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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A New Garden Kitchen Lab Community

For our last summer class, we partnered with Iyaho Social Services, a great organization that offers different services to people with disabilities. This lovely group of students enjoyed an afternoon of harvesting, cooking, and preparing their own lunch. A couple of community children volunteered to assist during class, showing that they had learned what the Garden Kitchen Lab program is about. More than that, they were tolerant, compassionate, and genuinely interested in helping out. Volunteer educator Andrew Maslowski, a Community & Environmental Sociologist lead the class. Everyone had a good time, and we look forward to offering more courses to this new community.


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Allergic To Salad

Intrigued y the name? Allergic To Salad trains children to become young chefs while eating healthy. Chef Sharolyne Ramirez offered a demo on how to do fruit-kebabs! Almost twenty children participated, had fun, and learned how to be creative when making a fruit salad. Thank you, Andrew Maslowski, for assisting on that day.


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Cucumber Avocado Chilled Soup

A perfect summer recipe, refreshing and comfortable for the children to make on their own. The children learn how to cook and bring the methods back home to teach their parents how to go from garden-to-table! This is was our last class with Dianne Bliffeld, our Board of Education teacher who so generously donated her time this summer.

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Tabouleh Salad, a Lesson on Inclusion

This salad is one of the children’s favorite and brings an opportunity to learn about different cultures through food. The students learn about Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, among other countries where this salad comes from, all the vegetables and herbs come from our garden making this recipe an authentic garden-to-table recipe. Another enjoyable experience with Dianne Bliffeld, our new Board of Education instructor.

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Homemade Pesto Sauce

One of our staple recipes is homemade pesto sauce. We use basil, parsley, cilantro, kale, or spinach. This summer we made a basil pesto sauce kindly donated by Gotham Greens, a worldwide pioneer in hydroponic agriculture using clean energy. #GothamGrows has been one of our sponsors for some years now supplying greens and herbs seedlings to our gardens. Today’s basil was harvested by our community children at the St. John’s GardenKitchen Lab station with the guidance of Dianne Bliffeld, a new Board of Education instructor.


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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.