Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Camp 2015 has officially begun!

For our team this is one of the most magical times of the year. The farmers markets teem with fresh fruits and veggies, New York City’s urban gardens are in full bloom, and Butter Beans campers light up each day with their smiles and enthusiasm.
Throughout the summer our campers explore different themes all around – you guessed it – food! From composting and gardening, to cooking and harvesting, our campers set out on a seed-to-plate adventure through the bountiful world of food each Monday through Friday. This week these future foodies kicked off summer 2015 with an exploration of food sustainability.


With estimates of one-third of global food supply wasted, building connections between food and the health of our planet could not be more pertinent. And Butter Beans campers were excited to pave the way in setting practices at camp that benefit our bodies and the Earth! Here are some of the ways our campers celebrated food sustainability this week:


• Composting our food scraps after each meal
Regrowing green onion stems from their rainbow fried rice recipe
• Creating an Eco Pledge muralIMG_2178
• Decorating the classroom with reminders about eco friendly practices (you can expect a uniquely hand-drawn sign reminding you turn off the lights when you use the camp restroom)
• Conducting the sweet potato experiment to compare organic vs. conventionally grown vegetables
• Tasting deliciously local produce at a workshop with our friends at SweetGreen
• Making smoothies on a bicycle-powered blender at Habana Outpost where solar panels and rainwater collection help make this restaurant one of the greenest around!


To top it all off, we’re headed to GrowNYC’s Union Square Greenmarket today to celebrate National Sustainable Seafood Week in NYC with a special cooking demo by Chef Emily Peterson. We know. Could the week get any better?


So, don’t be surprised if you see a group of orange- or green-clad Butter Beans campers walking by this summer, toting armfuls of market veggies and grinning ear to ear. Glance up ever slightly and you’ll see even broader smiles on the faces of our staff, reveling in the glow of a camper’s newest discovery.


Cheers to a summer of adventure, exploration, good food, community, and camp!


Check back each week for a recap of camp adventures in our annual Campfire Stories blog series – coming to you this year from our two camp locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. To see pictures, videos, and more of the camp experience, visit us on facebook and check us out on twitter!

Written by Kelly McGlinchey, Director of Food Education