FRESHFARM's food education program in partnership with DC Public Schools

FoodPrints is an education project of FRESHFARM that integrates gardening, cooking, and nutrition education into the curriculum at partner elementary schools. Watch the FoodPrints video to see our program in action. 

This Week at Watkins - by Jane Hellewell

We have been busy in the FoodPrints' food lab at Watkins this week.  The first graders made whole wheat sweet potato biscuits and homemade applesauce with a variety of apples from Dupont Market.  We first took a close look at the biscuit recipe to learn how to read a recipe. They discovered that a recipe has two parts: the ingredients (the list of foods used in a recipe) and the directions (steps to combine the ingredients which must be followed in order).  We also took a closer look at the measurements used for certain ingredients. The sweet potato biscuit ingredients involved much measuring, and the students enjoyed this experience. As for the applesauce, students cut the apples into small pieces and added them to a pot on the stove.  While the apples cooked and the biscuits baked, we continued our studies of the different parts of different plants that we eat. They now have a chart in their journal that they can add to each time we prepare a snack in FoodPrints, helping them become aware of various plants and their parts that we eat. The sweet potato biscuits and applesauce were enjoyed by all especially on these cold days. 

Fourth grade classes have been following up on their decomposition experiment. A month ago, we buried 5 items in the garden: a kale leaf,  part of a pepper, a large metal paper clip, a piece of paper, and a styrofoam plate. These last two weeks each 4th grade class dug up these materials to make observations on the condition of each item.  The classes found that the organic items: kale, pepper, and paper had decomposed nearly 90% while the paper clip and the styrofoam had not changed. We compared our scientific predictions with the conclusions of the experiment. Overall, we discovered that organic materials are able to decompose in just over a month when buried under the soil, revealing evidence of decomposers.  The fourth graders also had the opportunity to prepare and enjoy a delicious Thai Curry Noodle Soup.  This is another wonderful and easy recipe to prepare for the cold weather.  Please try this recipe with your children at home. 

 I will be taking care of the worms over break, so not to worry. Several students were concerned about their well being. We shall see if any good stories come of this experience. Have a wonderful and safe winter break. I look forward to seeing you in FoodPrints come the New Year! - Jane Helewell, 1st, 2nd & 4th Grade FoodPrints Teacher