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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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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Late Fall at St. John’s

Collard green, broccolis, beets and tomatoes were some of the vegetables that the children have been using to prepare salads throughout this fall. As part of the Garden Kitchen Lab program the kids also covered plant beds with oats and lentil seeds to protect the soil from extreme temperatures. Soil is the foundation of a healthy agricultural system. Through crop rotation and nutrient management, we are working on making a soil that is biologically rich.

The temperatures have dropped already and we have started our winter program by watching ‘Food Machine, America Revealed’, a documentary that explores how the country’s food machine feeds nearly 300 million people every day. This film showed the children the engineering marvels people have created by putting nature to work and takes a look at the costs of our insatiable appetite on our health and environment. Tied to the Sustainability theme for the Global Partners’s Junior program, the children at St. John’s are being exposed to a well rounded program on environmental awareness.

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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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Cucumber Lemon Agave Ice Cubes

The children had so much fun preparing this recipe! And it was so simple to make. We used 3/4 liter of water, 20 lemons, 1 1/4 large cucumber, 8 spoons of agave and 9 ice trays. First, the children took the lemon seeds off and squeezed the juice in a plate; the lemon juice was then placed in the water container adding the spoons of agave. We shaved the cucumbers with graders and added the julienned cucumber on each of the cubes and placed the trays in the freezer for three hours. The kids loved the taste of these cucumber ice cubes and did not missed sugar flavor at all. We are also growing cucumbers in the garden so we will be making more recipes with this vegetable throughout the summer! Below some pictures of this experience and adding compost to our onion plant.

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