Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Seedlings for the Children's Garden growing in the greenhouse
Sneak peek! Children's Garden seedlings in BBG's propagation area.  Photo by Patrick Austin
Children’s Garden from Home
seedlings growing on a windowsill
seedlings in a pot
close up of kale and chard seedlings in a pot
Chard, kale and greens growing in a pot
Photos by Emily Carter
Hello again Children’s Garden friends, 

How are your seed experiments looking? Did any of your seeds germinate (sprout)? It usually takes seeds about seven days to sprout, so if you’re still waiting, try to be patient. Emily has Swiss chard and kale growing on her balcony! Can you look closely and see the tiny new leaves starting to pop up at the center of the kale plant? Can you see the cotyledon (embryonic) leaves that flop to the sides and have a different shape?

This week we have a new video lesson, a tasty carrot cookie recipe, and an experiment for growing carrot tops. 
Video Lesson: Growing
(Ages 2-6, 30 minutes)
Screen shot of video lesson by Emily and Ashley
Growing lesson by Emily Carter and Ashley Gagñay
In this week's video lesson, Emily and Ashley check on the seedlings they planted last week, mash up some homemade hummus (grab a can of chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, cumin, lemon, and salt and pepper if you want to follow along), set up their carrot top experiment, and dress up a special guest as a plant! 

We also give special shout outs to some of our garden friends in the welcome song. If your child would like a shout out in a future video, just reply to this email with their name.
Let’s Cook: Carrot Cookies
(All ages with adult supervision, 1 hour)
ingredients for carrot cookies (sugar, flour, egg, etc.)
grating a carrot
grating orange zest
finished carrot cookies on a plate with a cup of tea
Photos by Ellen McCarthy
These light and fluffy cookies taste like little carrot muffins and are fun to make with the kids. You probably have the necessary ingredients in your kitchen right now. Save about ¾" of your carrot tops for the next activity. Enjoy with a cup of warm tea! 
1 cup butter  
1 cup sugar (or ½ cup agave and a little more flour)  
2 tablespoons orange zest  
1 egg  
1 ¼ cups grated carrots, saving the top stub for an experiment  
2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour  
2 teaspoons baking powder  
A pinch of salt (if using salted butter, omit the salt)  
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon  
Preheat oven to 375°F. Finely shred the carrots and orange zest with a grater. Measure out the rest of your ingredients and set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and orange zest. Note: Don’t throw away the tops of your carrots! We will use them below in an experiment.  

In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add to butter mixture with grated carrots. Mix to form dough. Drop by the teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Cookies will spread slightly so leave room. Bake for about 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Loosen cookies with a spatula and cool on a rack. Makes 36 cookies.
Let's Experiment: Growing Carrot Tops
(All ages, 30 minutes) 
cutting top off a carrot
carrot top in water in a small glass container
carrot top in a glass container growing on windowsill
carrot top in a glass of water suspended by toothpicks
 Photos by Ellen McCarthy
Knife, cutting board, carrot, water, glass, toothpicks (not required) 
Growing carrot tops is an easy experiment. It takes no special equipment and you’ll see leafy, green results in a few days. This experiment is best done after you’ve used the root part of the carrot for a recipe (like our carrot cookies above) and just have the leftover scraps! 
Cut off the top of a carrot (¾” or so). Place it in a shallow dish of water. If you want to adapt the experiment, stick a toothpick into three or four sides of the carrot stump and balance it on top of a glass. Fill the glass with water up to the bottom edge of the stump. Set the glass in a light-filled window (but not direct sun). Add water to keep it touching the edge and see what happens to the carrot. Track any changes in your garden journal! We’ll include a recipe in next week’s email to make a delicious treat from the carrot leaves you grow. 

You can experiment with other vegetables from your kitchen as well! This PBS video shows a few other veggies you can experiment with to regrow food from your scraps.  
We’ve been spending our days imagining what the Children’s Garden will look like once we’re back to work! We can imagine carrot tops popping out of the ground, just like they will be growing from your experiments at home. We think of tiny sprouts pushing through the compost, just like your seed necklaces and egg carton plantings are starting to do. And we can imagine the taste of the delicious garden recipes we will be eating, just like you are munching on your carrot cookies! Soon enough we will be back at it, but until then, feel free to share some of your work with us through pictures or emails. Until we talk again, stay healthy and positive!  
Emily, Ellen, and Greta
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