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Kale Pesto

Pesto Recipe

Last week, November 10th, AIM students worked with Grow It, Know It (GIKI) from the University of Georgia to learn about brassica plants and soil textures for growing these brassica plants.

Brassica plants are part of the mustard family and are plants such as kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and kohlrabi. Students learned that many of these plants are cold-hardy, which means they can grow through cooler months, especially in the southern United States. 

Students also learned about soil texture. Mr. Daggett and Mr. Wick (GIKI) led the students to complete soil smudges using compost, soil from our raised beds, exposed red clay, and dirt from a shaded area with leaf covered soil. Students compared and contrasted the soil textures and hypothesized how well items would grow in the soils and why they thought this. The groups discussed the best places for people to plant their crops for the best yield. 

To bring this all together, students were able to participate in a taste-test while watching a demo of how to make a brassica based pesto. Mrs. Bailey and Ms. Rachel (GIKI) demoed how to make a quick (and yummy) pesto using kale and sunflower seeds. Students were able to taste the pesto with a little bit of sourdough bread. Students were provided with the recipe and nutritional facts about incorporating kale into their diets.

The next day, we received an email from a parent about their child's experience. "Maisy came home yesterday and exclaimed she loves CFIT and we need to make kale pesto. So we went out to the grocery store and got the ingredients. We did indeed make pesto. Thank you all for everything you do!" 

Maisy making kale pesto!

Kale Pesto Recipe:


  • 2 cups chopped kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (we used sunflower seeds)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper
  • grated parmesean cheese


  • Pulse the walnuts (sunflower seeds) and garlic in a food processor.
  • Add the kale and pulse again
  • While the blade is running, drizzle in the olive oil and scrape the sides. Add more oil an pulse again for a smoother pesto
  • Season and add parmesean cheese to taste


(If you and your family try this out, please share with us!)