With the Seedling Grant funds, including an unexpected but much appreciated increase in total funds awarded, we were able to hire 2 part time summer interns to participate in the From Garden to Table project. Both individuals worked with Huertas in the spring semester, which prepared them to engage in outreach with the farmworker population. The interns began by coordinating the planting of 25 kitchen gardens throughout northern Vermont and began connecting with households interested in learning a new recipe or two. They also attended a class on teaching nutritious cooking in collaboration with the Vermont Department of Health and Healthy Roots out of St. Albans. They then met with an Outreach Professional from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) program to received advice on planning, scheduling and executing cooking classes as well as what to purchase for the outreach cooking kit. Twelve cooking classes were offered with Huertas households incorporating vegetables and herbs grown by and of interest to participants. In addition, the interns assisted with the distribution of chickens to 6 households who participated in our chicken coop construction project the year before. (The opportunity to have chicken coops located at their homes has increased their autonomy and ability to decide for themselves what they eat and when. These Huertas participants come from communities in Mexico and Guatemala that maintain free-range chickens so the ability to raise, slaughter, and eat their own chickens in Vermont has been a connection back to their lifestyle and diet in their home country).
Participants were excited to participate and reported that they were happy to have new ideas and cooking knowledge to incorporate into their meals. The interns demonstrated and expressed professional growth as they took ownership of this project coordinating, planning, and executing the classes. Below are a few quotes from participants regarding the experience as well as a list of recipes used.
Y: Mashed Potatoes and Artichoke Hearts: We learned about a new meal. We had never had artichokes before and I didn’t know how to prepare them. Now, my family has enjoyed them and they love the recipe. I plan on using it again. Thank you for showing me something new!
Z: Vegetable Lo Mein: In our household [of all men], we take turns cooking. It was my turn to cook when we did the cooking class. It was nice to have someone to cook with. My co-workers really liked the food. I did too and would like to learn more recipes.
- Ensalada de pasta con verduras/Pasta salad with Vegetables
- Brócoli (o coliflor) al horno/ Roasted broccoli (or cauliflower)
- Puré de papas y alcachofas/ Mashed potatoes with artichoke hearts
- Lasagna de berenjena/ Eggplant lasagna
- Roasted root vegetables/Verduras al horno
- Ensalada de repollo /Cabbage salad
- Berenjena empanizada/ Breaded eggplant
- Lo Mein de verduras/Veggie lo mein
- Salteado de verduras/ Veggie Stir-Fry
- Albóndigas de pavo & Camote frito/ Turkey meatballs & sweet potato fries
- Pan de calabaza/Pumpkin bread