To the Editor:
Throughout the spring, the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative brought New Jersey chefs and farmers into two of the Princeton Young Achievers after-school programs to introduce children to flavors of local produce and to trace that produce back to the farm. The program was an extension of our Garden State on Your Plate program that provided school-wide tastings at Community Park and Littlebrook elementary schools last year.
We want to thank the chefs — Christopher Albrecht of Eno Terra, Gab Carbone of bent spoon, Craig Shelton of American Hospitality Group, Scott Anderson of elements, Linda Twining of TwinHens, and Stu Orefice and Rick Piancone of Princeton University — and farmers — Chris Turse of Double Brook Farm, Mike Rassweiler of North Slope Farm, Jess Niederer of Chickadee Creek Farm, Fred Bowers of Princeton Soil Institute, David Zaback of ZFood Farm, and Pier Guidi of Bamboo Hollow Apiaries — who made the program a success. With their help the children learned why eggs from pasture-raised chickens make the best ice cream, examined seeds and soils, learned about beekeeping and tasted the differences amongst honeys from different flowers. They also prepared a kale salad, seasoned a spring Garden State vichyssoise, and shook ice-filled balls to make ice cream — all of which they ate enthusiastically.
The students glimpsed the quality of New Jersey farm products while learning about the workday life of farmers and chefs. Amidst their experimenting, exploring, and exclaiming, we were heartened to see that some children showed a deep interest in food, agriculture, and the culinary arts. We ask that the Princeton community nurture that interest, as well as a love and appreciation amongst all of our students for the delicious and diverse bounty of the Garden State.
Fran McManus, Karla Cook
Princeton School Gardens Cooperative