Garden Kitchen Lab

The Garden Kitchen Lab is a backyard-to-table STEAM educational program for underserved communities. Our mission is to give youth access to healthy and locally grown food through starting and sustaining food-producing gardens. This hands-on multi-disciplinary program puts the power in the hands of community children, so they understand the link between food production and the environment, and take ownership of their health.


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Fruits, Veggies & STEAM

The kids learned to connect vegetables and fruits to Makey Makey devices and use them as touch-pads. Red and green apples became video game controllers and clickers to code with Scratch. Carrots, celery, and potatoes were used to play the piano and the drums. The children created their own connection to Earth by crafting aluminum bracelets and attaching them to alligator clips to make everything work.

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“I smelled peppermint leaves and tomatoes, it was fun.”

“In gardening class, we made pesto sauce, beet-berries-banana smoothie, steamed broccoli, quinoa salad, radish avocado toast, and tabouleh. We collect vegetables from the garden, then we went upstairs to cut the vegetables like radish and cucumbers.”

“I liked the beet banana smoothie because, to me, it tasted like a strawberry smoothie. I loved the quinoa salad! The first bite I took already made me want more. The pesto pasta tasted good because it tasted like regular pasta except it had green pesto sauce.”

“I like to eat and make pesto sauce because you can cut vegetables, and then Ms.Fabiola blends it with oil, salt, and we mixed it with the pasta.” Next, we make a beet-banana smoothie. We cut the beets and peel the banana, Ms. Fabiola blended the beet, and it was so good!!!”

“I learned about a different type of foods and smells of plants like chocolate mint and more. We also used the plants from the garden, for example, basil. And we also ate the food that we made.”

“I liked how when we found food in the garden, and we got to prepare tasty food, and we got to eat it. In the garden, there were bees in their habitat feeding off of flowers and caterpillars on the leaves.”

“I learned about making pesto sauce and growing tomatoes. Then we have tasted peppermint. We tasted an onion plant. We tasted chocolate mint. We tasted basil.”

“I love the pesto sauce and the beets smoothie!!!”

“I liked it when we cut the plants and cooked, then we got to eat them. Then we wrote about what we made in the garden and the kitchen.”

“I learned that we can make new different food to eat. We pick plants from the garden and cook in the kitchen. We loved cooking.”

“I learned how to work together like with other people.”

“What I liked is the gardening class is the beet banana shake and the chocolate mint, and I like being in charge of the kitchen.”

 


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Tabouleh.

You pay attention to what the garden is giving that day or week, and you plan ahead. Garden Kitchen Lab teaches how to grow food, and how to eat healthily, but it also exposes children to new flavors and smells. It educates the kids’ palates and encourages them to explore through their senses. Tabouleh or Tabouli is a refreshing, delicious, and easy to make a salad, and these community children loved being able to prepare it from scratch! As always, all the cups to eat are made of paper and utensils of bamboo. Everything that the Garden Kitchen Lab uses and discards is 100% compostable.

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Radish Pink Stars!

A very simple to make a snack: a radish-avocado toast! The kids harvested some of the radishes from the garden, brought them to the kitchen to wash and cut them in thin slices. Then they opened up the avocados and smashed them with olive oil and a bit of salt. They toasted the multi-grain bread and cut the crust off and spread the avocado on top and garnished it with a couple of radish slices on top. A bit more of olive oil and salt and they were ready to eat. Students enjoyed this snack very much and were surprised to like the pungent radish flavor. Radishes are a perfect snack for the summer with its cooling effect. They are natural cleansers for the digestive system, low in calories yet high in nutrients, and keeps the body hydrated.

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