Quante would reel him back in. Quante did this a few times until he was able to get the ray close to the boat. All the kids and I wanted Captain Ken to get the ray in the boat but that didn't happen. Safety first!!! After the final tug of war with the ray, Quante stated, "That ray gave my arms a real workout!" The other fishers teased him about all of the sweat he had dripping from his forehead from his duel with the Cownose ray. We then headed back to the dock.

As we headed back, the kids talked and reminisced about the good time they had while a couple of other students went off to sleep on the long ride back to the dock.

We arrived back at the dock!! Happy to have had a great time together!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Puppet Show

This past Wednesday we had our first Puppet Show at the local library.
Mr. Algernon created the script and directed. In art class we created
everything from the set to the puppets. We had a really good time and
were glad to see family and friends in the audience for the performance.
Were planning on making this a full out play for the fall.
(Report by Ms.Rachel)
P.S- The video will shift back vertically after a minute.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The BUGS Grub: cooking experiment experiences

These are fried green tomatoes as they are cooking. 

These are also our fried green tomoatoes. 

She is taking the green tomato and dipping it in the cornmeal. 

Before she dipped it in the cornmeal, she had to dip it in the egg batter. 

These are our beautiful green tomatoes that we harvested from our garden. 

This is zucchini and summer squash mixed for a sauce for our fried green tomatoes. 

In this picture, we are cutting squash, tomatoes, peppers, and garlic for our sauce. 

On a different day, we made peach salsa! 

Pepper, garlic, tomato, and peaches. 

We are frying peaches for a sauce for zucchini bread. 

These are peaches from the farmers market. These peaches are the sweetest peaches ever. 

This is our zucchini bread that we made last week. When it was done, we tasted it and it was good. 

The zucchini bread going into the oven. 

The is the batter of the zucchini bread which has all the ingredients. The ingredients we used included: zucchini (from the garden), flour, eggs, baking powder, and cinnamon.

This is our bruschetta. It tasted like toe-may-taaas. 

We put the tomatoes, peppers, garlic mixture on the bread. 

This is our bruschetta mix before we put it on our bread. 

(Report by Kerron Webb, De'Asia Edwards, Taleyah Little)

Monday, July 20, 2009

BUGS at the Hamilton Farmers Market

This year the BUGS Program has been able to harvest enough from it's humble garden plot in Fells Point to take on many new cooking experiments as well as take excess produce to TWO farmers markets; Harbor East and Hamilton. 

Before the Hamilton farmers market some students harvested different kinds of vegetables and herbs; like squash, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, greens (collards, chard, and kale), and herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme, and chives). It was hot that day. We took many breaks, but we got it all done in a short amount of time, working together. Harvesting carrots was the hardest. 
At the market we sold sage dip, pickles, salad dressing, sauerkraut, gardening guides and cookbooks. 
At the market we gave out samples of pickles. There was another salesperson who sold pickles too. I, Aijha, went over to her station and we had a pickle-off. She said ours were good and her pickles were a little sour but also good. Towards the end we sold one giant zucchini. The lady next door to us selling handbags loved our sage dip. The farmers market had many stands where you could buy food; kebabs, ice cream, pork sandwiches, burritos, cookies, plants, vegetables and fruits. There was a band that played steel drums. 
For us to harvest our plants on the same day that we took them to market was a great experience. Our plants were very fresh. Now we can plant new vegetables where some of the old plants were. 
(Report by Ms. Melissa, Sohari Davis, Aijha Pack, Taylor Bennett). 

Garlic Harvest!

 Last week we harvested our garlic crop from the garden. We used a shovel. We put the shovel close to the garlic, deep in the ground then rose it up to loosen the soil around the garlic. While one student was digging up each garlic bulb another student was picking it up and shaking the dirt off. The garlic is now hanging up in the kitchen to cure. 
In addition to being bad for your breath, garlic is actually very good for your immune system. Garlic is originally from Asia. If you grow garlic you have to make sure you plant it in the fall. It grows through winter and it comes up in spring. 
Garlic brings flavor out in your food. With garlic you can make many kinds of dishes. For example, bruchetta (which we did with Mr. Drew), salsa, pizza sauce, pastas, pickles, salad dressing, and stir-fries. (Reported by Sohari Davis, Aijha Pack, and Taylor Bennett). 

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Day at Patapsco Park

On Thursday, July 16th, we took our students on a field trip to Patapsco Park. They had the wonderful and unique experience of hiking among one of its trails. It was a downhill, uphill, winding, and narrow trail. As we descended down the trail, we came across a small stream that was banked with rocks. We allowed the students to walk across the rocks among the stream. They were very excited and liked the experience.

"This is such a unique experience!"

"The other group is so loud. If they were quiet, they could really enjoy what's around."

"Mr. Al, this is so much fun!"

These were some of the comments made by some of the students in my group.

As we traveled down the stream, it flowed under a tunnel. After the initial apprehension, they headed right through the tunnel particularly after they saw it was a short tunnel and they could see the other side.

We crossed a small bridge and then made our way to the larger and wider part of the stream. The kids stood in the water, learn to skip rocks, climbed across rocks to stand in the middle of the stream, and loved the coolness of the water.

After enjoying the view of the water and it's beauty, we headed back. My small group of students and I retraced our steps heading right back to the bridge. As we approached the bridge, I was asked if they could walk under it. I allowed them. As one student made her way across, she stepped gingerly and then... SPLASH!!! Right into the water!!! As the others tried to help her, they all eventually fell into the water!! I stood on the rocks...laughing and dry!!! Eventually and very quickly, they made their way out of the water and under the bridge. We walked back. I laughed even more!!!

"Mr. Al, that wasn't funny!!!

"Why would you laugh at us?"

Well, I stated rather plainly...

"Because it funny watching you all fall into the water!! And you know if that had happened to me, you all would have laughed at me!"

They walked back to the playground laughing and thankful that they had so much fun!!

"Mr. Al, that was so much fun!! Thanks!!"

That's the importance of what we do! We, all of the teachers, make what they learn and do fun!!
We create tools for becoming better students, having brighter futures, and making lasting memories!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Patriotic Potatoes

Harvesting potatoes is in the middle between hard and easy. Because you have to scape them off, have a bucket to put the potatoes in, and a place to put the compost. You have to have a pitchfork. You put the pitchfork in the ground, but not too close to the potatoes because you could stab them.
There are different types of potatoes. We grew regular potatoes, blue potatoes, and red potatoes. Later we cooked them in boiling water and mashed them up. Then we put cream and milk and butter and food coloring. And then we made flags on our plates for the 4th of July.
You can make potatoes baked, fried, mashed, boiled, chopped, sliced. (Report from Kenard Dansbury.)

From cabbage to sauerkraut

We were harvesting the cabbage from the BUGS garden and Mr. Drew the cooking teacher decided to make sauerkraut. So we had to cut up the cabbage. Then we had to put the cabbage in a food processor. We put sea salt in a bowl with the cabbage and then we had to squish the cabbage until the water was over the cabbage level. After that we put it in a jar and mash it down. THEN we had to put water in a bag which we put on top of the cabbage to be a weight. Now it is fermenting! (Report from Jerwon, Willis, Daquan.)