Eating Our Way Around The World!

The school year may have come to a close, but summer’s abundance has brought bold flavors to Rogue Valley Farm to School’s programming. Our team of educators has partnered with the Ashland Food Co-op to host three summer camp sessions, the first of which took place this month!

Fourteen elementary-aged children from across the community joined RVF2S educators, Elizabeth and Carly, for a culinary trip around the world, exploring cuisines and cultures of five different countries.

The week began in the Co-op’s beautiful classroom space with an accompanying vegetable garden and concluded at The Farm at SOU. The group harvested fresh vegetables and herbs for each day’s featured recipes, chopping, sauteing, and molding the ingredients into delicious dishes.

Campers learned the cultural significance of corn as they molded balls of masarepa for Venezuelan arepas; dined on lentils using Ethiopian injera in place of silverware; made pasta from scratch, served with fresh pesto from the day’s basil harvest; and practiced traditional Japanese sushi-eating etiquette as they hand-rolled their very own vegetable sushi.

Summer camps offer a unique and welcomed opportunity to engage with students from our community, around topics untraditional to a typical day camp, ranging from nutrition, the local food movement, and food miles; to immigration and foreign languages.

The camp may be designed for the students, but the educators and volunteers couldn't help but have a great experience as well. Carly, the Rogue Valley Farm to School AmeriCorps member, shares, “One of my favorite aspects of camp is the opportunity it creates to connect with students who I recognize from various other Rogue Valley Farm to School programs, whether it’s Tasting Tables or Harvest Meals, in a much deeper way; the ability to build a stronger relationship with the kids in this unique context only further advances our mission to connect students to our food system in meaningful ways.”     

Next month's camp theme is Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches: Chopped Edition! This session is perfect for children who appreciate the opportunity to get creative with selected ingredients, with just a dash of competition.