Eating in season can be challenging in a temperate climate when the cold winter months hit. Green fades to hues of grey as the sunshine recedes and the growing fields of New York lay in wait of the warm days to come.
The summer sunshine we enjoy now is a seasonal gift that will ultimately last just a few months time. Knowing this makes Butter Beans campers and counselors appreciate the abundance of life around us and the diversity of local flavors available this time of year all the more.
Without fail our trips to the Union Square Greenmarket on Market Mondays dazzle our eyes with dozens of colors, from candy cane beets and purple carrotsto rainbow tomatoes and the brilliant greens of fresh herbs. As we explored what it means to eat local and in season this week, we were grateful to learn from wonderful teachers across New York City.
Body & Soul Bakery Founder Deborah and Chef Scott shared insider tips to seasonal baking with Butter Beans campers, who in the span of one afternoon were taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the bakery, made cookies from scratch with the chef, and gifted fresh strawberry banana smoothies as a treat. These Butter Bean chefs used their newly acquired baking skills to whip up some delectable zucchini chocolate chip muffins the next day. We even got to stop by the Body & Soul stand at the Greenmarket to check out some of their summer items like plum basil muffins and raspberry mint sweet breads!
On Thursday we took a trip across the river to visit South Brooklyn Children’s Garden – a community garden made just for kids! Campers explored, tasted, harvested, planted, watered and then sat down to make a delicious picnic lunch of Ghanaian fufu and lentil stew. It was a feast to remember sitting under the shady trees of this beautiful corner street garden.
During our Family Friday Potluck, campers discussed the multitude of foods they had tasted over the past five days. We went around the table and shared the new fruits and vegetables we had tasted that week. Cassava, green platains, lentils, dinosaur kale, curly kale, patty pan summer squash, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, beets…the list continued to grow! In the end, the total count came to over 50 fruits and vegetables that our campers in one week alone!
Nice work, campers. Here’s to a summer full of adventures in food creativity, garden cultivation, and kitchen fun.
Until next week…