Cooking from the Garden

An Enrichment Program for the Colorado Front Range

Cooking from the Garden is a weekly after-school enrichment program that incorporates the school garden through planting, maintaining, harvesting and preparing food in seasonal cooking classes. Our program utilizes the Slow Food USA School Garden Curriculum, written by Denver local, Gigia Kolouch. 

Our goal is to provide an interactive learning environment transforming children from passive food consumers to creators, and in doing so increase their health awareness. This learner-driven approach inspires children to develop healthy, lifelong eating habits by making the connection between where food comes from and how it is prepared. Children discover their own taste preferences, learn to create dishes they enjoy and derive self-esteem and pride as they watch their plants grow. Participation in the entire seed to table experience results in a more intimate relationship with food.

HOW IT WORKS:

 The program runs seasonally for 6-12 week sessions, depending on the season and school schedule. Average class size is 12 students and we provide an experienced instructor and all the supplies needed for each 60-minute class. Host schools are not required to have a garden in order to participate. Classes still incorporate the garden through indoor activities, storytelling, and education that fosters education of seasonality, where food comes from, and how it is grown.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I bring Cooking From the Garden to my child’s school?

If you are a parent looking to bring this program to your child’s school or a faculty member hoping to expand your school’s programs, please fill out our New School Sign Up form and a member of the Slow Food Denver team will get back to you shortly!

What does Cooking from the Garden provide?

Each Cooking from the Garden Class provides:

  • An experienced and passionate Instructor. Each of our instructors pass a background check prior to beginning our program.
  • All necessary supplies for a fun and engaging class, including produce and food used in class.
  • Notebooks and stickers for students to use throughout the program.
  • Healthy and tasty recipes, engaging activities, lesson plans and more based off of Slow Food USA’s school garden curriculum
  • School garden support
  • A safe learning environment to foster exploratory cooking that empowers students to follow their intuition and make dishes based on their taste preferences

What does the school need to provide?

A space large enough to fit 15 students comfortably that has access to a sink and an outlet.

How many students are in each class?

Our class sizes range between 10-15 students per class.

How does the program incorporate both cooking and gardening?

The program incorporates cooking and gardening through shared class time in the classroom and outdoors in the school garden. As our classes run seasonally, warmer months focus on garden maintenance, activities, planting and harvesting. The cooking portion of class utilizes produce grown from the garden (if available).  On colder days a seasonal cooking class maintains connection to the garden through indoor garden activities and planning.

My child’s school does not have a garden, can we still hold the program?

Absolutely! Even without a garden, classes will focus on seasonality and helping students develop an understanding of where their food comes from.

What is the cost for Cooking from the Garden?

Program cost is $16 – $20 per student, per class.

What is the duration of the Cooking from the Garden program?

Cooking from the Garden is a seasonal program. Each season the program runs between 6-12 weeks, based on school preference.

How long is each Cooking from the Garden class?

Within a season, each class ranges between 60-75 minutes, based on school preference.

My child has a severe allergy. Can he/she still participate in the class?

Of course! We take food allergies and dietary restrictions very seriously. Please specify any allergies on our registration form and we ensure those foods are not brought into the classroom.

My child loves Cooking from the Garden! Is it possible to have more than one class at a school?

Yes! We have a handful of schools that offer the class multiple days a week.

Is Cooking from the Garden for all grade levels?

Cooking from the Garden includes grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. Classes are divided by age groups K-3, 3-5, and 6-8 to provide a safe environment and set each student up for success.

Is it possible for me to volunteer in my child’s class?

Yes.  If you are interested in volunteer assisting any or all of your child’s Cooking from the Garden classes please make note in the registration form.

Can my school host a single Cooking from the Garden Class?

Yes! A single Cooking from the Garden class is $100.