Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SOLE and BeHealthy Tackle Survival Basics with Healthy Eating



Jean Gunner of SOLE and Jill Chiacchia of BeHealthy Institute were invited by Mr. Pawlowski to his 4th grade class at Armor Elementary to give a talk and hands-on demonstration on Survival Skills and Healthy Living and Eating.  Mrs. Chiacchia did a visual and fun presentation about sugar and its impact on our bodies.  Since we are made up of 2/3 water, she taught us that we must be very mindful about what we put into our bodies to ensure a healthy and sustainable and long life.

Mrs. Chiacchia reviewed with the curious students 3 survival points:

1) Breathing -- she led the girls and boys through a breathing exercise and told the children we must breathe within 3 minutes to stay aliveShe reminded us all that healthy movement and exercise as well as relaxed and mindful breathing helps us feel better and live a happier life.

2) Drinking Water -- she did a demonstration of the impact of sugar on our blood and showed the viscosity or movement and flow of water versus catsup versus honey.  The honey with all that sugar moves slow just like sugar makes us feel sluggish and not feeling like moving and exercising.

She told the children that we must have water within 3 days to live.

And, Mrs. Chiacchia reminded the kids:  What good would we be on Survivor or even in our everyday lives if we have all this sugar in us from unhealthy sugar filled drinks like pop or juice?

3) Eating Healthy Food -- she talked about healthy foods and the components in fresh foods and veggies that our bodies need for energy, like calories from foods that are low in sugar, vitamins, minerals and other needed nutrients.

She reminded that kids that we need food within 3 weeks to live. 

Hand-On Food Demonstration was Fun
We then had the children help us make a White Bean Dip made with wholesome ingredients like cannelini beans, garlic, lemon, tahini and dunked raw veggies like asparagus, brocolli and carrots into the dip.  We brought some pre-packaged guacamole from Wegmans for the children to taste as well.

We gave them both the White Bean Dip and Guacamole recipe to take home.

The children all spoke about the experience and words and expressions such as: "Scrumptious" "Delicious" "Amazingly Good" and "I had never eaten asparagus before but I loved it and will eat it again and again."  "I tried the asparagus but did not like it, but I am glad I tried it."

It was a fun hour to spend with the children.

Thank you Mr. Pawlowski's 4th Grade Class!!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Hamburg Garden Walk and The Giving Garden

The Giving Garden, again a featured garden on the Hamburg Garden Walk, welcomed over 200 visitors this past weekend.  Saturday was a hot and humid sunny day and Sunday it softly rained all morning, then turned into another muggy day of sunshine.

The Giving Garden is an experiential, hands-on garden that is turning out young master gardeners into our world ... some students have been involved in planting and growing for 4 years.  Their gardening skills and love of growing healthy, good things will be with them the rest of their lives.

We shared some tasty treats like Rat Tail Radishes, an above ground heirloom variety of radish which takes 28 - 30 days from seed to radish pod and literally yields hundreds of tiny veggie pods ripe for the picking.  The pods grow above ground and are lightly peppery, slightly spicy and are a more reliable producer unlike traditional radishes. Betsy Bily, a Village of Hamburg seasoned gardener, shared this veggie seedling with us and now we plan to grow again and again.  They are an ideal addition to salads and perfect finger sized for children and dipping in hummus, ranch, or other dips.

We will be saving the seeds for the Rat Tail Radish at the end of the season. This variety of radish can be purchased from Seed Savers Exchange.

Garden walkers also tasted bush green beans and meandered through beds of many other heirloom varieties of veggies and herbs as well as seeing our compost manure pile with pumpkins vines poking out. We offered seed packets from The Garden Hut as give-aways and loved giving tours to all the inquisitive gardeners and garden visitors.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bessie's Best Organic Farmer Comes to The Giving Garden

A good morning in the garden is when the children can get their hands in the dirt, play with worms, harvest healthy yummy veggies like snap peas and spinach, and learn about why and how of the garden.  This sunny June day right before the end of school at Union Pleasant our 2nd and 3rd graders learned about compost.  A nearby farmer in collaboration with the American Dairy Association teamed up to bring us a compost demonstration.  Compost is made from in this case COW MANURE....aged, organic wonderfully fertile cow manure.  And the ADA was kind enough to deliver this black gold as it is referred to in some circles...we will be spreading this organic, nutritious fertilizer all over our beds in The Giving Garden.  There is no odor except fresh smell of earth like in the forest. 

The children learned the importance of compost in attracting an abundant worm life....worms aerate the soil, that means bring oxygen and space for the oxygen and nutrients to get to the lifeblood of the plants -- THE ROOTS.  Compost and healthy soil attracts worms, worms eat the dirt, poop out even better dirt (called worm castings) and leave space for the plants's roots to thrive and be fed by all the healthy worm poop they are leaving behind!