Garden School Foundation works to create curriculum in a garden classroom setting for underserved public schools. What’s not to love? Here at their satellite school, 24th Street Elementary, which is a converted one acre parking lot, I lose myself in the whimsy and charm of nature. Imagine the wonder of a child stepping inside this urban oasis for the first time!
Everywhere you look is photogenic. Remember the beautiful dinner (see it here) we hosted in this garden last year? Well this time around the teachers of this program asked our chef Matt to teach them how to properly handle a knife so that they can pass on this valuable life skill to their students.
Matt used vegetables from the garden for everyone to practice on. He demonstrated how you can peel long, thin slices of a squash or use your less dominant hand to form a “bear claw” to grip what you are cutting and protect your fingers as you slice with a knife. Less appropriate for young children, but a great tool for adults, is the Chinese mandolin which renders the most consistently thin slices.
When squash is sliced this thin, it is palatable to eat raw, but you can take it a step further by making it malleable by drenching it in salt and letting it marinate to release it’s natural liquids. Once it’s flexible, rinse it in cold water and tap dry with a towel.
Here a collard green leaf is used to make a “wrap” which is tied with a long strip of zucchini. The filling can be just about anything. So cute, especially for kids who you can trick into eating healthy by encouraging their little hands to make this art project with you.
Or you can make a pasta dish, using the zucchini “noodles” as your base and then add other garden goodies along with some chopped nuts, herbs, and cheese for a really nice lunch. For the recipe, click here.
Teachers are heroes! Often a thankless job, we want to give major applause to these ladies who give much more than what is asked of them. Our children, and therefore our future is largely influenced by public school teachers. When the opportunity arises, go out of your way to show gratitude for their work. It’s critical we keep qualified and caring teachers motivated to continue in their valuable profession.
Photos: Yolk & Flour