Many Hands (and Feet) Did Great Work!

Yesterday we hosted our first annual “Slow Food NYC Dig In” at Ujima Garden. There were close to 3o volunteers who showed up for a day of hard work. We got tons of work done and then celebrated our efforts with a delicious pot-luck lunch. We built a new 3 bin composter, prepared the beds for fall planting, started a new mural, installed new shelving in the classroom and much more.

I would like to send a big shout out of thanks to all the Slow Food members who volunteered their time and effort to make our Dig-In such a fantastic success.

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Slow Food NYC is sponsoring a work day at Ujima this Saturday, September 25th from 10am – 4pm. If you want to help us put the gardens to bed, paint a mural, re-upholster chairs or fix up the classroom, come on by.

At 4pm, we will share a potluck supper, so bring something to share.

See you then!

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Ujima Hosts Hecksher for Garden Workday

Today the students from Ujima Garden invited the gang from Hecksher Garden to come over for a workday. The Ujima students were super excited about being team leaders and hosts. When they arrived, we quickly split up into work teams: weeding, painting, watering, harvesting and snack making. We all worked together for about an hour and a half and got a lot done. We harvested 15 cucumbers, 6 bunches of swiss chard, 18 bunches of kale, 15 bunches of collards, 11 bunches of basil and 5 bunches of Thai basil. There were also cherry tomatoes  but they all got eaten before we could count ‘em.

We made 3 types of bruschetta from our harvest: tomato, pesto and sauteed swiss chard.

Thursday is our last day. We have about 15 ripe eggplants hanging off the vine and we plan on making an eggplant stirfry and serving it with a watermelon salsa.


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Thinking about Food

It’s hard to believe that our final week of camp has arrived! Last Thursday, the kids took part in a special lesson on nutrition, during which they learned how to identify and distinguish between simple and complex carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The students had fun matching cardboard cutouts of certain items, like pizza and eggs, to each of these categories. It’s great to watch the kids becoming more and more thoughtful about the food they’re eating.

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Big Moves for Week 6

Tomorrow should be an amazing day.  There is so much food ready to be harvested at Ujima.  We have white eggplant, Italian varieties, and Japanese.  We also have a field full of swiss chard, kale, and collard greens.  We have one HUGE watermelon that is getting bigger and bigger every day.  On Thursday, our last day, we will be picking it and eating it with all the kids.  I think they will be so excited because they have watched that baby grow for the last 6 weeks.  Our corn is almost ready to be picked and should be ready by the end of the week too.  Our bean teepees are about 7 feet tall and covered with flowers.  Any day they will start producing beans.  We have harvested anywhere from one to four cucumbers a day, and three of our cabbage have started balling.

Every day this week we have a feast planned: Asian, Mexican, and a home made pizza party with all the fresh topping picked right from the garden.  A celebration for all the hard work and effort the students have put into the garden and into their work for the last six weeks.

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We Are in the News!

Take a look at our kids in action!

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On the menu: gazpacho and sushi

Our group at Ujima is always up for trying new recipes—no matter how sophisticated a palate one might think a dish requires! When we made gazpacho the other day we weren’t sure whether the cold soup would be popular with the kids, but they all gave it a try and nearly everyone was a fan. Today we made California rolls–wrapping carrots, crab, avocado, and cucumber in seaweed with sticky rice. Perhaps an even bigger hit than the food itself (which, don’t get me wrong, was very well received as usual) were the chopsticks that we all used. The students left with a pair in tow as a memento of the day and to have on hand for their next sushi meal.

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