On March 19, the Culinary Kids Culinary Arts Initiatives hosted an open house at their farm site, which is located at 444 Beach 58th Street. There were about 20 kids from Rockaway and Brooklyn on hand for the festivities, and many of the youngsters were anxious to help and learn from Culinary Kids founders “Chef Malisa” and “Chef Marion”.
The duo kicked off the event by teaching kids the importance of farming and the value of good nutrition: harvesting, planting, healthy eating habits and laying down mulch. Mulch, also known as wood chips, is used to spread around or over a plant to enrich or insulate the soil. After learning and performing mulching, many of the volunteers felt a sense of accomplishment and wanted to perform other tasks on the farm.
The kids also learned about the “growing season”. It’s described as the period between late March and April when farmers begin to prep their farms. During this process, they start planting and allowing the plants and food to grow so they’ll be ready for harvest. The volunteers spent the majority of the day helping Chef Malisa and Chef Marion prep the farm.
It was during this time that I approached the kids and asked them to share their thoughts about what they learned and working on the farm. “We love helping the community and Culinary Kids,” they said collectively. “We had a great time, and we can’t wait to see the food grow”.
At the end of the workshop, the kids were reminded to always eat healthy and exercise. The day ended with everyone eating and socializing in the tent and reminiscing about their experiences on the farm.
For more information on Culinary Kids, Farm Rockaway and other projects “The Chefs” are working on, visit http://culinarykidsdaycamp.org/ or their Facebook page at “Farm Rockaway”.