We have reached the midway point of summer camp, and with session 2 coming to a close, our junior chefs and farmers have already created life-lasting memories, are equipped with the tools they need to maintain a healthy relationship with food, and knowledge to preserve a sustainable earth.
Unique in their own ways, both our Brooklyn and Manhattan camps set foot on a two-week journey throughout the food landscape of NYC. Along the way, we explored farm-to-table cooking; empowering ourselves with awareness that a healthy earth creates healthy bodies. We kicked off our first week of camp “Eating the Rainbow” by creating colorful plates and cuisine. We learned that by incorporating a rainbow of colors in our unique recipes, we ensure a balance of nutrients.
We then traveled to Battery Urban Farm, for an “Eat the Rainbow” tour and harvest. A bountiful variety of colored veggies was harvested right here in our very own urban city!
We continued our journey to explore the land of cheese! Murray’s Cheeses has over 250 types of cheese and our junior cheesemongers expanded their palates sampling various types familiar and new. We learned about the work of dairy farmers and the processes that make each cheese unique.
Next our Manhattan Camp ventured down to The Meadow in the West Village to try a rainbow of artisanal salts. Red Molokai, Pink Himalaya, Blue Lavender, Haven Mon Gold, Black Truffle and “stinky salt”. Our junior “selmeliers” took a basic course in discovering that artisanal salt comes directly from nature with a variety of geographic origins… and not just from the table saltshaker!
For week two of camp we delved deeper into the theme of Sustainability. A new excursion this summer was to the High Line. Walking alongside both native grasses, flowers and industrial rails, campers learned how horticulturists, designers, ecologists and architects work together to conserve biological diversity in this unique part of NYC railroad history.
Our sustainable journey continued to Rosemary’s Farm and Restaurant. Rosemary’s supports the community through their own CSA program with produce and ingredients harvested from their very own rooftop garden. The wonderful head chef led us on a tour of the garden where campers pick herbs and edible flowers, and to the back of house to witness the chefs and line cooks in action. We loved baking and dressing our own caprese focaccia pizzas!
Everyday at camp, campers practiced mindful eating and listening to our bodies. Not only do children learn to appreciate the foods that farmers make for us, but appreciate the amazing ways their own bodies can function. Our weekly yoga practice with Skyler, combined with mindful awareness with food, helps our campers recognize that food fuels our bodies to do the amazing things we can do!
The global adventure continued with a special visit by Chef Rowena from Eat2explore! Eat2explore delivers seasonal farm-fresh and fun meal kits that include ingredients and kid-friendly recipes families can prepare at home. At camp we celebrated American cuisine by baking a delicious scratch-made peach cobbler using farmer’s market-fresh juicy summer peaches!
Session 2 kicked off “Worms and Compost Week” with our annual exchange with Harlem Grown. Harlem Grown campers led the Manhattan campers on a tour of their bountiful garden, and guided Butter Beans on farming tasks such as aerating the chicken coop, sorting compost and weighing the produce which is donated to the Harlem community.
In return, Harlem Grown visited the Butter Beans Manhattan campus where our campers transformed the gym into “Harlem Beans” a restaurant complete with linecooks, servers, Maitre D and a “beverage sommelier.” Their creative menu consisted of a scratch-made three-course meal paired with grape seltzer. The afternoon was complete with seed planting giveaways, a popcorn filling station, facepainting, limbo and dance freeze!
Our Brooklyn campers experienced a world of international cuisine right in their very own backyard. The newly opened “Dekalb Market Hall” was a perfect place to adventure out on a scavenger hunt, taste new foods and discover new flavors!
We then took a trip to the lush Brooklyn Botanical Garden, where our gracious host Claudia from the NYC Compost Project, showed us the process of creating a healthy soil. We learned that our soil superheroes, the worms, have five hearts to keep them powering through their workday creating the soil that grows ours food!
What can we do after camp as a family?
On graduation day, campers take home their sackpacks, certificates, practice knives, Chop Chop magazines, eat2explore coupons, culinary skills, a more adventurous palate and of course unforgettable memories!
We encourage you to share in the joy of cooking and gardening with your child. Here are some easy ways to continue the magic of summer camp in your own homes!
- At the end of all three sessions of summer camp, we will be sending you a digital copy of all the recipes and snacktivities we created at camp! Have your child choose some favorites to cook as a family!
- Next time you are at the farmer’s market, allow your child to pick a fruit or vegetable that will make your next family meal pop with color!
- What ways can your family be sustainable? Share ideas together! Pick one or two things you can turn into a healthy habit for ourselves and our environment.
- Make cooking fun! Try a Master Chef Junior challenge! Points go to creativity, food groups, and experimenting with new flavors and ingredients!
- Interested in an easy-way to prepare meals? Sign up for the eat2explore mailing list today! There’s no subscription, the only commitment is to have fun cooking together!
Are you hungry for s’more camp fun? Join the adventure!
Click here to check out what we have in store for Session 3! We have 4 spots left in Manhattan and 1 spot opened up in Brooklyn! Deadline to register is this Friday!