Upstate Programs

Course: Fresh Food Comes from the Farm

During this 4-hour immersive program on Katchkie Farm, students walk like a farmer and think like a chef.  As they tour the farm and taste their way through the Learning Garden (which is home to over 200 different things to eat) we encourage students to try new foods and to think about how the fruits, vegetables, herbs, and even flowers they are tasting, could serve as an ingredient to a meal. Youth take part in every step of the story of food including planting seeds, pulling weeds, harvesting organic produce, and creating and sharing a meal together.  In addition, youth also have the opportunity to meet (and hold!) our chickens, collect eggs, pet the sheep, and visit with the pigs.

After pulling a carrot directly from the ground, carrying it to our outdoor kitchen, working with our Farm Chef to create a meal with it, and then sharing that meal, our participants understand where food comes.  After eating a strawberry or cherry tomato that they have just picked themselves, children experience the joy of eating fresh food. Participants are fully engaged in the process of where food comes from, understanding how it grows, and learning to prepare it into a healthy meal.  They walk away with recipes in hand and the basic culinary skills needed to make healthy food choices for themselves.

Children who help cook healthy meals, are more likely to eat them.  And when they’ve picked the ingredients for that meal themselves, we’ve found that they are even more likely to do so.

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Healthy Food for All Program

Our Healthy Food for All Series Program brings our culinary, food literacy, and nutrition education to local schools and into the community.  This series of 90-minute classes takes place weekly over a period of six weeks during the school year and is modeled after our Cooks for Health curricula taught in New York City. We currently teach youth, teen and family classes in Hudson, NY with a variety of community partners including: Hudson Blue Hawk Nation After School Program, Questar Boces III, Perfect Ten, and Valley Variety.

Each week students develop and build on their culinary skills and knowledge of healthy food as they prepare simple and delicious meals using seasonal ingredients. In addition to teaching skills and promoting self-efficacy and confidence in the kitchen, participants take home either: an extra portion of the food made in class (youth classes) or, a pantry of staple items plus a weekly Fresh Food Share to cook with at home (teen and family classes). By doing so, we give our participants the opportunity to share their experiences with their families and practice what they’ve learned in our kitchens at home.

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Young Chefs Farm Camp

Put on your farmer boots and your chef hats! Spend four unforgettable days with The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm learning how to grow organic produce in our Learning Garden and cook farm-to-table meals with freshly harvested ingredients. You’ll be working side by side with farmers & chefs to learn about seasonal food & sustainable farming, plant seeds and harvest fresh produce, tend to our animals, and cook in our outdoor kitchen & wood-fired oven. Farm Camp takes place daily from Tuesday August 22nd to Friday August 25th, 2017.

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Fresh Tastings

You may see The Sylvia Center out in the community at wellness fairs, farmer’s markets, and other local events.  These “one-time” programs allow us to connect to other local organizations and our community members through cooking demonstrations and taste tests at public events.

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Youth and School Groups Participating in Fresh Food Comes from the Farm in 2016

Albany YMCA – Arbor Hill

Albany YMCA – Griffen

Albany YMCA – Philip Schuyler

Albany YMCA – Sheridan Prep

Bethlehem Preschool

Cahill Elementary

Catskill Middle School

Chatham Elementary School

Chatham Middle School Honor Society


Germantown Afterschool Program

Germantown Garden Club

Germantown Second Grade

Ghent Summer Recreation Program

Girl Scouts – Adamo

Girl Scouts – Regional Program

Greenport Summer Recreation Program


Hillsdale Summer Recreational Program

Ichabod Crane Elementary School

John L. Edwards Elementary

Knickerbacker Middle School

Live Serve Youth

M.C. Smith Intermediate School

Northeast Community Center

Oakdale Summer Recreation Program

Parker School

Perfect Ten

Private Group – Hila


Red Hook Residential Center

Salvation Army

Trinity Alliance & Albany Med College