by Clint Brinkley
Event: Summer Expedition
Every Summer Columbia College hosts a program to enrich local middle school students. Part of this program is coming out to the Urban Farm each morning for lessons about agroecology. Topics covered include pollinators, watersheds and pollution, plant biology, and food insecurity. While the students were very interested and engaged, I could hardly hope to compete with their interest in the mulberry tree. They like the berries so much I think they were even giving the birds a run for their money!
Event: Parent Cooking Class
In my role as a garden educator I predominately work with elementary school students. There are a lot of reasons for this. Partly it’s a self-feeding cycle that the more I work with that age group, the more comfortable and better at delivering information I get. Partly it’s that that is the age group that has the availability to go out in the garden. And partly it’s because kids that age are more interested and willing to try new things and play and learn in the garden. I do get to work with middle schoolers some, and less frequently with high schoolers, but I still give lessons to those age groups on occasion. One group I almost never work with is adults. That’s why I was so excited to be given the opportunity to teach a cooking class to a group of parents of Boys and Girls Club members! Teaching adults comes with it’s own unique set of challenges and advantages, but it was a ton of fun working with folks to make sweet potato – black bean enchiladas and a southwestern salad! We made some to eat together and everyone got to take a tray home to give to their families, too!