I was lucky enough to come across a wonderful, educational program called Global Source Education on Bainbridge Island, WA. The Educulture Project has many Edible Education Programs held at Suyematsu-Bentryn Day Road and Morales Farms. (The history and landscape was breathtaking and very peaceful, too.) Our classroom was set in the Bainbridge Island Winery building. These educational programs provide fostering farm stewardship and food citizenship; collaborates with farms, schools, and the community; enhances classroom curricula; fosters educational leadership; nurtures school gardens; and enriches school lunches. Please check out their website – www.GlobalSourceNetwork.org.
The picture below is of two draft horses that are used on Laughing Crow Farms. They were so beautiful and friendly! The owner of the farm (Betsy) does not use modern machinery. Also below, she uses a chicken tractor to fertilize the fields. (There are other benefits but I have to research this.)
The retreat was a two-day event; 9am-5pm. Our first day was called ‘Cultivating Farm-School Relationships and Developing Edible Education Programs’, in which we learned about sustainable farming and agrarian ideal, met with master farmers, harvested sunflower heads, and explored pedagogical and curricular considerations for developing edible education programs. For lunch, we had an amazing meal prepared by Judith Weinstock. She is a master chef and culinary arts educator in the Seattle area. Everything she prepared was local, organic and homemade. She made two types of bread, goat cheese, potato-encrusted mushroom tart with caramelized onions, mixed green salad with blueberry dressing, and carrot/fennel/ginger soup. It was one of the best lunches I’ve ever eaten! 🙂 (Judith Weinstock ~ http://www.liminalsomatics.com/about-liminal-somatics/who-we-are) To end our first day, we celebrated with a mini-wine tasting session! Our second day was ‘Teaching and Learning about Community Food Systems’. We learned about the components of a community food system; production, processing, distribution, consumption, and recycling. One of our real-life experiences was ‘the buy local challenge’. (www.brokenlimbs.org) We split up into two groups of four and had to prepare a lunch, in which we had to buy as “local” as possible with $40. We were able to choose three places to purchase our food; a local farmers market, a locally owned grocery market, and Safeway. It was interesting to listen to the interpetations of what local meant within these three places. In one store, local meant Washington/Oregon/Idaho. We were actually looking for within county or within the state. We were sort of shocked how difficult it was to purchase food items at Safeway that were actually grown in-state! We ended up purchasing most of our items at the farmers market. 🙂
I can’t even begin to explain what a wonderful experience I had. I learned so much and was very grateful I was able to have this educational opportunity 🙂 I have to share a saying from the vineyard owner, Gerard Bentryn ~ “Fields you can see, hands you can shake“. That was a very powerful message that I will never forget. So, where does your food come from?