The 3rd annual School Garden Field Trip & Empathy Tour occurred in December on a spectacular Orlando day with an exciting group of twenty community folk!
The afternoon of January 24, found twenty-seven Noble Inc. employees carefully walking onto our construction site, lead by their CEO Jeff Baker, for a team-building edible education experience.
Chef Joe Rees, co-owner of The Strand, charmed and inspired at November’s Chef Night. Roasted root veggies and kale salad with warm shallot dressing and seasoned pecans were a delicious highlight. The baked grouper with white wine & butter sauce were the perfect pairing and the lemon-thyme dessert bar, sent over by Mrs. Rees, was the final hit of the evening.
The distance most food travels from farm soil to our dinner plate is usually measured in miles. Recently the seventh graders from OJA reduced that journey to mere feet. With a portable hot plate, folding table and a few basic tools the students were able to prepare a delicious recipe in the garden using ingredients from the garden.
Edible Ed at OJA was honored to welcome Fabiola Gaines, Registered Dietician and co-founder of Hebni Nutrition, as a guest presenter on September 9. Gaines is also co-author of the "Healthy Soul Food" Cookbook.
Edible Education Experience is proud of its continued partnership with Florida Hospital’s Center for Child and Family Wellness. The partnership is in its 6th year and we look forward to the Center’s monthly visit to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Culinary Garden for Sunday morning gardening where young clients and their families plant and harvest alongside their doctor and team of experts.
The team is led by Angela Fals, MD who is a board-certified pediatrician physician. As Medical Director of Florida Hospital for Children’s Pediatric Weight and Wellness Program, she oversees pediatric weight management programs aimed at helping kids live to a long and healthy life through beneficial lifestyle choices and changes. As founder of the Center for Child and Family Wellness, she works hand-in-hand with experts in nutrition, exercise and child psychology to help children and adolescents effectively manage their weight, avoid a lifetime of obesity and make healthy choices that will benefit their self-esteem and overall health through adulthood.
Quote from one excited attendee, “Gardening is more fun than roller skating!”
And so we begin. We believe that getting seeds into soil is fundamental to a great gardening experience so we don't waste any time in beginning the gardening school year this way. Some seeds we put directly into the ground and some we put into pots of soil. If the seed is large and makes a large sprout we usually put those right in the ground. If the seed is tiny and makes a little sprout sometimes it's easier to plant them in pots and wait a few weeks for them to grow before we transplant them into the garden. (it's easier to protect and care for tiny seedlings when they are in pots) Most of what we are planting will last through winter here and any frost that may come our way. We also have a few months to grow some warm weather crops like beans so we will plant those also.
Chef Night is part of the programming by Edible Education Experience (EEE), whose mission is to ground education in a garden experience. It's designed to help sustain EEE programming and will eventually be presented at the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Kitchen House & Culinary Garden to be completed November 2016. EEE co-founders Brad Jones, Sarah Cahill and Kevin Fonzo, chef/owner of K Restaurant, have been integrating core-curriculum through Edible Ed classes to all 5th-8th graders at Orlando Junior Academy since the 2011-12 school year. Cahill wanted to expand the lesson with the kids to include adults, too.
"I wanted to reach out to families, parents, and the community to help them understand the importance of making intentional healthy choices," says Cahill. "I wanted it to be hands on so that participants can learn from the successes and the mistakes and have a meaningful experience. And I wanted to tap into our incredible wealth of chefs, community experts and our garden."
Chef Night features a volunteer guest chef, a healthy menu that can be replicated at home, a fun environment to cook in, an outing to the garden to forage for ingredients and a delicious shared meal. Says Cahill, "Participants learn not just from the instructor but from the other guests. There's a real cross-pollination of information sharing about books, spices, allergies and healthy alternatives. I've found that people who've come once usually return, with friends."
The next Chef Night is Wednesday, August 17 from 6-8:30PM, led by Chef Ryan Freelove, new restauranteur of Market to Table. Find the menu and all the details at EdibleEd.org/Events.