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School Garden Education
Poster: Promoting health & nutrition through school garden education
Click on the image to the left to view and/or download the poster.
Health Benefits of Pulses
Pulses in the diet can reduce risks of heart disease and diabetes, yet remain an underutilized food in the U.S. Garden-based nutrition and biology education can be an effective tool for teaching K-12 students healthy eating habits which will likely be carried into adulthood.
What is a Pulse
Pulse crops are in the legume family, Fabaceae, and consist of plants that fix (absorb) atmospheric nitrogen through roots in the soil, are high in protein, and bear seeds in pods. Pulses include dry beans, dry peas, garbanzos (chickpeas), and lentils. The name pulse comes from the Latin word, pulse, meaning a thick soup.
School Garden-Based Education Program
Our goal is to share school garden-based education to increase pulse consumption. We have developed a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)-based curriculum for 4th graders that follow the Next Generation Science Standards. Lessons include planting, harvesting, and threshing dry beans in the school garden as well as hands-on activities with beans in the classroom. This curriculum will work well for any pulse crop that is to be planted in your school garden. In northwest Washington, dry beans are the crop that grows best and so are used in this curriculum.
Download the Curriculum
Growing Dry Beans
Dry beans are an easy crop to grow in the garden and are a healthy food choice. Our publication Growing Dry Beans in the Home Garden provides planting guidelines, common disease and insect pests in Washington, and harvest and storage tips.
Cooking With Pulses
Demonstration of Pulse Cooking
Learn how to make two recipes (Bean Dip and Midnight Black Bean Cake) using pulses. One savory and one sweet dish made with black beans.
Black Bean Bars are a dense, gluten free dessert bar made with brown sugar and butter.
Bean Dip is a simple, healthy dip for vegetables or spread for quesadillas.
Midnight Black Bean Cake is a dessert made with black beans and flour, topped with coconut and honey frosting.
Growing Dry Beans in Home Gardens. WSU Extension publication FS135E. 7 pages. Published May 2014.