By Francie Lin, GFN Writer-in-Residence I think everyone would rather forget the early pandemic days…
Throughout November and December, our Grow Food Kids team has been delivering their Kale Salad classroom cooking workshop at all of the Northampton elementary schools. We made kale salad in 32 classrooms in a few short weeks!
New this year, we are expanding into Easthampton thanks to funding from River Valley Coop who is set to open their Easthampton location in 2021. We also buy most of our produce from the Coop at no markup. River Valley Coop is excited about getting involved in the community of Easthampton and this a great example of that. This funding will allow us to visit every first grade classroom in the city once a month to prepare a new recipe each time. In the spring, these classes will all take a field trip to the Giving Garden for their final visit of the year. We are very excited to get to know all of the awesome first graders of Easthampton!
Each workshop begins with a grade-specific lesson about the parts of a plant. Younger grades talked about the root, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds of a plant and shared examples of food we eat and what part it comes from. Older students learned more about the parts of a leaf and the unique characteristics leaves can have.
After the lesson, a quick reminder to “not yuck anyone’s yum”, students began preparing the recipe of the day, Kale Apple Salad. Each student is responsible for preparing their own salad. This works well because they can massage the kale, chop the apples and carrots and add toppings like raisins to their own taste. In every classroom we hear talk of students planning to make this recipe at home for their families. We make this easy by giving each student a recipe card to take home. Next month we’ll be making the rounds making Apple Wraps.