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3501 New York Ave NE
Washington, DC, 20002
United States


Washington Youth Garden

April Martin


“Raise your hand if you like to be in charge!” All the hands in the room shot up in the air. One of the best things about cooking, we’ve learned these past two weeks, is that we get to be in charge of what goes into our food. How much fat, sugar and salt is up to us– not a big company. If we want a stir fry with chicken and broccoli and no red peppers, we can do it!

While it’s sad to see Garden Science winding to a close, our final two lessons are just in time to leave students with some Thanksgiving inspiration. One third-grader declared yesterday that she was going to make everything she had learned how to make in Garden Science for Thanksgiving– pesto, applesauce and stir fry!

In Lesson 7 our classes traced each ingredient in a cheeseburger back to the soil. We learned the difference between whole foods (that come straight from plants or animals and can be easily traced back to the soil) and processed foods (that have gone through lots of steps and often come in shiny packages). When a food passes the “Soil Test” we know its probably good for us. To practice being in charge, each student helped chop up apples for a homemade batch of delicious applesauce.

In Lesson 8 we reviewed the six parts of the plant and cooked up a stir fry with one or more examples of each part. Even though we call squash or peppers vegetables in the kitchen, we remembered that when it comes to parts of the plant, we consider them fruit, because they hold the seeds.

Check out an article written by Washington Youth Garden staff about cooking with kids published in Bittersweet Zine: “Applesauce in the Classroom” by Anna Benfield

Interested in cooking with kids, but having trouble finding the right knife? Try Curious Chef. We love our safe and effective serrated knives.

And of course, don’t forget to say thank you to the soil, the sun and all the hardworking farmers this Thanksgiving!