An effective phrase for teaching nutrition to children is “eat a rainbow!” The simple idea is that eating fruits and veggies of all different colors builds a healthy diet. We made this a theme on Food Day 2015, and I want to keep building upon it.
Sage Garden has provided us with their notebook of recipes which includes a different color smoothie for each grade. I pulled all of the different colors and am doing “Drink a rainbow!” workshops for my after school students.
I began by setting up the Sage Garden cooking cart with all of the equipment and ingredients laid out and the recipe written on the whiteboard.
Then I gave each pair of students a stack of laminated fruit and vegetable cards produced by the California Department of Education. The students sorted the fruits and veggies into two piles: orange/yellow and other. We talked about all the orange and yellow examples we found.
Students came up one by one for the various jobs: juicing the oranges, peeling the bananas, pressing the limes, adding the strawberries, measuring out the yogurt.
The next week we did purple smoothies, and this week we will blend up red ones. As you can imagine, it’s a very popular class!
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that this year we are working in partnership with the Sage Garden Project who has generously gifted us with funds for a garden educator position, access to their curriculum and a scholarship to the Edible Schoolyard Academy this past summer. (Scroll down to read five posts about that magical experience.) We were thrilled to welcome them to campus two weeks ago for the first time. Garden Ambassadors made this poster for them.
Garden Ambassadors greeted Program Director Dawn Mayeda and Garden Instructor Karen Saake at the front of the school with an apple pie—our local dessert! Then we spent the morning giving them a tour, introducing them around school and receiving items included in the Sage Garden award….
A huge treat that comes with the grant package is a fully equipped cart which can be wheeled around campus for cooking demos. Unpacking all of the items that go in it was like Christmas morning. Here I’ve displayed it all in one place. Notice the mirror flips around to be a white board. Feel free to drool.
Also included in our box of garden treats were beautiful posters and banners which we promptly hung in the garden room and the garden.
Julian Elementary is very proud to be an recipient of a Sage Garden Project grant. Thank you to everyone involved for helping to grow our garden program!
Today we started our series of one-hour garden/cooking lessons with our upper grades, adapted from the curriculum from the Sage Garden Project.
It went like this:
10 minutes in the classroom to discuss the theme of “seasonality” and how vegetables can be classified as warm season or cool season. We also ran through glove protocol, hand washing reminders and stern words about consequences for misusing a tool. (I like to set a firm precedent.)
Then to the garden for two 20 minute stations. I took one group to the outdoor kitchen to cook a warm season dish (ratatouille), and the classroom teacher and parent volunteers led their half of the class in preparing raised beds for our late September planting of cool season vegetables.
Then we tasted the ratatouille on baguette slices from a local bakery, the Candied Apple. I also sent home a letter to each family with the recipe and gardening tips for winter gardens. Enough words—look at what fun we had!
Best comment of the day:
“Mrs. Elisara—I hate tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and peppers but I LOVE ratatouille!”
The Julian Elementary Garden is pleasedexcitedthrilled beyond ecstatic to announce that we were recently awarded a Sage Garden Project Grant. It’s a bit dreamy. Listen to what we receive from this lovely foundation:
-Funding for my garden educator position for next year
-A fully equipped cooking cart that can be wheeled into the classroom for demonstrations
-Access to all of their garden and cooking lessons
-Tuition and expenses at the Edible Schoolyard Academy—an comprehensive, 5-day academy built around the program at King Middle School. King has an extraordinary garden, kitchen and cooking program fully integrated into their 6th, 7th and 8th grade humanities classes. It was founded by Alice Waters, the owner of a French restaurant in Berkeley (Chez Panisse) and an internationally known speaker, writer on food and justice and all-around rockstar.
The academy took place last week in Berkeley, and it worked perfectly for me to attend. Summers ago, my family had made a stop at this famous school garden and kitchen to look around. The kitchen was locked but I snapped photos which are catalogued on this blog under the “children’s garden ideas” tab. This time I spent five days learning, often experientially, about their garden, kitchen, cooking classes, dining commons, and school lunch. It was completely amazing. So amazing that I’ll be posting about it in a series of posts throughout the summer. For now, back to Sage. None of this would have been possible without them, and our district is profoundly grateful for their support. Another thing we “won” with this grant: inclusion in this cool cohort of grant recipients. I look forward to learning from them in the year to come. Sage Garden Project Grant Cohort at the Edible Schoolyard