Everyone was eating their veggies at the harvest lunch for the Okanagan Science Centre Landed Learning program at St. James School. The students planted and cared for the garden in the spring and the volunteer farm friends, experienced gardeners, took over for the summer.
With the harvest in, dietitian Jan Hillis, who facilitates the food and nutrition part of the program, came up with the recipes: Swiss chard stir-fry, potato-sunchoke soup, curried squash soup, pasta with tomato sauce, cabbage coleslaw and cantaloupe.
“You always have to have a taste. That’s the ‘no thank-you bite,’ then you can say you don’t want any more,” she told the students and guests.
“It takes seven times to learn to like a new food. It’s important that we learn about food and where it comes from.”
Farm friend Jocelyne Sewell has been with the Landed Learning program, coordinated by Dr. Linda Peterat, who developed the program at UBC, for four years, since it started in Vernon. The program is sponsored by the Okanagan Science Centre and the Knights of Columbus.
“It’s so interesting to work with the kids and see how they enjoy it and how enthusiastic they are about learning new things,” said Sewell.
The students agree.
“I like the harvest and making the food. This food is good,” said Emilia Durfield, a 10-year-old Grade 5 student at St. James School who was in the program this year.
The Landed Learning program will resume in the spring with Grade 4 students from the school.