CAVA
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FOOD IS A FORCE

of good

We work with amazing community partners to improve and empower healthy eating in our cities. We recently visited the 24th Street Elementary School Garden Classroom, the space the Garden School Foundation calls its home base. Learning program leader Abigail Orosz lead the youngsters in creating a healthy produce-forward recipe.

So what does a day at the 24th Street Garden Classroom look like?

To start, adventurous second-graders dutifully split off into two groups, each tasked with finding the garlic chives in the garden. Each student gets to pluck a single strand from the patch. Oh, and how about some fresh basil, too, while it’s harvest time.

"A lot of kids are really excited to get their hands dirty & engage in what we are doing."

Cassie Martinez, Executive Director of the Garden School Foundation

After the greens have been gathered, everyone has to wash his or her hands. Everyone scrubs for a few moments and then rinses for a few moments. Why keep paper towels or a dish towel on hand when you can just do the hand-drying dance?

On this particular cooking day, we’re making an herbed rice salad. It’s a team effort.

First everyone does a little lemon squeezing and a little garlic chive shopping. Then it's time to take turns adding cranberries, almond slivers, feta, and a lemon dressing.

Everyone gets a chance with the giant bowl and the large wooden spoon, and a few eager helpers get to set out reusable plastic bowls for everyone to try some.

Portions are spooned out, and bowls are passed down the picnic tables. No one can start eating until everyone is sitting down and being quiet.

Ok, now it’s time to say, “Cheers!” Each youngster tries some, and even if they don’t like every single ingredient, they’re still eager to compare and contrast flavors and favorites.

Most bowls make it into the clean plate club; those that don’t are carefully emptied into the compost bin.

Abigail asks the kiddos whether there were any surprise flavors, and whether everyone thinks they could make the recipe at home for their families. In a few more minutes, it's time to line up and say goodbye until next time.

In a few minutes, this colorful, inspiring, passion-infused space will come to life again. The next class is learning about pumpkins. The 24th Street Garden Classroom waits for no one.

Herbed Rice Salad: 3 cups cooked brown rice ¼ cup dried cranberries 1/8 cup shaved almonds ¼ cup feta cheese 2 T olive oil Sprinkling of fresh herbs from the garden Squeeze of lemon juice Combine rice, fruit, nuts, and cheese in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and chopped fresh herbs. Add oil mixture to rice and stir until thoroughly mixed. Enjoy!

Created by Cava Grill

@cavagrill