NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (November 17, 2017) – They collected eggs, cooked dishes with beets, turmeric and kohlrabi straight from the farm, and shared a vegetarian meal, all as part of the New Rochelle High School Advanced Placement Environmental Science class.
The students in teacher Julia Chillemi-Kouyoumdjian’s class spent the day recently at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Tarrytown. The trip took their lessons off the whiteboard and projection screen and out to the down-to-earth setting where nature and agriculture play out. The Stone Barns Center seeks to transform “the way America eats and farms by creating a healthy, sustainable food system,” its website says.
“It was really cool to see how they work sustainably, which might not be the case on other farms,” said student Grace Turkewitz.
The students made lunch with the Pocantico Hills farm’s bounty, including cabbage, spinach, kohlrabi, beets, turmeric, ginger and scallions. They made a chick pea, coconut, and spinach curry, a cabbage and kohlrabi slaw and other dishes. Alexis Cohn said she might not have eaten the dishes if she’d seen them elsewhere, including the beet salad she made that glowed with a hot pink color.
“Because I knew what was in it, and I knew that we made it, I gave it a shot and ate it,” she said.
“The students learned that many natural processes can promote the growth of crops rather than relying on harmful synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides,” said Chillemi- Kouyoumdjian. They took an in-depth look at how knowledge of ecological relationships affects farmers’ decisions. They also discussed the lack of access to sustainably grown food and the way food quality in the United States varies greatly.
“I was also very proud of the collaborative effort the students put into making and enjoying a meal together,” Chillemi-Kouyoumdjian said. “They discussed their relationships with food, and showed they were beginning to understand how food choices impact personal and environmental health.”
An educator from the Stone Barns Center will come to the class in the near future for a follow-up discussion to wrap up the two-day program.
“It taught me a lot about how farms could be better for our environment,” said student Jack Rieger.
“Everyone is looking for the solutions for the long run, to keep farming going,” Cohn added. “One thing I observed on the trip is that all the answers are in nature already.”
CUTLINE: NRHS AP Environmental Science class members enjoy lunch that they made at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
About the City School District of New Rochelle
With nearly 11,000 students in 10 schools, the City School District of New Rochelle, through an active partnership amongst community, parents, staff and students, provides a high-quality and challenging education for every child, in a safe, nurturing environment that embraces rich diversity and drives success.