Update: After the questions, answers, seeds, seedlings, water trips, duck eggs, chicken eggs, and quiche with the fourth and fifth graders at Phillis Wheatley Elementary over the last three days, here are your pics from Planting Day and Food Day. The Edible School Garden is gorgeous thanks to the kids and our amazing group of volunteers who came out yesterday, special thanks to Melisa Phifer farm director Earth N Us who kept all our seedlings in a row! And to Keith for organizing so much on the kitchen and farm end for us! Today there was as much reaction to Brad’s zucchini and tomato quiche as questions and answers to Keith about chickens and eggs. We can’t wait for more Phillis Wheatley fun! Stay tuned for gardening lessons, a harvest, more cooking and a field trip to Earth N Us farm yet to come this school year.
To me, the egg is a perfect creation. From meringue to tiramisu, meatballs to fried chicken, souffles to egg cream sodas (which isn’t even egg related, but I would argue that the the three little letters in the name make it somehow creamier). A fresh egg can make everything better. Rice cake anyone??
When we heard about FOOD DAY 2012, which this year falls on Wednesday, October 24 and celebrates eating “real” food, I first thought of our Miami-Dade County Public Schools Chef Partnership school Phillis Wheatley Elementary in Overtown. Immediately after, eggs. What better way to celebrate healthy, affordable, and sustainable food, than with eggs, and better yet — an EGGstravaganza. (Would you like some cheese with your eggs? I do!)
First, we would get to work re-plant the school garden, something we do each year by working with the school’s Science Coach, Kelley Garcia for 2012-13. Enlisting head server and gardener for the Michael’s Genuine courtyard orchids and Harry’s Pizzeria herb gardens, Himnahtooyah, for his expertise, and the aways enthusiastic server Tara Kaiser for some extra helping hands, our in-house cook/neighborhood farmer/goat whisperer/produce forager Keith Kalmanowitcz, stepped right up. to get seedlings from a few of our favorite local gardens and donated some of his own from Earth N Us farm to hold our third annual planting day on Tuesday, October 23.
Next, I immediately got to work on activities for the following day and called our local EGGspert (I’m finished, promise) farmer Dale Volkert of Lake Meadow Naturals in Ocoee, FL and asked if he would come down to help us with a presentation. Unfortunately, the response I received from Dale was that he couldn’t make it, since it would fall during his rare but necessary annual vacation, but he went on to say…
“I do feel those things are important especially. What I would love to do is give you some variety of eggs I know we can do some chicken and duck but will probably still have some Partridge, quail, guinea and maybe even a few turkey eggs to use for your demonstration to show them the different kinds of eggs and I would also be glad to send down a DVD of the farm and how we produce the eggs and grade them. What we’ll put together for you will be 4 Chicken eggs and 2 duck eggs for each child to take home to their families and enjoy. Would that help?”
Would it ever! Science Coach Kelley and I were so excited. And thus the planning began. In the morning, we would have our Food Day presentation in the cafeteria, presided over by its manager Theresa McKenzie, with the fourth and fifth graders and farmer/chef Keith. Chef de Cuisine Bradley Herron helped us create a fresh “real” food dish to share with the students: local squash and tomato quiche, a perfect talking point for the Free School Breakfast initiative, too! As for Dale’s eggs, those will be given directly to parents later that evening at a Parents Night, so as to make sure they all make it home and into tummies, and not all over walls.
We look forward to sharing photos from next week’s healthy food activities, so stay tuned for the EGGcellent recap to come.