Vegetable Literacy

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So, I’ve been struggling to find time over the past few months for recipe posting. My recent lack of blogging has largely been due to the fact that I’ve been working quite a lot over the past several months. In May, I got a job focusing on what I am most passionate about: sustainable agriculture. Over the course of the summer and into the early fall, I ran a farming education program where I was working primarily with elementary school students. We had various summer camps and school field trips to our farm where students would participate in our outdoor education program. We would give the children a tour of the crop fields, discussing with them how we grow our vegetables. We would often take them on a hike and allow them to pick some of their own vegetables to take home. The focus of the program was to create “vegetable literate” children, to teach them how food grows, why food grows and to encourage healthy eating habits. Our farm is USDA-certified organic vegetable farm on the campus of Wilson College just south of Harrisburg, PA. Here in semi-rural Pennsylvania, there are all kinds of misconceptions about where food comes from. When asked, my students usually declare that their food comes from “the store”. Although we are surrounded by such ample farmland, there is quite a disconnect between people and the land. In fact, many adults are confused about how and where their food grows. The ultimate goal is to bridge that gap and to stress the importance of eating local and organic. Though I haven’t really had time for culinary experimentation this summer, I have really enjoyed working toward changing our current food system, even in a very minimal way. When it comes to creating a more sustainable agricultural system, every little effort counts. As the farming season comes to a halt and my program begins to wind down, I am finding more time on my hands to blog about my eating adventures. I’ll be posting some seasonal recipes over the next couple of weeks, in preparation for Thanksgiving (this is going to be the first year I’m cooking the meal myself!) Stay tuned!