The Beginning of Fall at Columbia County

By October 10, 2018Blog, On the farm

Our first week in residence at Taconic Hills Elementary School went well! The fourth graders are studying plant science in school, so we emphasized looking more closely at the ingredients we use in our recipes. We dissected sunflowers, examined sprouts, and cooked with different parts of plants in our Butternut Squash Chili. Butternut squash is in season right now and very abundant. It’s also incredibly versatile, so we use it in many of our fall recipes.

One of the students said, “when it’s just a pile of vegetables sitting there it doesn’t look that good, but once you cut it up and add spices it looks amazing!” (Jackson, 4th grade).

At Questar, a vocational high school in Hudson, we worked with students enrolled in the culinary program. We helped the teens practice their skills, learn new ones, and think about the nutrition and health components of learning to cook. We talked about what kinds of dishes we would use various herbs in, and what descriptors we’d use for the tastes of different vegetables. We all cooked together, and made a Butternut Squash Risotto and a Warm Green Bean Salad.

Right down the road from Katchkie Farm, first graders came from Ichabod Crane Elementary School to visit the farm. They plucked pesky cabbage moth caterpillars off of broccoli plants, harvested ground cherries, and worked as a team to maneuver wheelbarrows full of the season’s dead plants to the compost heap. We also cooked together to make a delicious Vegetable Soup and Spinach & Apple Salad from the seasonal bounty.