Crop City 2015 – Final Recap!

071515_Crop City-3Time flies when you are having fun (and gardening and cooking delicious fresh food!). It’s been a great summer of learning, gardening, and eating at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. For six weeks, our 2015 Urban Agriculture Teaching lead their peers through a hands-on curriculum that aimed to positively impact knowledge and behavior around eating. They did a wonderful job!

Here’s a few numbers that help tell the story:

  • Participants hours at Crop City : 2,800+
  • Pounds of produce harvested: 300+
  • Number of Teaching Interns: 12

And while it won’t show up in any numbers or future learning menu, we shared a lot of laughs, games, smiles, and good food with a great group of participants.

Here’s a sampling of the lessons taught in the latter half of the Crop City summer.

Plant ID!

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If someone asked to you to pick a tomatillo from a garden could you find it? How about a ground cherry or jalapeño? All summer long, campers were asked to locate and harvest vegetables based on the learning lessons for the day. Through these lessons, we discussed many different types of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and weeds and how they all grow together.

Recipes and Cooking Vocabulary.
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Bake, boil, sauté, mince, chop: the list of cooking vocabulary terms could go on forever. That’s why we spent time at the Nutrition Station discussing the different parts of recipes and how healthy, exquisite meals come together step-by-step.

Learning labels. 071715_Crop City_YWCA-9

Calories, serving sizes, types of ingredients…they’re all listed on food labels. But how do we know what they mean? Campers received a crash-course lesson on reading labels and understanding how they affect healthy eating decisions. (Question: If you can’t pronounce the ingredients on the nutrition label, how do you think your body feels trying to digest it?) Campers learned how to read the ingredients on foods, which can be especially important for those with food allergies and sensitivities.

Saving seeds! 071715_Crop City_YWCA-24

Can you name the different parts of a plant? Participants learned all about leaves, flowers, fruits, stems, roots, and seeds! With the leadership of our Urban Agriculture Interns, participants took a close look at the inner workings of fruits and veggies and counted seeds from harvested vegetables. When ready, they laid them out to dry properly for future planting.

Food Deserts

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At the Impacts Station participants learned about food deserts, areas in urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. They researched maps of food deserts in the Nashville area, played games to simulate where foods come from, and talked about potential solutions to combat food deserts. Throughout the lesson, participants discussed urban gardens, home gardens, supermarkets and public transportation as they relate to food access in communities.

071515_Crop City-17Seasonal eating.
Different seasons bring different temperatures and growing environments for plants. At the end of Crop City, participants learned about the benefits of eating seasonal produce.


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Salsa – Campers helped add tomatoes, onions, peppers, cilantro and spices to create a garden-fresh salsa that was one of a kind.

Thanks to all for a great summer. For more photos of Crop City 2015, click here!

Read a recap of the first half of Crop City here.

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