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Food + Garden Summer Camp: CAMPFIRE STORIES

Session 2 is coming to a close and our little chefs have been learning about the food system from the ground up!

Week one of session two we dug deeper into exploration of worms as master composters and soil superhero.  Worms play a key role in the health of our soil and environment. We learned about ways to compost  at home & at the local farmers market!

With the food and materials we use in the classroom, we created a “recipe” for healthy compost for our very own worm bin! We kept our worms happy by reusing and recycling materials from our classroom such as food scraps and  newspapers, cereal boxes, etc. for compost.

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Manhattan Camp visited the composting station at Union Square market to see industrial composting in action! We continued our partnership with Harlem Grown, and visited their farm to see how an urban farm grows and how they keep their soil healthy! Harlem Grown then joined us at camp head quarters for a family meal and celebration later in the week!

For a sweet treat, we whipped up some chocolate avocado mousse with the farm-to-table Latin-American cuisine at Comodo.


Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 12.53.51 PMAt our Brooklyn Camp, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden educational team showed us compost as a way to re-use our fruit and vegetable scraps, and reduce waste. We got to see composting in action with a tour of decomposers and composting strategies.

There were no extra food scraps to compost from our visit to Ample Hills! At the artisanal, local creamery, we saw (and tasted!) how fresh, natural ingredients come together to make the most delicious treats! With their special bicycle-powered ice-cream maker, we ALL got to make ice-cream, and of course, eat the fruits of our labor!

Each one of our Butter Beans Master Chefs are ready to come home and start composting and recycling on their own. Here are some resources for starting your own composting bin or finding a city bin:

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This week we have been learning about making plants grow from the other side of the spectrum: from the air! We have been focusing on pollinators all week!

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 1.55.26 PMFrom tasting all different kinds of honeys to learning the bees dance to designing a flower to exploring affect of bees on our environment, we’ve been buzzing with activity.

The Manhattan camp visited what is believed to be the highest bee hive in the US (talk about a bee pent house!) on top of the Marriot Residence Inn courtesy of Broadway Bees and Bee Bold Apiaries.

An estimated one-third of our global food supply relies on the ecological services provided by pollinators such as the honey bee. With the help of Bee Bold Apiaries, Broadway Bees produce almost a hundred pounds of honey a year! Learn more about Bee Bold Apiaries’ urban beekeeping here!


Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 1.56.09 PMManhattan and Brooklyn camp got to make chocolate, and make a mess, with the self-taught chocolatiers at Nunu’s Chocolates!

Brooklyn Camp cooked a special Kid-Friendly Pea Soup with The Supper Club author and chef, Susie Cover. The Supper Club is a “solution-driven cookbook offers a modern approach to getting dinner on the table-and ensures that it’s a meal the whole family will enjoy!” We certainly enjoyed making this refreshing summer soup for a quick snack!

They also made gelato from scratch with fresh ingredients and lots of love in the magical world of L’Albero dei Gelati, where they believe that good food is best when the ingredients are fresh and seasonal and when the chain between the producer and you is short. Everything from L’Albero dei Gelati is sustainably produced and locally sourced from good farmers. They use local ingredients, biodegradable packaging and renewable energy on the principle that “food tastes best when it is good for you, good for the environment and fair to the producers!”

Both camps go on a market exploration fried trip tomorrow to put all they have learned into action at the Union Square Farmers Market!

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Since 2010 when New York City legalized bee-keeping in the city, more resources have been popping up for raw and local honey production and bee-keeping. If you are interested in learning more, here are a few resources:

Session two has been a thrilling ride from the soil to the air, and all the delicious places in between! We’re sad to see it end, but look forward to learning about the parts of the plant and sustainable super foods next session!