McLeod Garden

In this garden, Slow Food NYC has partnered with NYRP and “Live Light, Eat Right”, which is a healthy lifestyle program for children who are learning to live with diabetes and overcome obesity.  “Live Light, Eat Right” is  run by Brookdale hospital. The children come to the garden twice a week for five hours. In the program, the focus is on learning to cook healthy foods, getting exercise and discovering where  food comes from. The head teacher is Lisa Chodorkoff, a recent Grad from Sarah Lawrence College. She is assisted by Lucy Block and students from WATCH High School

One response to “McLeod Garden

  1. Lucy Block

    This past Tuesday at the McLeod garden was our most challenging day so far, to put it nicely. Last week our bottomless energy had gotten us through not only the day of downpour that forced us to do our Three Sisters Soup in a hot, sticky, and mildly depressing school cafeteria, but absences of our fantastic WATCH kids and about seven campers showing up on Thursday without warning for a repeat performance of our Tuesday lesson. Maybe all of that drained us a bit, because on our first day of this week we were unfocused, unorganized, and lackadaisical. Something as basic as not getting our dish washing station running well turned around and bit us in the butts, because we ended up with a train wreck to clean up at the end of the day.

    I took it hard, and wasn’t looking forward to Thursday’s lesson. In addition to being disappointed with how camp went on Tuesday, I became preoccupied with stresses from my personal life, and was not optimistic going to work on Thursday. In addition, I was running late, and Lisa was late, and I took the L train without her, so we couldn’t chat and pump each other up on the ride over.

    Luckily, I was greeted by Hector and Shamika, our WATCH helpers, standing outside the garden. After scolding me for making them wait (as per usual, since for some reason Hector insists on getting to the garden about an hour before we ask him to be there), they immediately presented me with their plans for the day’s new, improved dish washing station and a list of all the things they were going to start preparing as soon as Lisa got there with the keys. Their enthusiasm was totally contagious, and it infected both me and Lisa, when she arrived a few minutes later.

    It was simple. We decided we were going to do the same lesson as Tuesday, but a hundred times better. We were all completely focused while cutting up fruits and veggies and setting out toothpicks and dip for the beginning of camp creature-making snack, getting journals together, preparing ingredients and supplies for the World Foods cooking activity (Lisa’s group made Vietnamese summer rolls with peanut sauce, Hector and Shamika’s group made Italian pesto pasta and raw zucchini salad, and my group made Mexican chicken fajitas with homemade corn tortillas), and of course, setting up the dish washing station.

    Needless to say, the day went spectacularly. The only hiccups were a hectic and difficult cleanup after cooking at the end of the day, and the strong breeze blowing out the flame on our propane stove, making it almost impossible to fry the tortillas (although I think I was the only one who got frustrated by this). All in all the day went incredibly smoothly. We were so happy that we actually had a big group hug as soon as the campers left.

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