The Farm at Walker Jones is an emerging one acre school farm located in the heart of the District of Columbia. It is the first urban farm attached to a school in the District and serves as a resource to the students, their families, the surrounding community and the network of school garden programs across the city.
Student engagement with the farm consists of hands on farming activities and tastings. In order to further connect students to the food they have a hand in growing we are building a teaching kitchen.
The project will fund the purchase of a quarter of the supplies needed to create one culinary workstation in the kitchen that will be shared by 4 students. This workstation will be used on a monthly basis by all 21 classes at the school.
When our students enter the teaching kitchen after harvesting fresh produce from the farm, they will be transformed into chefs! At their shared butcher block cooking stations, they will each have their own knives, chefs hats, aprons, cutting boards, cooking utensils. They will have two demonstration tables, a juicer, blender, bread machine, and food processor at their disposal to help them master the art of healthy, creative cooking. They will have reusable to-go containers to take home their creations to share with their families, along with the recipes
The farm has been instrumental in exposing the students and surrounding community to new, healthy, foods. The major obstacle in student and community adoption of healthy eating habits is a lack of culinary skills. We have found that people just don’t know what to do with most of the vegetables grown on the farm. By teaching the students and their families how to cook these new foods in healthy ways we will begin to address the health problems that exist in our community and prevent childhood obesity.
Our garden and nutrition educator will work with each class in the school on a monthly basis to lead a farm to table class. The students will begin with activities on the farm including a harvest, and move into the teaching kitchen for a cooking demo and hands on food preparation activity.
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