Champlain Elementary’s Fresh Garden [548]

By Grover Koelpin 2 comments


Music: The Smittens, “Stuck in Vermont” -Does anyone wanna give a leaf a nibble? -Can you eat the leaves, like swallow?
-Mhm. Welcome to Stuck in Vermont brought to you by
Seven Days and sponsored by New England Federal Credit Union.
My name’s Eva Sollberger, we are here in Burlington at Champlain Elementary School. And behind me is the fresh garden! It’s a collaboration between Champlain
Elementary School and Burlington School Food Project. -YES!
-Cause there’s lots of fresh things growing in it! Feels good to know, like, what you’re eating and, like, where it’s come from. On Fridays I work with classes in this garden during the growing season. We have students come
out and they’re tasting things and they’re harvesting things, bringing it
directly to Chef Kaye in the cafeteria. I try and use as much from the garden as I can and whenever they bring it to me I do use it. Guess what I’m gonna make? Pesto! They definitely get excited when they see it at lunchtime. They’re like, “Ooh, I picked that!” Well Miss Christine has taught us a lot about harvesting all these different things. It’s almost like disguise, they don’t even realize they’re learning…but they are. I learned about plants and types of food. And we were gonna show you the difference between peppermint and just regular mint. I want our school garden to grow! We focus our garden on all things that are grown mostly to be harvested in the fall. So that we really come back to school and there’s this bounty. There’s flowers, there’s tomatoes, there’s peppers, there’s herbs, there’s
all these things that we can be eating. Sweet potatoes, chard, basil, all this cool stuff. It’s small but we grow lots of stuff. We tried these things called sour gherkins. We already harvested a bunch of tomatoes and basil this morning and we’ll be doing kale this afternoon. We’re gonna be processing some garlic
that was recently harvested here. [music] How does your garden grow? Mine’s fine, thanks a lot. The kale you get in your garden’s more, like, fresh. One of the cherry tomatoes wrapped in basil from our garden. It’s more cool than buying it from the store cause it’s fresh, in front of your face and you get
the opportunity to pick it. Connecting kids to their food, whether that be in the cafeteria or in the garden. -Pinch it.
-Yeah, exactly, you just pinch it a little bit. -Want to put these in here?
-Yeah. Who else likes kale chips? Ok. [laughter] -Kale chips hopefully Monday for lunch.
-Yeah! And pesto for the pizza on Tuesday. So the Burlington School Food Project is a combined food service and farm to
school program in the Burlington School District. We provide meals to all students
at all the schools in the district. A lot of those ingredients are
coming from local farms and growers as well as our own school gardens. Tell me about how many of the schools in Burlington have gardens? So I believe almost every single school with the exception of one, has a school garden. When I first started here, the kids
weren’t really willing to try things and now they really are
and I think the garden has helped that. Yeah, actually when we harvested potatoes, me and Collin were.. were partners in this. It’s good to know that you put in the work for everybody around you to eat. It’s almost like you were
celebrated by eating those fries. They’re always asking what can we harvest, what can we taste, what can we do? Last year my class, we went out here and we put all that mulch there. -This is called basil, who wants to try a little bit?
-Me! [chorus] Being able to use this space and use
food and gardening as a lens through which teachers can access some of the
learning standards that they need to teach in their classroom. Everything that we do ends up being interdisciplinary so we can tie it to literacy, we can tie it
to math, we tie it to science, we tie it just to the love of the Earth. -Chives!
-These are called chives! They’re learning about healthy eating, so they’re changing their eating habits by eating raw kale out of the garden. There’s a lot of life skills that we develop here, too, that we start at the elementary school level and really dig deep at the high
school level. -Is anyone gonna come to Harvest Fest tonight?
-Me! [chorus] So Harvest Fest is an annual event that happens here at Champlain Elementary School. We use this event in particular to highlight the beautiful outdoor spaces we have at Champlain. It’s just a really fun time for the community, for teachers, for students and parents to all kind of come together. -Who’s going to come to Harvest Fest and eat some pesto pizza tonight?
-Me! The first-graders today made pesto and we’re able to see how that gets to be part of the pizza. Kids are really excited to be able to show up
at Harvest Fest and say, “Hey, I’m responsible for
picking that!” Sausage, cheese, and veggie and these veggies were from our garden. -Jake, your tomatoes are over here!
-Oooh! We picked them today. Jake, which did you pick? I’m gonna have one that you picked. -Bam, bam, bam!
-Thank you so much!
-Yeah, you’re welcome! You guys want some lemonade while we’re here? Mint lemonade, very refreshing. [music] You inspire crop rotation. And provide the irrigation. Happy Harvest Fest everyone, we’ll get stuck in Vermont with you again real soon! Follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter,
Instagram, sign up for our weekly email alerts! Harvest. Fest. Gardening. Schools. Students. I love it!
I love fall, it’s my favorite season. -Would you like a piece of basil?
-I would love a piece of basil! Mmm, basil. Spicy, garden goodness. Mmm. -It’s really sweet.
-Oh is that mint? What is that? No, stevia, it’s really sweet. It’s a natural sugar. -Oh my gosh, tastes just like sugar?!
-I know, right? It’s so cool!

2 Comments

bostongw

Sep 9, 2018, 8:59 am Reply

What a great project and shows how children will eat healthy when given the opportunity to grow and harvest the food themselves.

VJT 2018

Sep 9, 2018, 12:56 pm Reply

Such a great school!

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