Fisher garden moves indoors with hands-on cooking

Fisher garden moves indoors with hands-on cooking
Posted on 10/30/2018

The garden at Fisher Elementary has given students plenty of hands-on outdoor learning opportunities. Those opportunities move indoors for November through February.

As part of Fisher’s work with Bellingham nonprofit Common Threads Farm, students at Fisher will experience a cooking class once each month across four months. “Since we can’t proceed with outdoor garden learning, we switch to a cooking program in the individual classrooms,” says Sydney Wilson of Common Threads. “We move from growing to cooking to get kids comfortable with how the food we grow in the fall and spring can be prepared in more accessible and delicious ways, compared to our usual raw tasting when outside.”

In the lessons, students will practice following recipes, working in teams and preparing food for eating. Each month will feature a new lesson.

And it all starts with kale.

While kale may not be a fan favorite of all the students at Fisher, Common Threads Farm likes to start the cooking sessions with kale to offer students the opportunity to try something new and see how a bit of kitchen work can transform a garden item into a new eating experience. The kale salad will include radishes, dried cranberries, chives, carrots, mustard, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper.

Come December, students will tackle a side most are likely familiar with: applesauce. The apples, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg will combine for a sweet treat for the students.

Fisher principal Courtney Ross started the garden last school year, the first year of the new Fisher Elementary building, after earning a grant from Whole Foods Foundation and gaining support from the Fisher PTA, AmeriCorps and Common Threads. The garden took shape in spring 2018 and students have had the opportunity to take learning into the garden, both last spring and this fall. That experience continues through the winter, whether with kale, cinnamon or apples.