DIY earth-friendly recipe for sowing seeds

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in families, Food for thought, gardens, healthy lifestyle, home remedies, local food, summer camp, Valentine's Day, pink lemonade, cranberries, recipes, wellness | 0 comments

During each camp session at Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Camp, our budding chefs & gardeners bring in repurposed planters that would otherwise end up in the recycling bin or landfill. Campers fill their makeshift pots with soil, sow a seed with care, and water gently. They care for their plant throughout camp, lighting up with excitement when the first sprout peeks above the soil.

At the end of the camp session, the kids head home with their new plants to continue their gardening duties. Those campers who join us for multiple sessions teach new campers the art of planting, and are always thrilled to create another earth-friendly planter.

One of our campers (and future celebrity chef) Aidan was with us for five weeks of Food & Garden Summer Camp 2015 and became an expert in sowing seeds. This morning he asked mom to send us an update on his windowsill garden and boy, were we excited to open that e-mail! Check out this creative garden. Shout out to camper Aidan on his green thumb!



As our campers have shown us, you can grow a garden wherever you are, no matter the time of year, with a little bit of creativity and a lot of heart. Read on and get growing.

DIY earth-friendly recipe for sowing seeds:

  • 1 recycled container
  • Soil/compost mix
  • 2 seeds
  • Water
  • Sunshine
  • Love & Care

Directions: Cut your recycled container (e.g. milk carton or plastic bottle) in half. Add enough soil/compost mix to fill the container. Dig a small well with your thumb in the soil, then add 2 seeds.* Cover the seeds lightly with soil. Water, and place the pot in a sunny spot and watch your seeds grow!

*If both seeds sprout, remove one so that the other can grow big and strong. If you remove it carefully, you can try replanting it in another container. Leftover egg cartons are also great for sprouting seeds.

Written by Kelly McGlinchey, Director of Food Education

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let’s hear it for the moms in our life!

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in families, Food & Farm program, giving, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, home remedies, local food, news and happenings, raising children, seasonal, seasonal celebrations, wellness | 0 comments

photo (61)This weekend is a celebration of all the mothers out there.

A HUGE thank you goes out to you, and all that you do to make this world a better place!

Your love, dedication, strength, and laughter inspires, nurtures, and helps us grow into the best versions of ourselves.

To celebrate here is a list of fun food and wellness related gifts to consider, featuring our favorite camp partners:

  • Bring her to your local farmers market, and pick up some fresh seasonal flowers, herbs for an herb bouquet or windowsill garden, and ingredients to make a delectable spring meal together (pansies and marigolds for a mother’s day salad?)
  • Pick up some Essence of Vali essential oils made right here in NYC
  • You can never go wrong with Nunu Chocolates
  • Take her out to brunch at Egg 
  • What about a rooftop farm yoga class at sunset with Brooklyn Grange
  • She would love gluten/dairy free, certified organic, enzyme rich treats from Sweet By Jana
  • Book a cheese class with the Bedford Cheese Shop
  • Indulge in handcrafted Ample Hills ice cream, then have a picnic in Prospect Park
  • Get your fermentation and happy gut flora on with Mother In Law’s Kimchi
  • Enjoy Beth’s Farm Kitchen preserves for a homemade breakfast in bed

Whichever way you chose to celebrate the moms in your life, make it a memorable one!

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“it’s like magic!”

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in after school, cooking classes, cooking with kids, healthy food, home remedies, local food, Recipes | 0 comments

soup collageOur cooking class chefs raved about the butternut squash soup that we made together in class. 

They learned about “sweating” the vegetables, the different types of winter squash, and why soups are the perfect meal to boost your immune system in the winter months.

After smelling the raw butternut squash, one of our chefs remarked on how it smelled like cantaloupe and pumpkin, and when another one of our chefs was running her fingers down a sprig of thyme, she exclaimed, “it’s like magic!”

Here’s how they made their delicious soup:

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 5 tasting portions


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 butternut squash
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 C water or stock


1. Prep: Add water or stock into a pot. Dice the onions, garlic, celery and sweat in a pan with olive oil. Peel and dice the butternut squash.
2. Cook: Add all the veggies into your pot, add in the thyme. Bring soup to a boil, then down to a simmer. Let cook for 20 minutes, or until squash is soft.
3. Enjoy!

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the beauty of a garlic press

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in healthy food, healthy lifestyle, home remedies, local food, nutrition, wellness | 0 comments

photo (31)The small things really matter when it comes to cooking (and many things in life).

Is there something that you can change in your kitchen that will make an impact on your daily cooking activities?

For example, do you use lots of garlic in your recipes, but are not that thrilled when you need to mince it, resulting in smelly garlic fingers?

Then pamper yourself with a garlic press, honestly, it will change your world!

If you haven’t yet ventured onto a garlic press, you will be amazed at how efficient and helpful this tool is. You don’t even need to peel the cloves! All you do is place your garlic clove(s) into the press and squeeze, and you’ve got yourself some fresh pressed garlic in no time!

Not only is this device a convenient cooking tool, research has strongly suggested that “using fresh garlic would provide maximal and added benefits” to cardiovascular patients, meaning it’s great for your heart. Due to its hydrogen sulfide contents, garlic relaxes blood vessels, allowing more blood to pass through when eaten raw.

What cooking tools help you in your daily life?

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DIY halloween face mask

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in healthy lifestyle, home remedies, nutrition, Recipes, seasonal, seasonal celebrations, wellness | 0 comments

1573579417_d4e8679044October is pumpkin season, and what better way to use them up then to treat yourself (and your family) to a halloween pumpkin mask!

This could make for a perfect new fall family tradition.

Not only are pumpkins great for carving, they are also great for our skin, containing high levels vitamins A, C and E.

Your skin gets soothed by the vitamin A, while it gets repaired by the vitamin E, and gets the added benefit of vitamin C which produces collagen and provides your skin elasticity.

Sounds too good to be true? Try it at home, and have fun with your orange-hued faces!


  • 1/4 cup pumpkin flesh
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tbsp honey


1. Whisk: Place pumpkin, egg and honey into a food processor, and blend until mixed.

2. Apply: Avoiding the eyes, nostrils and lips, apply the mask to a clean face. Let it stay on for 15-20 minutes.

3. Remove: Rinse with warm water, and pat dry. Enjoy the beneficial effects of pumpkin!

Photo courtesy of reneS

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DIY food face mask

Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 in families, healthy lifestyle, home remedies, nutrition, Recipes, wellness | 0 comments

5505284900_8f7b25773bLooking for a fun food activity to do with your kids, friends or just need some TLC?

Look no further than a quick DIY food face mask!

Here’s how to make one with avocado, honey and egg yolk (great for dry skin):


  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • yolk of 1 egg (if you want a less moisturizing effect, use egg white instead)
  • 2 slices of kirby cucumbers (for your eyes, optional, but recommended)


1. Mix: In a bowl, mix all ingredients together in a food processor or by hand with a mortar/pestle, fork, whisk, potato masher (get creative!).

2. Apply: Spread a layer of the mask on your face and neck, avoiding your eyes and mouth. Place optional cucumber slices over your eyes, lie back in a comfortable chair, and relax, as the nutrients seep into your skin and the cucumbers refresh your eyes. Leave on for 15-20 minutes.

3. Rinse: Remove cucumber slices, and rinse off the mask with warm water. Pat dry. Enjoy soft, and glowing skin!

  • Your skin will benefit from the unsaturated fat found in avocados, which helps moisturize and soothe, while vitamin E and C helps protect your skin from free radicals, while promoting strength and elasticity.
  • Honey is loaded with antioxidants, and contains natural antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which benefits those of us who have acne prone skin.
  • The B vitamins and choline present in egg yolks are associated with reduced inflammation.
  • The high water content present in cucumbers helps hydrates the skin around your eyes, and if stored in the fridge, the cooling sensation helps reduce swelling.

What’s your favorite food mask?

Photo courtesy of Will Merydith

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