Upstate Programs

Course: Fresh Food Comes from the Farm

During this 4-hour immersive program on Katchkie Farm, groups are asked to walk like farmers and think like chefs.  As they tour the farm and taste their way through the Learning Garden, we encourage participants 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. Participants 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, participants also have the opportunity to meet (and hold!) our chickens and collect eggs.

Our participants learn where their food comes and the joy of eating fresh food through direct and meaningful experiences. After harvesting a carrot directly from the ground, carrying it to our outdoor kitchen, cooking a meal with our Chef Instructor, and then sharing it, participants engage fully in the farm-to-table process.  They walk away with recipes in hand and the basic culinary skills needed to make healthy food choices for themselves.

Youth 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 with the goal of creating better access to healthy food and cooking education in Columbia County. In Hudson, we teach series 90-minute classes which take place weekly over a period of six or twelve weeks during the school year and is modeled after our Cooks for Health curricula taught in New York City. We currently teach teen and family classes in partnership with a variety of community partners, including: Hudson Blue Hawk Nation After School Program, Valley Variety, and Etsy.

In Germantown, we are working with Germantown Central School District to create sustainable and integrated healthy eating curricula within the school day. Our hope is to expand this endeavor to reach all school districts in Columbia County in the coming years.

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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. This year, we are offering two sessions, 9am-3pm daily:

  • August 14-17, 2018
  • August 21-24, 2018
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Fresh Tastings

You may see The Sylvia Center out in the community at wellness fairs, farmers 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 Groups and School Participants in 2017

Albany Medical College
Albany Medical Teen
Berkshire Farm Center
Bethlehem Preschool
Catskill Middle School
Chatham Middle School Honor Society
Columbia County Opportunities Head Start
Germantown Elementary School
Girl Scouts of Northeast NY
Greenport Summer Recreation Program
Heschel School
Hillsdale Summer Recreation Program (Roe Jan)
Hudson Area Library
Hudson Bluehawk Nation Summer Camp
Ichabod Crane Elementary – 1st Grade
Ichabod Crane Elementary – 2nd Grade
Knickerbacker Middle School
Malta Montessori School
Northeast Community Center
North Albany YMCA – Arbor Hill
North Albany YMCA – Griffen
Oakdale Summer Recreation Program
Questar III CGEC