Garden Kitchen Lab

The Garden Kitchen Lab is a backyard-to-table educational program for underserved communities. Our mission is to give youth and their families 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 citizens, so they understand the link between food production, the environment and their health, and take ownership of their nutrition.


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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 a wonderful job leading this class.

   

 


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GROW Brooklyn Festival featured on BRIC TV

Earlier this year the Friends of Garden Kitchen Lab and Oxfam America Action Corps decided they wanted to share the philosophy and activities of the Garden Kitchen Lab with the broader community, so we set about to create a summer festival. NYC ParksCitizens Committee for New York City and the Seniors Group of the St. John’s Recreation Center joined forces with like-minded organizations in a fun-filled urban farming, culinary and technology festival to encourage young and old alike to embrace the garden-kitchen-lab movement at our first annual GROW Brooklyn Festival.

The GROW Brooklyn Festival showcased organizations who came together to bring greater awareness to the importance of healthy and locally grown food, as well as activities that encouraged children to explore technology, sustainability and environmental issues.

We also had the support of our local community leaders Brooklyn Council Member Robert Cornegy and Laurie Cumbo.

And BRIC TV, an award wining Brooklyn cable TV station invited the Friends of Garden Kitchen Lab to their studios to learn more about our work with the community the Garden Kitchen Lab program.

#urbangarden #food #technology #community #FriendsOfGardenKitchenLab #GardenKitchenLab #ComputerResourceCenters #CitizensCommitteeForNewYorkCity #NeighborhoodGrant #OxfamActionCorps #OxfamAmerica #SenatorJesseHamilton #GreenThumb #GlobalPartnersJunior #MayorsOfficeForInternationalAffairs #MaKeyMaKey #MITLabs #KatiesKrops #NewYorkRestorationProject #ImaniGarden #SacredWarrior #FriendsofBrowerPark #YouthFarm #JustFood #WestSideCampaignAgainstHunger #CrownHeightsFarmShare #596Acres #GothamGreens #NortheastBrooklynHousingDevelopmentCorporation

Please like the GROW Brooklyn Festival on Facebook!

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Winter Garden Kitchen Lab

Biologist and Natural Science educator Monica Franchy visits St. John’s and offers a one-day digital and culinary class.
Ms Franchy shows the children showed videos about how almonds grow from the perspective of a bee, the origins and nutritional benefits of the almonds, etc. and taught the kids how to make almond milk from scratch and prepare a blueberry smoothy.

The After school children filled a Q&A afterwards, so we could assess how much they did absorb from the lesson. This was a pop-up class and pilot for future Garden Kitchen Lab curriculum-building where we would like to have kids record what they learn into visual digital diaries.

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April & May: Time to Plant & Reflect

During the last five weeks the kids have been planting and seeing their seeds grow. We are growing carrots, beets, two different kind of lettuces, cucumbers, Habanero peppers  —these are part a seed exchange program with the Global Partner Junior group in Mexico City, bok choy, onions, eggplants, chives, strawberries, chocolate mint, parsley, lemon thyme, rosemary, lavender, spearmint, oregano, winter squash, basil, Thai basil, mint, golden thyme, Italian oregano, red peppers, yellow peppers and different types of heirloom tomatoes from seeds the kids saved last year.

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Peaches & Strawberries Tofu Salad

For our last spring class students prepared a peach strawberry baby arugula salad with tofu. The slight bitter taste of the baby arugula mixed with the sweetness of the peaches and strawberries make this salad a great summer plate for children. To season it we used salt to taste and olive oil. As usual the children loved chopping their fruits and veggies, meet my little chopping machines!

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Quinoa Salad by Illari

Illari, a seven year old from Peru shows students how to prepare a quinoa salad 🙂  First step boil water, once the water is boiling add the quinoa. For two cups of quinoa use four cups of water and add salt to taste. Chop one sweet red pepper and a two handfuls of celery into very small pieces. Once the quinoa boiled use  a strainer to discard the water and pour it to a large bowl to cool it down. Add the pepper and the celery. Use a blender to dissolve the pulp of two passion fruits and use a strainer to keep only the pulp. Add it to the quinoa mix. Add salt and olive oil to taste. Mix one avocado with olive oil and salt and use it to garnish. This recipe serves ten people . Through this activity the children learned quinoa grows in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia and that it needs high altitudes to grow. With the aide of a world map the children located these countries and understood how quinoa is harvested. They also tasted passion fruit for the first time. It was beautiful to see how the kids where inspired by another child to prepare something new and how receptive they were to new tastes.

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Garden Kitchen Lab Visits East New York Farm

Students visited the East New York Farm to learn more about planting, watering, weeding techniques, how to compost and beekeeping. The purpose of the visit was for the children to imagine what their garden could become one day.

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