Teaching Kitchen

From Caterpillar … is the first chapter outlining the construction of our Teaching Kitchen.  Follow along the epic journey as we take you from caterpillar … throughout the construction … To Butterfly 🙂

View of the High Park Teaching Kitchen across the garden from the hill.

Recipe: The Children’s Teaching Kitchen

Ingredients: children, youth, diverse community members, an organic garden, fresh fruits, veggies, energy, enthusiasm, caring, outstanding volunteers, dedicated staff, straw bales, plaster, photovoltaic panels, a green roof, solar water heating system and a rainwater harvesting system!

Preparation Method: Take your first 11 ingredients and mix them together in the organic garden. Teach the first three ingredients about healthy eating, organic gardening, cooking with fresh fruits and veggies and caring for our environment. Lastly, add the final ingredients to create a model of “green” building. Adding your vote to our recipe will help us build the healthiest facility possible for our community and our environment.

Recipe Yields: One environmentally friendly kitchen and thousands of happy, healthy community members.

Children and Staff preparing a recipe.

The Children’s Teaching Kitchen

The food we eat matters. It matters how and where it was grown, how we prepare it, that it tastes good and that it brings people together to nourish body and soul. With alarming statistics on poor eating habits and the rise in childhood obesity, teaching children to eat healthy food is a top priority. The Children’s Teaching Kitchen, located in High Park, helps make kids healthier by inviting them to share in and enjoy the entire Seed to Table journey. It also serves as a model of environmental sustainability.

English muffin pizzas.

Crunchy, sweet, sour, spicy and yummy are just a few of the words that our participants use to describe the flavours of the fruits and veggies grown in the garden. The main advantage of allowing young people to participate in the act of growing food – by planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, cooking and eating garden produce – is that it fosters an interest in the fruits of their labour. We often hear parents exclaim, “I can’t get them to eat that at home!”

Children preparing muffin tins and zucchini for chocolate chip zucchini muffins.

Until now we’ve only been able to achieve all this by “making do.” We’ve been lugging our pots, pans and participants far and wide between our garden and borrowed kitchen space throughout the City. The new Children’s Teaching Kitchen is a space we can call home. Over the summer it has become an integral part of our programs and provides shelter on rainy days and a place where tasty, healthy food is enjoyed!

Chocolate chip zucchini muffins about to go into the oven.

Activities in the Kitchen include cooking and organic gardening programs, summer camps, environmental education courses, free family drop-in programs, free community meals and events, and green building workshops and seminars. There is a focus on programming for youth, with an Environmental Leader in Training program, expanded youth cooking programs and volunteer opportunities that contribute to a caring and engaged community of peers.

Our Leaders in Training approve of the muffins.

The kitchen is built with environmentally friendly methods and locally purchased materials, including plastered straw bale walls, a green roof, a rainwater harvesting system and an in-floor radiant heating system. It will serve double duty as a home for seminars and workshops in green roofs, renewable energy and straw bale building. We are in the process of developing extensive interpretive signage, accessible to visitors 365 days a year.

A youth camp group getting ready to cook something in the Teaching Kitchen.

Feel free to stop by the Children’s Garden and Children’s Teaching Kitchen in High Park.  When staff are available they will be happy to answer any questions you might have.  

3 responses to “Teaching Kitchen”

  1. The Children’s Teaching Kitchen – Update #1 | Children's Garden and Exploring Toronto Avatar

    […] Me GrowSpecial EventsTeaching KitchenEventsRecipesMain CourseSidesSoups and SaladsSnacksDessertsVeganDairy FreeGluten-Free […]

  2. Children’s Teaching Kitchen Public Information Open House | Children's Garden and Exploring Toronto Avatar

    […] Me GrowSpecial EventsTeaching KitchenAdopt A BaleCommemorative Bale ProgramEventsRecipesMain CourseSidesSoups […]

  3. So what did I do all summer? « seedlingstories Avatar

    […] rest.  The reason for that is very exciting – a straw bale kitchen is being built beside the High Park Children’s Garden.  It’ll be great to have a kitchen right by the wonderful children’s garden, so that […]

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