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.

Garden-to-Table at MOFAD

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MOFAD’s Global Cultures, Global Cuisines program welcomed Garden Kitchen Lab-McCarren highlighting MOFAD’s show, Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant.

Museum Educator, Loren Silber organized a fun scavenger hunt for children to learn about Chinese food and culture. Chef, Camila Rinaldi, and Museum Educator Assistant Danqing Zhu gave us an introduction to Chinese ingredients, and cooking tools, showing us how to use the chopstick to dip and taste, and an introduction to Chinese recipes and demonstrations with the vegetables the children grew! We made vegetable-steamed and fried dumplings, and sugar-coated cherry-tomatoes, based on an original Chinese dessert called Sugar-Coated Haws.

Thank you very much, MOFAD team for assembling a fantastic workshop; thank you, Catherine Piccoli, for developing a beautiful exhibition; Colin Walker for overseeing this public program, and Diana Baker for coordinating everything on the ground for Garden Kitchen Lab. We hope we can repeat this; it was an enjoyable learning experience for us all.

 

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Our Summer Harvest!

Five gardens; four coordinators; one volunteer, and one-hundred and sixteen students. We did it!

Thank you very much, Katie’s Krops for funding all our five gardens for six years now! Thank you, Beatrice Toscano, Diana Baker, Dianne Bliffeld and Andrew Maslowski for running the program in Brooklyn and the Bronx. Garden Kitchen Lab can not wait for what we accomplish in the next growing season.


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“Food Lab” at Garden Kitchen Lab

Garden Kitchen Lab will be developing new projects called “Media With A Purpose”; which aims at leveraging technology to learn about sustainability, and other cultures through food and cooking.

Thank you Media Education Coordinators Chad Chenali and Belinda McKeever for collaborating with me on this project!

#MediaWithAPurpose #Food Lab #FabiolaCaceres #ChadChenali #BelindaMcKeever

 


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Hello Spring! — Garden Kitchen Lab at Sunset, McCarren, Red Hook & St. John’s Media Labs

Special thanks to NYC Parks Five Borough and the Sustainability Division for assembling and delivering all our compost bins in record time!!! Beautiful work! 🙂

A huge thank you to all the beautiful people who are making this program possible!!! My total gratitude to all the NYC Parks Media Education Coordinators Beatrice Toscano at Sunset Recreation Center and Diana Baker at the McCarren Play Center. To Andrew Maslowski, who tends our gardens at all four locations, helped us build and assemble trellises, and assists teaching. To Maureen Medina and Keith Smith, who water the gardens at St. John’s and Red Hook every single day! To Maureen McNellis who helped open the Red Hook garden and kickoff the season, and to Dianne Bliffeld for leading the class at Red Hook.

Thank you #Katie’sKrops for continuing giving us your support since 2014 for buying all the organic seeds and seedlings for all our gardens. Thank you to #LianeNewton #USAGDEV for buying four scales to weight our produce, and purchasing the garden stakes to tie our tomatoes at St. John’s.

#BeatriceToscano, #DianaBaker, #AndrewMaslowski, #MaureenMedina, #MelanieLewis, #KeithSmith, #RosaMaruffo, #DianneBliffeld, #Maureen McNellis


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Earth Day at Red Hook

Organized by the Red Hook Recreation Center, the Earth Day celebrations were an excellent opportunity for Garden Kitchen Lab to meet-and-greet with other like-minded organizations. Thank you #GrowGotham (Gotham Greens) for donating 1,200 basil and lettuce seedlings giveaways. It was a fantastic way to start the growing season, and the children absolutely loved it!!! Thank you, Isiah Forde, Ali Khan, and Deborah Grant for the invite!


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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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Swale Food Forest & Garden Kitchen Lab

This fall Swale and the Garden Kitchen Lab hosted a free public meal showcasing salads, herbal teas, and roasted butternut and delicata squashes from Swale’s floating food forest and the Garden Kitchen Lab. The event took place at Pier 6 in Dumbo. We had hundreds of people enjoying an afternoon of foraging and harvesting in a food-forest-park setting.

Swale is a collaborative floating food forest where people may visit, partake in the caretaking process, and learn about food sustainability. Created by artist Mary Mattingly, Swale functions as both an evolving sculpture and a tool by producing healthy food at the intersection of public art and utility. Visitors to Swale will see persimmon, bok choy, yucca, onion, tomatillos, herbs, and other perennial fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants. Rainwater is collected from the rooftop of the Biome Arts Greenhouse Theater, a pavilion that serves as a performance space, activist meeting hall, and artist gallery aboard Swale.

Learn more about Swale on our Public Art page and see other Swale-based events here.

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