My favorite activity is eating fresh food from the garden with a group of students many of whom have never eaten food as fresh. So today a class of cooking 10 students came down to the garden where we had them try and identify as many food plants as they could. It was not easy for them as they are unfamiliar with such plants. In one case I showed the kids a broccoli plant with a fairly well defined broccoli head. Now most kids have eaten broccoli before but seeing it on the actual plant with stem and leaves and all and it was less clear. Of course they eventually figured it out but for sure these kids are pretty disconnected from the source of their food.
So we then had the kids collect food for a salad which we prepared and ate in the garden. We harvested chives, basil, mint, green beans, tomatoes, carrots, kale, chard, arugula, collard, bok chou, mizuna, and cilantro – a darn good mix and a very tasty salad. Most of the kids really liked it, one boy would not try it, and a few were not able to finish their plate. Well not bad I figure.
And the trick to a very good tasting salad is an exceptional dressing.