Friday, November 15, 2013

St. Ignatius Grade 7's visit to the Honey Bee Research Centre on Campus!

On October 10th we brought 33 Grade 7's to the Bee Farm where we were lead in an engaging bee tour by Apiary Manager, Paul Kelly. Paul began with teaching us all about the anatomy, types, and behaviour of bees. We then followed him out to the hives where the brave kids were able to sample fresh honey right from the honeycomb!

After purchasing some delicious raw honey from Paul we headed back to the MINS Food Lab where we were joined by Chef Jennifer Rekunyk who led the kids in some fantastic culinary activities. Using some vegetables from the organic garden that the school had harvested the day before, we showed the kids how to incorporate honey into some healthy and easy recipes which included, butternut squash fries, kale chips, garlic aoli, and yummy kale salad.
Our second day at the bee farm was October 17th, with another amazing group of Grade 7 students from St. Ignatius. This time we were joined by Chef Shea Robinson again to help with our honey recipes. We helped the students make granola, banana pops, and honey roasted root vegetables. A huge thank you to both Chef Rekunyk and Chef Robinson for making both days fantastic for the students. We are sad that this concludes our fall programming this year as the fall harvest is coming to a close. But we are excited about the up and coming G2T programs in the winter semester. Stay Tuned!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fall harvests in the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming

Row of beets in the garden.
Some beets growing in the garden!
This fall the Garden2Table team had more visits than ever to the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming! Steph and Steven did an incredible job ensuring that all the students had a great time harvesting vegetables from the garden then bringing them up to the cooking labs to cook up a feast.

If you have never been down to the GCUOF you need to go and check it out at some point! We cannot emphasize enough that we could not have this program without the garden and we are so incredibly thankful and proud of the work that Martha Gay and her team do.

During the fall we brought 95 students through the garden, here's a quick recap of our visits:

On Thursday October 3rd, we brought 24 grade 4 students from Jean Little Public School to the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming. We had a tour of the garden and then harvested some fresh vegetables! The kids then joined us in the cooking lab where we helped them prepare kale chips, butternut squash fries and roasted beet and goat cheese salad. The kids all took home something they harvested and were excited to tell their parents how much they loved kale!
Some new favourites- butternut squash fries & kale chips

On Wednesday October 9th we had 26 grade 7 students from St. Ignatius Catholic School in the garden. We harvested turnips, radishes, carrots, celery then washed and chopped them up and ate them right in the garden! We were then joined by Chef Shea Robinson who lead us in a dressing demo and taught us how to make some great dips to have with our veggies.
Touring the garden
Quick tour of the garden before harvesting

Harvesting vegetables

Chef Shea with the students
Chef Shea helping us making dressings and dips for our veggies
Wednesday October 16th was our biggest G2T day! We brought 45 grade 2ʼs to the garden and then back to the kitchen lab. In the lab we were joined by Chef Erika who helped us make individual pizzas topped with fresh veggies from the garden that the students had harvested themselves!
Getting excited to be in the garden!
Learning from Bruce in the greenhouse
Searching for frogs in the pond
Back in the lab, ready to make pizzas
Some of our delicious pizzas!
Hopefully this has given you a little sneak peak of the garden visits we had in the fall. It definitely kept us busy but we were so happy that Steph and Steven were able to organize all these visits which allowed us to reach out to so many children. Thanks to all the guest chefs for helping us in the kitchen, the other student volunteers, and huge thank you to the GCUOF for all their help, allowing us to use their garden and for all the delicious vegetables! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

We're back, busier than ever!

Hey there!

It's crazy to think that the fall visits have come and gone! We apologize for being so late on this introductory post but we've been spending most of our time in the garden, the kitchen or the Honey Bee Research Centre teaching students about food.

We, the Garden2Table team for 2013-2014, are extremely excited for the year and can't wait to spread our knowledge and love for food in hopes of getting children excited about their food!

Without further ado, here's the team for this year:

Children's Programming Coordinators: Stephanie (right) & Steven (left)

My name is Stephanie Redmond. I am a 5th year Hotel and Food Administration Co-op Student. I have always enjoyed working with children and believe it is important to educate kids at a young age about where their food comes from. I hope to teach them the importance and benefits of organic farming, and get them excited to eat vegetables such as kale, beets and turnips. I am most excited about teaching the students how to prepare healthy and simple snacks that they can take home and use everyday. Here is to a great G2T year! 

My name is Steven Pawluch, I am a 2nd year Hotel and Food Administration student. I have always had a passion for the culinary arts, and I am most excited about teaching the kids how to prepare some amazing recipes with fresh organic vegetables from the garden. Being involved in the Slow Food movement back home and now an executive member on the university's student chapter has taught me the benefits of supporting our local farmers and making sustainable consumer choices. I hope that with Garden 2 Table we can install this in the kids at a young age!

Outreach Coordinators: Ailsa (right) & Shannon (left)  

Hi, my name is Ailsa and I am a fourth year student involved in Garden2Table, working on community outreach. I am very interested in eating locally and trying to avoid overly packaged and altered products. That is why I enjoy being in the garden so much, I love seeing where the foods come from and how they grow in their truest form. I am looking forward to a great year of learning and sharing knowledge with kids about the garden.

Hey! My name is Shannon and I am super excited to be working with Ailsa on the outreach for Garden2Table this year. Being a nutrition student I definitely recognize the importance of people understanding what they are eating and where it comes from. I think that we have become so disconnected from the origins of our food and the way to change this is start with tomorrow’s generation: the children. I grew up helping my parents in the kitchen and I cannot wait to create interactive food centered activities that we can take to school and other community groups to teach kids to love and appreciate their food!

College Royal Coordinators: Sharon (left) & Joyce (right)

Hello! I’m Sharon and I’m in second year hospitality and food administration. I’m really excited to be a part of the Garden2Table team this year because I love food! I’m looking forward to learning more about how organic vegetables are grown and sharing my love of food with others! I’ve always been a huge fan of food because it has the ability to make people happy, cheer them up when they’re sad and to bring different kinds of people together. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Nihao (Hello in mandarin)! I am Joyce. A FOODIE? Of course I am! As most of other foodies do, I love food. And I will never get tired of rocking my kitchen by cooking and baking, but in a neat way. I always feel like working on a piece of art when baking a cake or making an eggplant parmesan dish, etc. in the kitchen. Moreover, I appreciate food, especially those grown locally as it seems like gifts from the God. I am into the bright colours of fresh vegetables, balanced sweetness of organic fruits, even fresh smell of grass. They are just amazing to me!!! I always wish I could hug and kiss the nature if it was a concrete figure. Back to real life, I am very excited to meet more foodies and share the joy from local sustainable food with the team.

The Garden2Table program could not be possible without the help of both Bruce McAdams, our faculty advisor, and Nicole De Athe, our Director of Development!

Make sure to check back to see what we get up to this year!

Garden2Table team

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

College Royal

Once again this year, we are hosting a great two-day event series for College Royal! 

“The Whole Family from Field to Table” 
brings experiential learning to everyone, 
through fun, interactive activities showcasing 
the connection between garden and table. 
A local chef will display Canada’s bounty 
through hands-on cooking workshops for 
adults and children alike at 11 am and 2 pm 
each day!

Check out our ad in the College Royal Booklet.

Keep reading for more detailed information about what we have to offer:

Our event for College Royal will continue food education for children and families in Guelph by providing a wide variety of events for people to participate in.
1. Grocery Store; we will set up a grocery store style display that families can walk through with the Canada Food Guide and choose the foods they would eat for a day from the “aisles” of the store.
2. Composting; a display that walks participants through methods of composting, how it works, and how they can implement into their homes.
3. Planting Seeds; growing a garden is a great way to continue education of food at home, and brings everyone back to the “roots” of where food comes from.
4. Information display for GCUOF; the GCUOF is a huge part of our programming and we want to educate the community about what they do.
5. Strategies for getting kids to try new things; Getting children to try new foods and eat a balanced diet can sometimes be challenging. We want to provide tips about breaking those barriers, and provide recipes that incorporate healthy ingredients into common recipes, i.e. black bean brownies
6. Preserves and Preservation Methods; growing your own fruits and vegetables in the summer is excellent, but having them around in the winter can be challenging. We will showcase different recipes and methods for making preserves, including jams and sauces.
7. Nutrition; we will display important facts about reading nutrition labels and highlight how much sugar and sodium are in common household pantry items
8. Family Cookbook making; relating back to the cookbook activity we do in the fall, we will have a family cookbook making station set up with several recipes to chose from.
9. Celebrity Chef Demonstration;  we will have two sessions each day showcasing the talents of a celebrity chef that families and people in the community can watch and then try the recipes themselves under the guidance of the chef.

Hope to see out this weekend!

Yours in food,
Emily and the Garden2Table Team

Friday, January 25, 2013

Healthy Kids = Better Learners = Healthier Life = Stronger Communities

This week Garden2Table made an amazing connection with a group who's values about food, kids, and education align perfectly with ours! 

ActiveChefs is a non-profit organization committed to promoting and sustaining healthy living for school-aged children. They have developed a program that incorporates multicultural cooking, physical activity and community partnerships. 

After looking through their website, ActiveChefs is an inspiring group. The programs that they develop are set at an affordable price, even free. Cooking demonstrations, recipe creation, and grocery store trips are just a few of the educational activities these kids can experience. 

Some exciting highlights for ActiveChefs are:

ActiveChefs by the Numbers:
2,875   Participants
 116     Programs
  31      Locations
 92%    Spending on Program Activities
  39      Volunteers & Instructors

After starting in 2011, ActiveChefs has made a huge impact all throughout Southern Ontario. Working with their sponsors and through grant funding, they have been able to support youth education on food and healthy lifestyles. After all, food is what sustains us. Why not set up future generations with the right tools and information to make healthy decisions? 

Check them out in the news here:

“We’ve had the pleasure of working with ActiveChefs on three extremely successful school events focused on increasing parent involvement in our school while promoting healthy lifestyles for children.” -- Catholic School Council, St. Joseph School, Oakville, ON

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Food Tube

As many of us know, Jaime Oliver is a bit of a food education "pioneer". His Food Revolution gained interest globally, and he has even started a Food Revolution Day to "stand up for real food".

More recently, on January 21st 2013, he launched Food Tube. A youtube channel specifically designed to showcase recipes that can easily be made at home. The channel presents chefs from all around the world making their favourite recipes.

Viewers are encouraged to ask questions on the channel and he will answer them throughout the show.

Check it out HERE!

As always, we encourage you to keep learning, discovering, and eating great food!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2012: A Year in Review

This year was an amazing year for Garden2Table. A new team formed, establishing new goals and bringing together people passionate about food and education. We all come from a different background, and each of us holds a different relationship with food. The goal of Garden2Table - at it's core - is to help people, youth especially, build a relationship with food. 

The fall semester was busy with frequent visits to the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming and PJs in the Atrium. Students got the chance to see food in it's raw form, straight from the earth. They had a chance to harvest and taste fresh vegetables, fruits, and berries and learn how to make simple, delicious snacks. Each student was also given the opportunity to create their own cookbook with the recipes they tried and tested that day to bring home to their families.

With the semester coming to a close, we hosted a Charity Dinner in celebration of what has been accomplished so far. On Sunday November 18th, Garden2Table partnered with several leaders in Wellington counties gastronomic community. The charity dinner, "Gastronomy through Generations", was a huge success. Guests filled PJs in the atrium to share an experience we will never forget. Food has brought our community together through the recognition of the importance of food sustainability and children's growing relationship with food. The evening celebrated the success of brining 1000 children through Garden2Tables community outreach program. The program brings local students to the Guelph Centre for Urban Organic Farming to learn where food comes from, learn about land and harvesting and how to prepare healthy snacks with the vegetables they harvest from the garden.

Local ingredients were used to make a fantastic meal prepared Court Desautels and John David, Simon Day, the Screaming Avocado, and several student volunteers from the University of Guelph along side our own Garden2Table team.


The continued support of the community is what allows us to bring students to the garden and engage them in the food they eat everyday. 

2013 will be a great year for all of us, and the Garden2Table program. Our next big project is College Royale; check back to find out more as March approaches!