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.
The Children’s Teaching Kitchen – (Click here for Facebook Page)
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.
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!”
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!
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.
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.
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. Join us for the High Park Harvest Festival on Sept. 30, 2012 from Noon to 4:30 for a guided tour of the Kitchen (a free harvest lunch is also available while it lasts!).
Plant a Seed, Grow a Kitchen is our Adopt A Bale fundraiser for the Children’s Teaching Kitchen. For more information please click here.
The Commemorative Bale Program is a chance to pay tribute to a special person or occasion by purchasing a commemorative bale to be prominently featured in the High Park Children’s Teaching Kitchen. For more information please click here.