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.

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Blueberry Picking!

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It’s summertime and that means our Seattle area has an abundance of berries! The Apple Corps team and our department colleagues took advantage of this and spent a morning picking the juiciest blueberries we could find!

As Nutrition Educators, we know that blueberries are considered a superfood as far as nutrition goes. An excellent source of Vitamin A, these little blue gems can help prevent vision loss. And because they’re packed full of healthy antioxidants, they help keep us looking and feeling young (just like Nutrition Educator, Cristina in the picture below)! Blueberries have even been proven to prevent certain cancers and diseases, and can reverse short-term memory loss. Amazing!

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So what’s your favorite way to eat blueberries? We’ve come up with a delicious, healthy blueberry recipe that you can make at home. Try it and tell us what you think!

Very Blue Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups juice, orange or apple
  • 1 cup low-fat or non-fat vanilla yogurt (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
  • 2 small (or 1 large) ripe banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries (or fresh + ice cubes)

Preparation: 

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend for 20 seconds or until smooth. Makes 4 servings!

If you have little ones in the kitchen, they can help by:

  • Picking and measuring berries
  • Peeling bananas
  • Dropping ingredients into blender
  • Putting the lid on blender
  • Pushing ‘start’ and ‘stop’ buttons on blender
  • Helping pour servings
  • Helping wash dishes
Nutrition Facts per Serving:
  • Calories: 159
  • Total Fat: 1g (Saturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g)
  • Cholesterol: 1mg (0% DV)
  • Sodium: 49mg (2% DV)
  • Total Carbohydrate: 35g (10% DV)
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Sugars: 25g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Vitamin A: 6% – Vitamin C: 115% – Calcium: 15% – Iron: 4%