"Big Bad Basil" Project

Summary

Students will explore the world of gardening and learn how a greenhouse functions in order to extend the growing season. They will be able to grow their own basil, analyze existing recipes using this ingredient, and use this information to create their own recipes. Students will investigate and understand basic basil anatomy. They will make distinctions between the different ingredients needed to make a salad dressing based on observations.

Impact

The fourth grade students in this expedition explored these issues:

  1. How does a community garden impact the community?
  2. What are the differences between store-bought products and locally grown and harvested products?

These two goals reinforce the existing Campbell Outdoor Classroom/EL Education programs, as well as existing farm-to-table outreach. This project is designed to grow this impact beyond Campbell's walls by providing fresh basil and the Big Bad Basil vinaigrette to Kenmore Middle School and Carlin Springs Elementary.

Academically, the impact includes reinforcing Science skills such as scientific investigation, reasoning, and logic via explorations of plant life cycle. Language Arts are reinforced with comprehension of non-fiction texts, writing cohesively, persuasive writing, and media analysis. This expedition also brings the Art department into play as the students create marketing materials (posters and labels) for their vinaigrette.  

Watch students transplant basil on Periscope (click image to view):

basil periscope

Criteria

Promotes Sustainability

This farm-to-table project promotes sustainability throughout its life cycle. An Arlington Public Schools food services employee offered some extra basil seeds to Campbell's Outdoor Classroom coordinator, and the idea for this expedition sprang to life: take the donated seeds, grow them in our organic garden beds, make vinaigrette, and donate the vinaigrette back to other Arlington schools. This full-circle sustainability and community growth will spark interest in farm-to-table projects and healthy eating in other schools, the very definition of sustainability.

Behavior Modification

summer-rolls-in-the-garden-campbellaps-apslunchrocks-morningsnack-schoolgarden-httpst-co6oda2q2cxi

Students enjoy a fresh-picked morning snack of vegetables from the Campbell garden.

The impact of gardening and cooking with children has been well documented (see Supporting Data section below), and Campbell's well-established school gardens and classroom cooking has borne out this fact. When children grow and cook healthy food, they are more likely to expand their palate and become more adventurous eaters.

Well Established, Gaining Participation, or Leading to New Initiatives

The garden and cooking farm-to-table program has a long history at Campbell Elementary. This Big Bad Basil project is not noteworthy simply because it is getting our kids out in the dirt to grow food and cook—we've been doing that for years. Big Bad Basil is noteworthy because it expands our existing farm-to-table projects beyond Campbell itself. New for this project is a fieldwork visit to the Academie de Cuisine, a virtual FaceTime field trip to the Sea Love Sea Salt farm, formal recipe development yielding a recipe to be used by the APS district food services, and donating a prepared and bottled product to other Arlington schools to spread interest in sustainable farm-to-table school projects.

Expedition (Lesson) Plan Summary: the plan includes reinforcing Science skills such as scientific investigation, reasoning, and logic via explorations of plant life cycle. Language Arts are reinforced with comprehension of non-fiction texts, writing cohesively, persuasive writing, and media analysis. This expedition also brings the Art department into play as the students create marketing materials (posters and labels) for their vinaigrette.  (The full Expedition Lesson Plan is not yet available to general public as the expedition is still in progress. Please see sections below.)

A section from the Expedition (Lesson) Plan covering the impact and service learning components, as well as tie-in to existing Campbell greenhouse project.

Learning Science

Lesson Plan, Science: students learn about the life cycle of basil and how to optimize its growth

A section of the Expedition (Lesson) Plan showing a media analysis/Language Arts/Art component of the project.

 

Growing Your Own Food

 
Salt Farm FaceTime Field Trip

 

Supporting Data for Quantitative Impact

This expedition is still under way, so we do not have final results for quantitative impact yet.

Expected local impact:

  • All Campbell fourth graders will take part in this expedition.
  • All students at Campbell will have the opportunity to enjoy the end product: bottled Big Bad Basil vinaigrette.
  • Kenmore and Carlin Springs will receive bottled Big Bad Basil vinaigrette to serve to their students.
  • Bottles of Big Bad Basil vinaigrette will be donated to Campbell's Wetlands Festival Silent Auction to raise money to support the wetlands and outdoor classroom.

Documented impact of farm-to-table projects on children:

Experts agree that gardening and cooking healthy food has a positive impact on children's health, eating habits, and enjoyment of food and outdoor spaces. Here are some articles summarizing this research:

Healthy Eaters, Strong Minds: What School Gardens Teach Kids (NPR)

Gardening with Kids: How It Affects Your Child's Brain, Body and Soul (PBS)

School-based gardens can teach kids healthier eating habits (University of California)

The Impact of Garden-Based Learning on Student Health and Nutrition (Life Lab Science Program)

Documenting the Schoolwide Big Bad Basil Expedition (2016-2017 School Year, ongoing)

(Find us on twitter at #bigbadbasil and @CampbellOutside as our project continues!)

Kicking off our #bigbadbasil #expedition! Grade 4. #ellearning @CampbellAPS @MsRoseTweets @ELeducation @cara_cassell

By @CampbellAPS | February 8, 2017

  Kicking off our #bigbadbasil #expedition! Grade 4. #ellearning @CampbellAPS @MsRoseTweets @ELeducation @cara_cassell https://t.co/fhhBUZ7PK2

Watering our newly planted basil seeds-outdoors! @CampbellAPS @MsRoseTweets #bigbadbasil #ELlearning @cara_cassell

By @CampbellAPS | February 8, 2017

  Watering our newly planted basil seeds-outdoors! @CampbellAPS @MsRoseTweets #bigbadbasil #ELlearning @cara_cassell https://t.co/P74HFGcNp5

Planting Basil

Kicking off our spring expedition during morning meeting by planting our own basil seeds! #BigBadBasil #BBB 🌱🌿…

By @CampbellAPS | February 10, 2017

Kicking off our spring expedition during morning meeting by planting our own basil seeds! #BigBadBasil #BBB 🌱🌿… https://t.co/vEPL0qGQk9

Growing Your Own Food

#morningmeeting before planting basil. Overheard, “I’m so excited I couldn’t sleep last night!” @CampbellAPS…

By @CampbellAPS | February 15, 2017

#morningmeeting before planting basil. Overheard, “I’m so excited I couldn’t sleep last night!” @CampbellAPS… https://t.co/WuzjF1g0GP

Starting #basil from seed for our #bigbadbasil #expedition @CampbellAPS @OConnor4_5 @ELeducation

By @CampbellAPS | February 15, 2017

  Starting #basil from seed for our #bigbadbasil #expedition @CampbellAPS @OConnor4_5 @ELeducation https://t.co/BuCOv5aVb9

Ms. Rose’s 4thGr calculate time lapse settings for basil plant growth @digitalAPS @CampbellAPS @APSInstruction

By @CampbellAPS | February 15, 2017

  Ms. Rose’s 4thGr calculate time lapse settings for basil plant growth @digitalAPS @CampbellAPS @APSInstruction https://t.co/2YeaSTObOx

Starting our basil from seeds with the intent to eat it! Feels so good! @cara_cassell @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS

By @CampbellAPS | February 15, 2017

  Starting our basil from seeds with the intent to eat it! Feels so good! @cara_cassell @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS https://t.co/UvSpr5Rc5a

Basil and Lima Beans

Growing basil, Lima beans, and a love of gardening for our spring expedition! #EL #BBB 🌿🌱❤@CampbellAPS…

By @CampbellAPS | February 16, 2017

Growing basil, Lima beans, and a love of gardening for our spring expedition! #EL #BBB 🌿🌱❤@CampbellAPS… https://t.co/Y7c7XPRMMb

@CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS Reading outdoors where we grow our food! #bigbadbasil @APSlunchrocks

By @CampbellAPS | February 17, 2017

  @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS Reading outdoors where we grow our food! #bigbadbasil @APSlunchrocks https://t.co/9WwtuLLzcz

Second Leaves

View is lovely from here. Second set of leaves! #bigbadbasil @CampbellAPS @OConnor4_5 @MsRoseTweets @davitt45…

By @CampbellAPS | February 22, 2017

View is lovely from here. Second set of leaves! #bigbadbasil @CampbellAPS @OConnor4_5 @MsRoseTweets @davitt45… https://t.co/K3sLztSdIe

Growing basil is a group effort, even Ms. Nesselrode is in on the action🍃@OConnor4_5 @davitt45 @MsRoseTweets

By @CampbellAPS | March 1, 2017

  Growing basil is a group effort, even Ms. Nesselrode is in on the action🍃@OConnor4_5 @davitt45 @MsRoseTweets https://t.co/b4Ry6twrqC

Basil Flowers

A flower on our basil plant? What does this mean for us? @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS @cara_cassell @APSlunchrocks…

By @CampbellAPS | March 2, 2017

A flower on our basil plant? What does this mean for us? @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS @cara_cassell @APSlunchrocks… https://t.co/BFzNwU8uLh

Transplanting Basil

Transplanting our basil that was planted on 12/5. My how it’s grown. Roots need more space! @CampbellOutside…

By @CampbellAPS | March 2, 2017

Transplanting our basil that was planted on 12/5. My how it’s grown. Roots need more space! @CampbellOutside… https://t.co/zB0ASiqElJ

Reviewing vinaigrette recipes. What sounds good? 👌 @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS @APSlunchrocks #bigbadbasil

By @CampbellAPS | March 6, 2017

  Reviewing vinaigrette recipes. What sounds good? 👌 @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS @APSlunchrocks #bigbadbasil https://t.co/SY22T5HZVO

Culinary School

4th grade Ss @CampbellAPS went to culinary school to learn how to prepare their #basil! @davitt45 @OConnor4_5…

By @CampbellAPS | March 6, 2017

4th grade Ss @CampbellAPS went to culinary school to learn how to prepare their #basil! @davitt45 @OConnor4_5… https://t.co/my5tjT4hC1

3 vinaigrettes

We made three basil vinaigrettes and then taste tested on our field trip! 👍🏼@CampbellOutside @MsRoseTweets…

By @CampbellAPS | March 7, 2017

We made three basil vinaigrettes and then taste tested on our field trip! 👍🏼@CampbellOutside @MsRoseTweets… https://t.co/WxZFRMs66M

very green basil batch

First batch of #verygreenbasil was created today! @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS @cheftomsays @APSlunchrocks…

By @CampbellAPS | March 10, 2017

First batch of #verygreenbasil was created today! @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS @cheftomsays @APSlunchrocks… https://t.co/i4hZQZcmNn

Research has started! @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS #bigbadbasil

By @CampbellAPS | March 21, 2017

  Research has started! @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS #bigbadbasil https://t.co/nPfXmeIjNI

Check out this abundance of basil ready to be harvested! This expedition is coming along nicely! #BBB…

By @CampbellAPS | March 28, 2017

Check out this abundance of basil ready to be harvested! This expedition is coming along nicely! #BBB… https://t.co/TfAF8CR6e8

Can you tell what we’re doing this afternoon? #bigbadbasil #verygreenbasil @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS…

By @CampbellAPS | March 29, 2017

Can you tell what we’re doing this afternoon? #bigbadbasil #verygreenbasil @CampbellOutside @CampbellAPS… https://t.co/c6gNzraXr0

Little tasting before morning meeting. Our fourth graders can tell you exactly what this is. @OConnor4_5…

By @CampbellAPS | March 31, 2017

Little tasting before morning meeting. Our fourth graders can tell you exactly what this is. @OConnor4_5… https://t.co/of51QtRWO3

@davitt45’s artists are graphic designers, advertisers, & package designers, marketing their #BigBadBasil vinaigret…

By @CampbellAPS | March 31, 2017

@davitt45’s artists are graphic designers, advertisers, & package designers, marketing their #BigBadBasil vinaigret… https://t.co/TlgOoeenA6

Salt Farm FaceTime Field Trip

FaceTime fieldtrip w/@sealoveseasalt Amazing! Only the best for our #bigbadbasil @CampbellAPS @OConnor4_5…

By @CampbellAPS | March 31, 2017

FaceTime fieldtrip w/@sealoveseasalt Amazing! Only the best for our #bigbadbasil @CampbellAPS @OConnor4_5… https://t.co/t8H8IehJes

basil periscope

Good start to our morning.

By @CampbellAPS | March 31, 2017

Good start to our morning. https://t.co/ecXJfLz5ef