the compass green rolls north

Posted by on Jul 26, 2011 in cooking classes, Food & Farm program, gardens, lunch time, news and happenings, summer camp | 0 comments

As much-anticipated, the Compass Green visited our camp in July. We invited  Nick, Andrew and Britten to join us for lunch before we got a tour of their mobile greenhouse. The campers were excited to show off their skills “you’re gonna LOVE our food!” exclaimed Jack. And it really was a feast. Homemade chips and salsa, rainbow salad with a delicious vinaigrette, brown rice, golden eyed beans, paneer cheese and sautéed greens. It was especially nice to sit around a big table, sharing stories about our food and all that went into making it. 

We were one of the last stops for the Compass Green in Brooklyn before they headed north. They are growing corn, chard, kale, herbs, carrots, beans… They have deep soil beds to accommodate the roots of the plants, taking into account the bumps that they will inevitably encounter on their travels. One camper asked – can corn really grow in here? The idea is that the corn stalks will grow until they hit the ceiling, and then produce. No one else that they know of is growing corn in a truck, so we’ll get to learn from them. They will be in the northeast for a while, and then heading west – inspiring schools and camps and communities across the country. If you want to follow their travels, and see how their corn stalks fare, visit their website and sign up for their newsletter. There is a picture of our campers in this month’s post. They are going to be featured in a documentary that is in the works called Growing Cities. Thank you Nick and Andrew and Britten for being inspiring examples of creative, passionate and committed citizens!

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strawberry and raspberry jam

Posted by on Jul 21, 2011 in cooking classes, families, Recipes | 1 comment

When we do fun, nourishing things with little ones we love, they create fun, nourishing associations with us. This Mama and her son do a lot of cooking together at home. Coming together with other kids and families supports her efforts at home, and is so much fun. These pictures are from our berry jammin’ class this week.

First, we mashed the berries.





Then we brought the berry mash to a boil and added the sugar and the pectin and the calcium water. The calcium helps to activate the pectin.



Then we poured our jam into our jars,





and each made our own labels.


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reflections from a parent, post camp

Posted by on Jul 19, 2011 in cooking classes, families, Food & Farm program, Food for thought, gardens, lunch time, Recipes, summer camp | 1 comment

Camp was fun for all of us involved over the past two weeks. And being fun, when talking about summer camp – is really what it’s all about. But when the experience goes deeper, and integrates into the life of  a child, it becomes so much more. We have had really positive feedback so far about our camp experience from parents, and this one sent from Alison, Rita’s mom, touched me enough to share. Thank you Alison for letting us spend such great time with Rita – she’s awesome!
I had a feeling that [my daughter] Rita would enjoy your camp but after the last two weeks I have to say that I am blown away by the passion you have instilled and unleashed in her for all things food, nature, community, environment and yes, even love related. It has been amazing to see how she integrated each day’s discoveries into a continued investigation on her own… which one day led to an exploding glass jar (yes, beans do expand with water – a lot). I have not been able to get her out of the kitchen since she started. As soon as I turn around, a new home-made creation is being concocted…pickles (actually pickled everything), salads, greens, cheese, bean sprouts, jam, potato chips!, pesto…  and they are all fabulously delectable. Last night I found her lowering a batch of her home-made cheese in a basket on a string over the fence to share with our neighbors — and of course also sharing the recipe. Today she taught me the proper way to pick basil so “the plant is happy and wants to grow more basil”. She also has developed a “chef’s” sensitivity for flavorings… she takes a dash of this herb and a smidgen of that, a pinch of salt and sprinkles it into her creation with a self-confident flourish. She measures but she also intuits… I look forward to seeing where this newfound fervor and these life lessons will take her — and us. I ask her what other camp she’d like to try, “None, only Butter Beans! Again and again! (And you don’t have to make me lunch!)” is her reply.
*we still have space left in the first two weeks of August. Sign up with a friend and you both get 30% off!
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Pickles – make your own!

Posted by on Jul 18, 2011 in cooking classes, Food & Farm program, Food for thought, Recipes, summer camp | 0 comments

Pickles are awesome. They are a great way to preserve food for later when a harvest is especially abundant. They are tangy and sour and wake up the senses. They have great digestive enzymes that make are great for digestion, and they are super fun to make. We just opened ours at home that we made during camp this weekend, and they were delicious!
Want to make your own at home?

This is what you’ll need:

1 pot
Cutting board + measuring cups
Pint-sized Pickle jars + canning tongs + ladle
sticker paper, or twine and paper to label your pickles.


3.5 whole cucumbers (or 1 1/2 cups vegetables) per jar
½-1 bushel of dill or fresh herbs
7 cups Water
5 cups Vinegar
¾ cup Salt
¼ cup Sugar

Directions (this says cucumbers, but you can use any other vegetable you have in abundance):

Wash and cut your veggies of choice (cucumbers, green beans, beets, carrots, etc.) into nice hearty sized pieces. For vegetables that are very hard, like beets – we parboiled them quickly, just to soften them a bit (we saved the pink beet water for watercoloring later).Cut them in half lengthwise (if they won’t fit in the jars cut them in half the other way too). Wash fresh dill, and cut off the ends. Remove lids off of mason jars. Bring 7 cups of water to a boil.  Add 5 cups of vinegar, 3/4 cups of salt, 1/4 cup sugar to the pot.  Bring the liquid to a boil.  Put the vegetable spears into the mason jars (gently shake the pieces with the jar on its side to fit as many as possible). Using a ladle, carefully pour the liquid into the mason jars. Tightly seal the jars, let cool and then keep in the refrigerator. Decorate your pickle tags and attach them to the jars. Enjoy and share your fresh pickles with your friends for the next 7-10 days!

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