Potatoes!

ptoato duo 4.21.15

Students “dug for treasure” today and came up with red potatoes of all sizes. Their assistants were as surprised and pleased as they were.

potatoes 4.21.15

So many people experience potatoes mainly as a side of fries.  Experiencing the wonder of burying a piece of potato in a mound of soil, waiting and watering (and battling army worms) for a few months, and then discovering it’s multiplied by ten-fold is something that every child deserves to do.

potatoes in a bucket 4.21.2015

We have (at least) 31 school gardens in Alachua County ten of which deliver produce to their lunchrooms. Our students at the Farm to School to Work Hub grow the transplants and package some of the seeds for these gardens – sharing the bounty of their own wealth of knowledge and skills with younger garden treasure-hunters.

Fries and Ketchup – Farm to School Style

60s friesThe Persian cucumber harvest in the greenhouse is on a roll! And this week we also continued to receive “freezer-grade” strawberries from Frog Song Organics farm! So.. Daniel, our kitchen training coordinator, came up with this fun dish! We tested it at the downtown market Wednesday night and it got great reviews!

Matthew serves up a side of

Matthew serves up a side of “fries.”

Here’s the recipe for the dip:

Strawberry Dip:

1 3/4 cup frozen strawberries, thawed
2/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3/4 cup lite mayo
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/2 tablespoon each granulated garlic, dried basil, and paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Whiz together in blender until puréed. Simple, tasty, and it meets school standards!

Kale Chips – from Seed to Plate

Willard concocting the

Willard concocting the “Hot Chip” spices

Students harvested kale this week from the seed they planted in the fall. Three teams created three recipes: Indian Spice (Miranda and Robbie) , Barbecue (Cheyenne and Daniel), and  Hot chips (Willard and Arthur). Visiting Community-Based Training students got to participate in a taste test. Even those who were not a fan of kale at the beginning gave it a try.

There were some concerns . . .

Not so sure about kale chips...

Not so sure about kale chips…

And some outright skepticism . . .

skeptics sm

Cheyenne serves up her “Indian Spice” recipe

But everyone tried it, and quite a few liked it.

Studies have shown that it is possible to acquire a taste for healthy food even if we are inclined to prefer cake to kale. Encouraging students to give new foods a try is a tried and true method of increasing acceptance. Next week the GET students will test the Indian Spice Kale Chips recipe in the Loften high school lunchroom.

We grow some beautiful kale in this region – at Loften, in school gardens, and on farms – and it is so nutrient-packed it’s considered a super-food. Familiarizing students with kale and its nutritional benefits is a step in increasing the health of the young people in our community while supporting a healthy, local food system.

Miranda's  barbeque spices

Miranda’s super-secret barbeque spice mix