Published March 26, 2017
Subject: Science, Social Studies, Other
Place of Learning: Cooking Classrooms, Garden, Kitchen
Resource Type: Advocacy
Grade Level: Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8
Uploaded by:
Maria Peyer

a town called...

For some reason, this song just popped into my head as I sat down to write this...

The Jam- A Town Called Malice

queen bee!

A funny (and wonderful) thing happened here in Longview over the last few weeks...

Mike and I are into our third year of "Edible Olympic" and yesterday completed the first session of "Edible Monticello".  (Hopes were expressed yesterday, in our closing, of "Edible RALong", but that is a topic for another time).  This is a program for approximately 20 kids, that includes a Thursday afternoon in the garden followed the next day by a cooking class in the Home Ec classroom at Monticello Middle School (5 weeks in a row).  We grow and prepare vegetable strong dishes, often with an emphasis on something that matters in the world, like St. Patrick's Day (we made Irish Soda bread and colcannon), or a Middle Eastern menu with falafel, hummus, cucumber salad, pita bread and tzatziki, or yesterday's vegetable fried rice, with a lesson on soy in it's many forms (edamame snack, soy milk for rice pudding, tofu option in the fried rice).  The kids are used to coming together at the call of the Tibetan singing bowl, of centering with some quiet deep breaths, and sitting with each other over food they have grown and prepared together, with each other and for each other. 

A couple weeks ago, we received news that the City of Longview was considering using a toxic insecticide to deal with the problem of aphids on the birch trees in town.  The planned agent also adversely effects bees, by interfering with their neural development, rendering them unable to navigate their way home, or smell, both vital functions in their survival.  The kids heard about this and were invited to contact the City Council and share their views on this idea.  They wrote letters, putting pencil to paper, and these were delivered to all 7 Council members.  At the time of discovering this plan, the likely vote was 4-2 in favor of the spraying.  A meeting was scheduled on 3/23/2017 to decide.  The kids received an answer to their letters, with questions that they then researched in preparation for the presentation they planned to make at the meeting.  Yes, 8 kids showed up at a Thursday evening City Council meeting, and sat through the entire issue and full room debate prior to the one they were there for.  A motion was made to vote on the proposal, it did not even receive a second, thereby dying without a vote.  No spraying will happen as initially planned!

While the kids were disappointed they did not get to "speak", our challenge yesterday was to help them see that their voices were heard loud and clear.  We invited one of the most responsive Council members to stop by and visit with the kids during our final session, and indeed, Mike Wallin did.  He affirmed that due to the strong response from the kids (and additionally some smart and caring adults), the Council went from 4-2 in favor of spraying to 5-1 against.  He praised the kids for caring enough to contact their city representatives, and talked of other ways to be involved.  He posed with them for pictures and shook their hands.  After they left, the kids returned to their fried rice and enjoyed celebratory honey cake.  All this to a soundtrack prepared (in haste!) especially for the day, called "ACTIVISM"!!!  List available as you wish!

Other Content From Maria Peyer

In this lesson, kids are welcomed to the first session of the cooking class part of the Edible Olympic program.  This initial session starts them off with kitchen safety, basic knife skills and how to add a healhty green food to their meal.

Area: Cooking Classrooms, Kitchen
Type: Recipes