Digging deep (at the Danny Woo Garden)

This post was contributed by Lauren Wong and originally appeared on the Apple Corps blog.magill_dannywoo_image-59

Hello! I’m Lauren, one of two Apple Corps 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 positive 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 magill_dannywoo_image-65the pleasure of working with a class of fifteen 5th 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.

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 T soy sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • 2 T 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 5th 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.

Words from the Front: Maggie McKelvy of HomeStreet Bank reports on Solid Ground’s Building Community Luncheon

Our good friend Maggie McKelvy of the Crown Hill branch of HomeStreet Bank hosted a table at Solid Ground’s Annual Building Community Luncheon last week. Here is her report on the event:

I had the pleasure of attending Solid Ground’s Annual luncheon this past Friday and what a great event it was! I was joined by a group of fellow bank employees, customers, and community partners.

Maggie McKelvy, Solid Ground Luncheon table host and Manager of HomeStreet Bank's Crown Hill branch

The highlight of the luncheon, for our table, was truly the keynote speaker, Bryant Terry. Mr. Terry has obvious passion for his work and as he sang to us, holding a cooking spoon as a microphone, told tales of his grandparents and talked about his personal journey, I watched the faces around our table light up. I saw some smiles and nods when he demonstrated his technique for preparing collard greens. I, personally, was feeling flashbacks from my childhood, spent watching my dad cook the foods enjoyed during his childhood years in the South.

I bought Bryant Terry’s cookbook on the way out and test drove several of his recipes over the weekend, including his collard greens. The coconut rice was awesome, by the way, and there are some great tips for cooking with alternatives to milk. Apparently, I was not alone!  My coworker, who also sat at our table, told me that he too spent the weekend in the kitchen, freshly inspired to enjoy whole foods, good health and quality time with his family.

Even if you missed the Solid Ground Luncheon, you can still get Bryant's recipes.

I think that Bryant Terry’s message about connecting through food, looking back in time, and respecting the wisdom of our grandparents and bringing joy, bringing “soul” to the kitchen are at the core of much of the work that Solid Ground does. I am so happy that I was a part of a wonderful event!

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