Updated: Jan 6, 2020
by Anne Rosenthal, Farm to School Specialist
Frankie the goat and Butch the rooster likely sensed a different energy on the farm on May 31st. Their visitors were taller than usual – and more numerous. If they could count, our furry and feathered friends would have noted more than one hundred students, ranging from second to eighth grades, representing twelve schools across the district. These students gathered for the 2019 Gardening Summit at Great Kids Farm (GKF), an event designed specifically for students involved in gardening and greening at their schools.
Outside experts joined City Schools Farm to School staff to lead workshops that stretched beyond the scope of topics covered almost daily during GKF field trips. For a unique farm-to-table experience, students tasted herbed cream cheese with ingredients from GKF, and concocted original juices thanks to Juan Nance of Healthy People Juice. Outside, they planted potatoes; sifted compost with Marvin Hayes of the Baltimore Compost Collective; and explored bee hives with Master Beekeeper Steve McDaniel. They also shared information about their school gardens by bringing a poster for the GKF poster gallery, and painted garden labels for them with Norah Salamone, a Baltimore City community gardener.
The cafeteria tables also featured colorful trays on Friday. Instead of typical brown-bag meals, students munched on Great Kids Farm greens and eggs, veggie quesadillas, and home-made ice cream sandwiches – all prepared and served by culinary students from Edmonson Westside High School.
Summit participants left the farm with both food for thought and food (read: herbs!) for their gardens. The Great Kids Farm staff feels lucky to work with such passionate students and staff. Thanks to Belmont, Booker T. Washington, Commodore John Rodgers, Edgecombe, Edmonson, Graceland Park-O’Donnell Heights, Hampstead Hill Academy, Harlem Park, James McHenry, James Mosher, Maree Farring, Patterson Park Public Charter, William Paca, and the Edmonson Culinary team for making our first summit of 2019 so memorable.