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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Garden Kitchen Lab – St. John’s on BRIC TV

We are very proud Garden Kitchen Lab was featured on BRIC TV’s Brooklyn Stories. This local initiative is now offered at Red Hook Recreation Center, Sunset Park Recreation Center and McCarren Playground Recreation Center. This is just the beginning of what Garden Kitchen Lab has to contribute to the communities and NYC Parks, stay tuned!

Special thanks to St. John’s Recreation Center Management, especially to Andrea Williams who runs a super tight ship with the after the school-drop-in program at St. John’s. Her dedication and passion for the well being of these children are inspiring.


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Beet Bop A Lula

The children harvested their own beets and used them to make a banana-blueberry-beet smoothie. This has been a popular recipe for a few years now, and we will be introducing other flavor smoothies in the future! Dianne Bliffeld, a new Board of Education volunteer, did an excellent job leading this class.

   

 


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Broccoli Bonanza at Garden Kitchen Lab-St. John’s!

We had almost 30 pounds of harvested broccoli this year! The children learned how to collect and prepare steamed broccoli during this class. Here are a very proud group of children on that day.

                         


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Garden Kitchen Lab & NYC Parks Urban Rangers

The St. John’s and Sunset Park Recreation children visited Salt Marsh this spring. The Salt Marsh Nature Center serves several vital roles in our communities, leading to wildlife education, environmental studies, and recreational activities. Garden Kitchen Lab partnered with the Urban Parks Rangers in teaching our children how to forage local wild edible plants and prepare a medicinal plant-based oil in situ. Ranger Judith Velosky coordinated the trip, and Ranger Andrew Brownjohn taught the medicinal properties of Juniper seeds, Bay leaves, Rose petals, and Mugwort. His knowledge and experience not only of the Salt Marsh location but of plants, in general, was awe-inspiring. The children were in awe to know all the plants they had seen, but not pay attention to before had medicinal value. This was the first time Garden Kitchen Lab tested this lesson, and it went so well we will be bringing the children to foraging again!

                         


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Garden Kitchen Lab 2017 Brooklyn Expansion!

Garden Kitchen Lab is proud to announce its Brooklyn expansion to three additional sites! Red Hook Recreation Center, Sunset Park Recreation Center and McCarren Playground Center.

This expansion was made possible NYC Parks: Emily Chase, Commissioner for Urban Parks Service and Public Programs; Kendra Van Horn, Director of Programming and Strategic Planning for Recreation; Ed Feldman, Chief of Fiscal Management and Resources; Marty Maher, Brooklyn Borough Commissioner; Eileen Dalton, Brooklyn Borough Chief; Ana Maria Campos, Director of Computer Resource Centers; Marlaina Headley, Deputy Director Computer Resource Centers and Ezra Wolkenfeld, Computer Resource Centers Analyst. Thank you very much, everyone! We hope these food gardens initiative will raise the living standards of our local communities and help them take ownership of their own nutrition.