Green City Force Week 4 - Farm Food Education
Nutrition Education: Our community + Our food
The Sylvia Center trained young adults from Green City Force (GCF) in our Farm Food Educator program this week. GCF’s Americorps members serve at urban farms across the city. The Sylvia Center builds their ability to engage with the community around food and nutrition. In this week’s session, students learned the different vitamins and nutrients that come with eating the rainbow of farm-fresh foods. Beta-carotene comes from orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash. Dark leafy greens are high in vitamins K, A, C. Iron is found in purple vegetables. Lycopene is good for the heart and for the blood, and is found in red vegetables.
Students also took a closer look at nutrition labels on packaged foods, learning to look for overall calories, and the breakdown of fats, protein and carbohydrates. They are becoming champions of fresh food by sharing their growing knowledge of the principles of healthy eating with people who may not be used to eating a variety of fresh vegetables. It is not as easy as saying “eat it, it’s good!” Students from Green City Force are building the skills, knowledge and confidence to educate and empower the communities they serve through food.
Busy as Bees at the Young Chefs Farm Camp on Katchkie Farm
Our summer campers were thrilled to learn all about bees from Paul MacPhail of Bee Hollow Farm & Apiary. On Thursday, campers had all of their bee questions answered, made their own beeswax candle, and tasted different types of honeys. They learned how bees are an essential part of sustainable agriculture, and how to be a good friend to bees.
Afterwards, campers made fettuccine from scratch with our staff, and the help of local pesto expert and chef volunteer Luca Fontana. Students rolled and cut the pasta dough, and made a delicious traditional pesto with lots of basil from our garden. Everyone enjoyed a flavorful lunch in our field house. The rest of the day was filled with farm chores and improv games.
Every summer, The Sylvia Center hosts two sessions of campers in our Young Chefs Farm Camp. Young people, ages 7 to 16, spend all day outside in our learning garden and field house. Campers cook farm-fresh meals and snacks; weed, plant and harvest the learning garden; collect eggs from our coop; and make garden-inspired arts and crafts. Most importantly, they work together to learn where fresh, nutritious food comes from, and how it is the foundation of healthy, lifelong habits.