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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“Food Lab” at Garden Kitchen Lab

Garden Kitchen Lab is developing a new series of projects called “Media With A Purpose”; which aims at using technology as a vehicle to learn about sustainability and other cultures through food and cooking.

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

#MediaWithAPurpose #Food Lab #FabiolaCaceres #ChadChenali #BelindaMcKeever


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Swale Food Forest & the 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 and we had hundreds of people enjoying an afternoon of foraging and interacting with a public food-forest-park setting where people harvested and ate their own food.

Swale is a collaborative floating food forest where people may visit, partake in the care taking 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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Garden Kitchen Lab Bliss

In our Garden Kitchen Lab program, 7 to 10 years old, participate in preparing Coconut Almond Bliss Balls. The children learn about tropical fruits and nuts and how to prepare 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.

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Walnuts, almond paste, pistachios, coconut and sesame seeds are some of the ingredients used this coconut almond bliss ball recipe.
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Simiah, Alyssa, Perla and Simone making bliss balls at the kitchen’s center.

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Students watched a short video about vanilla flower pollination and fair trade in Uganda. The vanilla flower is so small, a very small vanilla bee is the only insect that can pollinate it. To pollinate enough vanilla flowers to make vanilla extract, vanilla ice cream, vanilla yogurt and vanilla tea, the flowers have to be pollinated by hand one by one! On this video the children learn about the farmers in Uganda who pollinate vanilla flowers. This delicate labor is fair trade and Ugandan farmers are able to build their houses and be home owners and send their children to college. The children watched another video about vanilla flower pollination in Hawaii, this film focused on the profit aspect of farming vanilla flowers. After they watched these videos I asked them to locate Hawaii and Uganda on the map.

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Simiah draws a vanilla flower and Serenity gets creative and draws a vanilla bean with petals. The children are reminded of the ingredients they used to make the Coconut Almond Bliss Balls, vanilla extract being one of them, it makes the children realize the human effort behind the making of one sole ingredient.

Seventy five children at the After School program ate this sugar free organic snack, and they loved it!!!