Edible Education: Lessons on the Farm

For the second year in a row, some of Medway, Massachusetts’  lucky fourth grade students were fortunate to participate in a special community learning project which involved harvesting plots of land at the beautiful Medway Community Farm and growing their very own produce.

The 4 fabulous teacher’s from the Memorial School involved in this learning project included: Mrs. Nash, Mrs. Butler, Mrs. Rice and Mrs. Hickman.

Mrs. Nash took a moment to explain to me that the project meets the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks for a Community Service Learning Project, which includes key science, mathematics, language and writing learning standards. Mrs. Nash notes, “This has helped the kids learn to work cooperatively as a team, showed them that they can be contributing members of their community and what an important  role that is! It was an incredible hands-on experience for all of them!”

Look at these beets ready for pickin’

The community project also involved some of the Burke School’s pre-school students who grew seedlings then passed them along to the fourth graders who harvested the plots, planted the seedlings and grew the produce.

As a dietitian and mom, I reveled in this event.  How wonderful to see children hand pick a beet, wash some fresh fennel, taste kohlrabi, and “massage the soil to kill the weeds” to help the lettuce and scallions grow. Their hard work culminated in a fabulous farmer’s market sale…SEE what I purchased!

They also had an old-fashioned lemonade stand (Joanne Knowlton, a Medway mom managed the stand) and enjoyed a special story hour where the preschoolers and other small children from the community enjoyed a book read by their fourth graders! How cute is that?

Take a look at the kids hard at work…

Bella “massages the soil”.

Katie says, “Look at the long root”.

Ritesh holds up some freshly pulled beets.

Rachel washes some fennel.Al and Kevin work the lemonade stand.

Mrs. Nash asks for volunteers to pick the beets and the kids enthusiastically volunteer.

Farm staff, Kevin shares some kohlrabi with the kids.Brittany, the farm’s hard working manager, provides a lesson on scallions!

We need to see more of these types of educational opportunities for our growing children.  One that fosters an appreciation of where and how our food is grown, creates an interest in learning about different foods (particularly vegetables!) and provides a greater understanding of how our everyday food choices impacts our health and that of our Earth.

An EDIBLE EDUCATION of sorts, I think I’ll eat to that!  Perhaps, some kohlrabi!

I am a Kohlrabi newbie.  I knew what it was but never cooked or tried it. Since I love everything with olive oil and a bit of sea salt, I decided to make kohlrabi chips! Raw kohlrabi has a slightly sweet but hint of broccoli taste with the texture of a radish. Kohlrabi, as a member of the cabbage family, is one of the world’s healthiest foods!  It is a great source of vitamin C, fiber (contains 5 grams of fiber in 1 cup!) and cancer fighting nutrients: indoles, sulforaphane and isothiocynates.

And interestingly Ben Franklin who helped promote the sharing of agricultural knowledge and products between the US and Europe introduced kohlrabi to our country! Thanks BEN!

I know, I cooked mine a bit long BUT we like the crispy brown ones!

Kohlrabi has not been tested for FODMAPs…so this recipe is not suitable for low FODMAP diet at this time.

Kohlrabi Chips

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Kohlrabi bulbs, ends trimmed, washed, skin in tact
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Prepare cookie sheet with thin coating of olive oil.
  3. Slice kohlrabi bulb in very thin slices. (I used a mandoline slicer) but you can use a sharp knife too.)
  4. Drizzle with olive oil to cover slices and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and turn over or move around, then cook another 5 or so until nicely browned and potato chip consistency.
  6. Enjoy immediately!
https://blog.katescarlata.com/2011/06/15/edible-education/

Do you know who grows your food?  Why not take a visit to a local organic farm and buy some produce?

5 replies on “Edible Education: Lessons on the Farm

  • Jen Fasolino

    I love kale chips, and pretty much anything with olive oil and seasonings as well! I’m going to have to stop by the farm and pick me up some kohlrabi 🙂

    • katescarlata

      Yes…definitely-Kohlrabi comes in white and purple and both varieties make a tasty chip! My son Brennan says he likes them better than kale chips and I agree! MMmmmmm….

  • Marcia Coakley - Dance of Health

    Love this educational model, and this farm. Brittany is brilliant, with help form Kevin, kids and volunteers!
    LOVE kohlrabi in any form. Great recipe/reminder. If there are any left after I eat my fill of them raw, perhaps I will get to it. This kind of recipe works fabulously with rutabagas (large yellow turnip – as opposed to the crunchy hakuri white turnips). Cut the rutabagas into slices, or try fries/sticks and roast.
    BTW, those are radishes in the pictures (gorgeous, yummy, sweet/spicy radishes).
    There are beets on the left of your beautiful “purchases” photo, along with the radishes, kohlrabi and scallions.
    We don’t want any veg confusion!
    Bon apetit!

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