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summer camp fun – week 2!

19 Jul

QjMCMkuZMbe2nkPntwhLKCHRThuGXQW8OMiIULIqojYThe second week of our first camp session is drawing to a close, and I can’t believe all the amazing things our campers have done over these past two weeks!

Despite the heat wave, our campers had a week of fun and adventures. Although we were disappointed not to be able to go on some of the trips we had planned, our days were full of delicious new recipes, art + garden activities, and a special heat wave treat!

ZzZGaQGrkLY46mIS4SKU6VIuvbBRnWMm538QH2DjfMcOn Monday, our campers braved the great outdoors for an interactive and fun trip to the Brooklyn Grange. There, our campers learned about bee pollination, harvesting vegetables, and a great song about compost which we put to good use later in the week. They also had the opportunity to create a delicious quinoa salad using fresh vegetables from the farm.

On Tuesday, we spent some time in the kitchen baking nutritious morning glory muffins. Everyone thought it was fun to see how good vegetables can taste in a muffin, and they were the perfect mid-morning snack before an afternoon at the movies! To escape the heat, everyone made a special trip to the theater for a showing of Despicable Me 2. It was a nice way to eas into the hot week ahead.

LwFvmI9yb3tw0hsFa-GhAYVma1C2D7czP-EW0trrWwoWednesday was a very exciting day at camp. After a few long days of anticipation, our campers traveled to Ample Hill Ice Cream where they learned about the ice cream making process, and then made their own vanilla ice cream on a bicycle! It was a big hit among the campers, and everyone was very excited to finally taste what they had churned. The campers returned ready for some nourishing food, and worked together to make tomato, mozzarella + pesto sandwiches. We rounded out the afternoon by making our own play dough and dying it using different foods! We had blueberries for purple/blue, pureed kale for green, and ketchup for red/orange.

Thursday we started the day with sparkling fruit sangria [don’t worry… it was kid friendly!]. White grape juice, seltzer, peaches, grapes, and nectarines made a refreshing drink before our morning art project. For lunch, we worked hard to make veggie hand pies + mashed potatoes. The campers even made the dough from scratch, and they were delicious. During lunch I even overheard one camper exclaim ‘This is the best thing I have ever tasted!’ Needless to say we have some budding young chefs among us.

N0ETonHm7MuIo0sQVWs8VS9wLFaPlylyzkRnqeo5MXcAs a Friday treat, we made another round of popsicles [blueberry + ‘coconut cream’] in the morning before heading the Union Square Farmers Market for another edition of Top Chef – Grain Salad! Each group bought three different color vegetables, 1 herb, and 1 type of salad green to mix with their quinoa, couscous, or brown rice. It was the perfect lunch for such a steamy day. We finished off the week with a relaxing yoga class. As our first session drew to a close we presented our Food + Garden experts with their very own cookbooks, a graduation certificate, and a golden spatula to symbolize their time with Butter Beans.

Summer camp fun!

15 Jul

IMG_2221As some of you may know, summer for Butter Beans is all about our farm to table camp for children ages 6-12!

Our wonderful Camp Director, Sarah Kagan will be our guest blogger through out our camp sessions, updating us on how each week of camp went, so that we can all vicariously share in the fun that is our summer camp! You can also find some of our camp recipes on Sarah’s blog: Beyond the Batter.

After months of planning and anticipation, this week kicked off our third summer of Butter Beans Food + Garden Summer Camp! And what a first week it was. Field trips, farmers market shopping, delicious meals, and special guests helped start camp off with a bang.

On Monday, sixteen budding young chefs arrived bright and early for their first week of camp fun. After some name games and decorating leaves for their job tree, the campers put on their yellow Butter Beans t-shirt and set out on their first adventure to Eagle Street Farms. At the farm, our campers saw bunnies, chickens, and bees, planted some peppers and radishes [‘as deep as our belly buttons!’] and learned about composting.

While Monday was a day for farming, Tuesday was a day for cooking! The theme of the day was Mexico, and our campers whipped up a delicious Mexican feast, including Black Bean tostados and guacamole with blueberries for an extra special treat. They enjoyed making watermelon and feta salad for a morning snack, and planting their own lettuce and spinach seeds.

IMG_2222Wednesday morning, our campers spent the morning in the park playing games and enjoying the beautiful summer weather. They were very excited to come back to camp and try their watermelon + basil popsicles made using the extra watermelon from Tuesday, and needless to say they were a big hit! Things only got better from there as the campers went with Lauryn from Mother in Law Kimchi to the farmers market to buy the cucumbers for their kimchi, and returned to camp to make their own jar to take home. Although a little nervous at first, they loved the taste of the kimchi and even went so far as to drink the juice!

Thursday the campers were back in the kitchen, whipping up a delicious and colorful Japanese themed lunch. Everyone was impressed with the vegetable sushi and soba noodle salad that our campers made; I think Morimoto better watch out! Laura led the campers in a great balanced plate lesson, and everyone had the chance to test their knowledge and create their own balanced meal poster. After some arts and crafts in the afternoon, we wound down with some popcorn and a movie.

IMG_2240After a special herb lesson from Julia on Friday, our campers set out for the farmers market. They competed in their first Top Chef Challenge – Pasta! Each group bought two different color vegetables, two different herbs, and a cheese from the Union Square Farmers Market before returning to camp to come up with their own recipes for a Pasta party lunch. We then rounded out the afternoon with a relaxing yoga lesson from the wonderful ladies at Brooklyn Strength, and some special snacks for our birthday boy, Audie!

I have been overwhelmed by our campers willingness to try new foods, and am impressed with all the things they have learned and created! It’s wonderful to see them making new friends and get excited about all the different activities we do. Our counselors Casey, Spencer, Laura, and Julia have been doing a great job and we have formed a little family here at camp headquarters. It’s certainly been an exciting first week at camp, and I can’t wait for everyone to come back on Monday!

summer plans

30 Jan

IMG_0004Winter is still here, but summer is not that far away!

Come get a head start on your summer plans by visiting us this Saturday at PS 321’s Summer Camp Expo to learn more about our fun-filled food & garden summer camp!

Not only will our Co-Founder and Camp Director be there to answer all of your questions, we will also be sampling our homemade camp snacks like our famous granola bars and giving out some seed packets for garden inspiration.

Our summer camp is all about food! How to grow, harvest, cook, compost, where it comes from, who is behind the scenes, how much energy it takes to get to us, and why it’s good for us. All while having fun in the sun, and enjoying the summer-time to it’s fullest.

For those who sign up for camp at the PS 321 event, we’ll give you an additional $75.00 off, along with our 10% off promotion.

See you there!

urban composting

9 Jan

photo-1What image comes to mind when you think of composting?

For many of you, composting goes hand in hand with open spaces, farms, and backyards.

So what about those folks living in urban settings, where backyards are virtually non-existant and open spaces are confined to city parks and stretches of concrete? Are they compost-exempt?

A recent article in the New York Times graciously lists some city friendly composting devices that will help connect urban dwellers with newfound composting routines, as they make strides in reducing their food waste.

A quick summary:

  • Blanco, a sleek bin embedded into your kitchen counter
  • NatureMill, “compost made easy”
  • Worm Factory 360, if you are comfortable with worms in your apartment, this ones for you!
  • Envirocycle Mini, if you do have access to outdoor space, this could be a great option
  • Vokashi, a compost pick up and drop off service

Inspired?

Check out our food & garden summer camp where we collaborate with master-composters to teach our campers the fundamentals of composting.

early bird food & garden summer camp special

26 Oct

Being followers of our blog, you may have heard about our food & garden summer camp. It’s a blast for our campers, as they get to explore the New York City foodshed and have fun food adventures!

At camp, we learn all about the food cycle, from sprouting seeds, composting and harvesting fresh produce from local rooftop farms, to writing our very own cookbooks. As the weeks progress our campers have explored farmer’s markets, created their own pickles and preserves, and have made bread and ice cream from scratch!

Our campers learn expert kitchen skills from local chefs, take tours of cheese caves, and trips to master chocolate makers. They also have plenty of opportunities to play outside, and go foraging and berry picking at summer’s peak.

We are offering an early bird special on our camp tuition: sign up by October 31st and receive 15% off camp tuition. Camp runs throughout July & August. For more information visit our website for our printable and online registration form.

Here are some additional details that may help answer some of your questions:

  • Camp runs from 9am-4pm
  • Camp date are: Monday, July 8th to Friday, August 16th.
  • We offer pick up and drop off in Brooklyn or Manhattan.
  • Campers are 6-12 years old.
  • We offer early care from 8-9am and after-care from 4-5pm.
  • Our daily fee includes a morning snack and home cooked lunch, 1 camp t-shirt, transportation to and from trips, and all activity materials.
  • Click here for payment details.