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Youth Leadership in the Garden: Slow Food Boulder and Cultiva

Oct. 14, 2011

Submitted by Ellie Goldberg of Growing Gardens' Cultiva Youth Project

Here at Growing Gardens’ Cultiva Youth Project we are so thankful for our ongoing partnership with Slow Food Boulder! Each spring and summer, Cultiva youth participate in Slow Food cooking classes with local chefs, preparing meals at our garden in north Boulder, at the market, and in a downtown church kitchen. Slow Food recruits the chefs, purchases the ingredients, and helps staff the class. This time around, Anolon Cookware has given us the pots and pans.

The chefs choose recipes that use the vegetables the Cultiva youth grow at our organic market garden. Cultiva teens come from all walks of life; participants come from all socio-economic levels and represent a diverse cross section of Boulder County youth in all ways. Many of the teens have never prepared an entire meal from scratch, especially using vegetables they grew and under the guidance of a professional chef. Slow Food cooking classes are definitely a highlight of working at Cultiva; the teens love working together in the kitchen, learning new techniques and recipes from a pro, and above all, sitting together and enjoying a tasty home-cooked meal. To see a documentary about our Cultiva summer program, click here!

Thanks to Anolon’s generous donation of top-notch cooking supplies, we were also able to offer 6 youth-led cooking classes in the garden. The teens harvested vegetables and prepared garlic scape pesto, kale chips, and zucchini pancakes. The youth loved cooking using the shiny new tools!

But that’s not all we’ve been up to! This season, we had the opportunity to visit Shamane’s Bake Shoppe and bake with Shamane herself, prepare pizzas at the market with Antonio Laudisio, make kale tacos with Rayme and Serena on the Comida taco truck, and prepare a meal at the church with Tim Payne of Terroir. We’re excited to keep on growing.
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