Tag Archives: food and garden summer camp

Thank you!

19 Aug

3qNfPt0rJP3RKzc50poFB_F7PeNYaweSJOvp49tJcHg (1)A big thank you goes out to all of our families that participated this summer in our food & garden summer camp!

From beekeeping, chocolate tasting, watering, composting, cheese making, cooking, gardening, farmers market shopping, yoga practicing, playing, chicken holding, jam making, urban farming, ice cream tasting and kimchi making, our campers had the time of their life!

Our favorite quote of this summer was from a mom who posted on our facebook page. Her quote sums up the impact that our camp has on our campers, hopefully for years to come!

“My son tells us this has been the best six weeks of camp he’s ever had. He’ll be sad when camp ends today! He has loved the counselors, the cooking, the gardening and the fantastic field trips. Butter Beans has been a truly enriching experience for him. At home we’ve been amazed to hear about what he’s done each day. We so enjoy reaping the benefits of his supercharged love of cooking and his real awareness of what good healthy food is and where it comes from. Best of all, he’s really absorbed what it means to be eco-conscious! Wow!”

Here’s to next summer, filled with food, gardening and fun!

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!

It’s seed season!

12 Mar

7040367667_83e2da04a2Enjoying this Spring-like weather, and looking to sow some seeds this Spring?  The much loved by its members Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn has received a shipment of vegetable and herb seeds from Artistic Gardens based in Vermont, FEDCO from Maine, and Seed Savers Exchange based in Iowa. Follow the links to order your seeds directly to your home or garden. We are going to pick some up for our summer campers, as we teach them how to grow vegetables, flowers and fruit from seeds.

7746101738_084590765bWe can’t wait for our annual summer visit to our friends at the Brooklyn Grange where we get the golden opportunity to pick farm fresh veggies, make a summer farmers salad and check in with their chickens and beehives on their glorious rooftop farm. They have big plans for the future of urban farming and have expanded their rooftop farm vision to another location in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, many congratulations to all of your hard work and dedication!

Photo courtesy of tterrag and Kristine Paulus

reflections from a parent, post camp

19 Jul
Camp was fun for all of us involved over the past two weeks. And being fun, when talking about summer camp – is really what it’s all about. But when the experience goes deeper, and integrates into the life of  a child, it becomes so much more. We have had really positive feedback so far about our camp experience from parents, and this one sent from Alison, Rita’s mom, touched me enough to share. Thank you Alison for letting us spend such great time with Rita – she’s awesome!
I had a feeling that [my daughter] Rita would enjoy your camp but after the last two weeks I have to say that I am blown away by the passion you have instilled and unleashed in her for all things food, nature, community, environment and yes, even love related. It has been amazing to see how she integrated each day’s discoveries into a continued investigation on her own… which one day led to an exploding glass jar (yes, beans do expand with water – a lot). I have not been able to get her out of the kitchen since she started. As soon as I turn around, a new home-made creation is being concocted…pickles (actually pickled everything), salads, greens, cheese, bean sprouts, jam, potato chips!, pesto…  and they are all fabulously delectable. Last night I found her lowering a batch of her home-made cheese in a basket on a string over the fence to share with our neighbors — and of course also sharing the recipe. Today she taught me the proper way to pick basil so “the plant is happy and wants to grow more basil”. She also has developed a “chef’s” sensitivity for flavorings… she takes a dash of this herb and a smidgen of that, a pinch of salt and sprinkles it into her creation with a self-confident flourish. She measures but she also intuits… I look forward to seeing where this newfound fervor and these life lessons will take her — and us. I ask her what other camp she’d like to try, “None, only Butter Beans! Again and again! (And you don’t have to make me lunch!)” is her reply.
*we still have space left in the first two weeks of August. Sign up with a friend and you both get 30% off!