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Fall 2010 Hawthorne Valley Farm Trip




2010 Hawthorne Valley Farm Trip -

This past month several NYC Teen Battle Chefs were given a chance to explore Hawthorne Valley Farm over two different weekends. As a biodynamic farm, they were taught about the mixed farming approach that strives to balance out plants and animals based on a healthy soil life. They also learned the importance of avoiding hormones, pesticides and fertilizers to produce the freshest most natural ingredients.

During their first weekend the TBCs participated in the Halloween festival and learned the dynamics of the farm, as well as how the farm fit into the c ommunity. These NYC teenagers really got their hands dirty feeding pigs, walking goats, picking veggies, splitting wood and fetching eggs. Yes, they fetched their own eggs, and loved every minute of it! As Janiel, a 15-year-old TBC from Brooklyn states, “ I really enjoyed the wood splitting and while fetching eggs a chicken ate off my shoe!” Afterwards the TBCs made a beautiful candle lit organic dinner for the Hawthorne Valley friends and family.

The next weekend our teen chef’s became the teachers rather than the students. They used their knowledge from the TBC program to teach younger children, at Hawthorne Valley farm, how to cook and proper kitchen safety. They divided up into two teams and to combat the chilly weather outside, each group made a soup dish. As 18 year old Fatimah says “These kids were so smart they picked up the entire lesson in just one day.” The young chefs learned about the different vegetables being used and trusted their mentor’s judgment when it came to adding in vegetables they thought had a “yuck” factor!! Much to their surprise they enjoyed all the vegetables included in the dishes. After the food had been made each team fashioned a creative presentation from information about the foods history and nutrients and included it as the meal was being served to their gracious hosts.

The weekend ended with a hike with the goats and a heartfelt goodbye by all. Both weekends, the Teen Battle Chefs learned something about the farm and about themselves, and thoroughly enjoyed each day.