In our Garden Kitchen Lab program, 8 to 13 years old, participate in preparing coconut almond bliss balls. The children learn about tropical fruits and nuts and how to make a healthy snack while having fun. This two-part class introduces children to the countries and the farmers who grow and harvest nuts around the globe, and the different kinds of pollination to grow the ingredients needed to make the recipe. Walnuts, almond paste, pistachios, coconut and sesame seeds are some of the ingredients used this coconut almond bliss ball recipe.
Students watched a short video about vanilla plant pollination and fair trade in Uganda. The vanilla flower is so small, a tiny vanilla-flower bee is the only insect that can pollinate it. To pollinate enough plants, and other vanilla products, the flowers have to be fertilized, by hand one by one! This delicate labor is fair trade, and Ugandan farmers can build their houses and be homeowners and send their children to college.