Digging Deep (at the Danny Woo Garden)

by Lauren Wong

Hello! I’m Lauren, one of two AppleCorps members positioned at the Danny Woo Garden in the Chinatown/International District. We provide garden classes to youth in the neighborhood in the hopes that they’ll learn more about where their food comes from, have a positMagill_DannyWoo_Image (59)ive outdoor experience, and form connections between culture and food. Also incorporated in our program is a healthy cooking component, where we use vegetables harvested from the garden to create delicious salads and snacks.

This spring, I had the pleasure of working with a class of 15 fifth graders from a local after-school program. Since many of them were already acquainted with the garden—either through a previous garden class or a simple meander through the neighborhood—we were able to delve a little deeper into the heart of the garden and what exactly makes it tick.
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We planted microgreen seeds in our own plots and watched them grow, carefully watering and removing weeds each week to gain a sense of the time and effort required to grow our own food. We went on a scavenger hunt to discover the regional origins of different vegetables and dug around in a worm bin looking for critters. We made comfrey compost tea, a great source of nitrogen, and observed it become brown and pungent over time. We prepared an Asian greens salad, a crunchy bok choy slaw, and a sweet and savory dressing that goes well on everything (1 soy sauce: 1 rice vinegar: 1 honey: 2 sesame oil). We harvested garden strawberries and compared them to supermarket strawberries, noticing the differences in taste, color, size, and shape. We investigated seed pods on a mature kale plant, sparking a discussion about the importance of seed saving. And to cap off our time together, we even had an “older kids teach younger kids” tour, where my class of fifth graders brought a class of first graders to the garden and showed them what they learned.

All in all, it was a lovely six weeks of sunshine, food, and joy. Want to learn more about what we do? Visit our blog at dannywookids.blogspot.com.

Meet Apple Corps Intern, Miss Kami!

Apple Corps recently added a new member to our team of hard working health educators. University of Washington student, Kami Chiang is interning as our Afterschool Cooking Class Teacher! Kami is a senior at UW, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood & Family Studies. She came to us with a strong background in serving children and working on issues of food and nutrition. In addition to being a busy college student and intern, Kami also works for the Huckleberry Forest Preschool of Arts and Science.

Since September, Kami has assisted the Apple Corps Program Supervisor in teaching healthy cooking classes offered at Hawthorne Elementary, through a partnership with Powerful Schools. These hour-long classes engage students in nutrition education and healthy meal cooking, from start to finish. Students learn cooking skills at the same time they learn about nutrition.Image

Kami’s blend of child development knowledge and passion for nutritious food was a perfect match for this program. And the good news is she’ll be back for winter session at Graham Hill Elementary! Thank you to Kami for her dedication to healthy kids and nutrition for all!