Thursday, October 18, 2012

What’s Cooking in the Garden?

I would be a terrible teacher. In my mind, the best teachers present information in a neutral, non-judgmental way. For older kids, good teachers provide both sides of a controversial subject and let the kids arrive at their own conclusions.

Not me……Every Fall for the last 10 years I’ve been teaching a class to 2nd and 3rd graders at my kids’ elementary school called “What’s Cooking in the Garden.” There is no objectivity when I teach. I am basically a propaganda machine promoting the importance of growing and cooking your food. Fast food and junk food get a bad rap in my class. The other day I had all of the kids pull out the wrappers from their lunches and read the ingredients. I told them if they couldn’t pronounce the ingredients they shouldn’t be eating the snack. Every snack but one ended up in the garbage. Then we made fruit salad with fresh fruit from the school's garden and they were thrilled.

I keep things pretty simple in the class so the kids can make the same things at home. This week I grabbed some Refosco grapes from our property and made grape juice. Every kid in the class claimed they knew someone who has a vineyard. That’s Napa for you!

There's always several kids who hesitate when we start squishing the grapes because they don’t want to get their hands dirty.  By the end the kids who hesitated the most are the hardest ones to get to stop.
getting their hands dirty

juice was flying everywhere

everyone finally gave in

pressing the grapes to extract the juice

the press cake - everyone loves cake, right?


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