In this lesson, 7th grade students are introduced to the gardens and the greenhouses as a classroom. They will be introduced to the routines, expectations, and goals of the Edible Schoolyard garden class. Class will finish with a tomato tasting.
Eating Locally Throughout the Winter: Processing Squash
In this lesson, 7th graders will begin an exploration of the food system, specifically learning about a variety of methods of processing local food for the purpose of eating locally throughout the winter. Students will be introduced to a variety of processing methods. Students will help to process locally grown squash. Finally, students will have a tasting of delicata squash.
Students will be able to:
1. Understand that processing locally grown food for winter storage will help them to continue to eat locally long after the local growing season has ended.
2. Identify a variety of methods of processing food for winter storage: freezing, drying, canning, pickling, smoking
3. Process delicata squash, including harvesting, washing, cutting open, cleaning the inside, baking, pureeing, bagging, labeling, and freezing.
4. Students will taste and compare baked delicata squash plain, with butter, with brown sugar, with salt and pepper.
5. Students will contribute to the storage of the school’s squash harvest.
6. Students will begin to compare/contrast the industrial food system and the local food system.
1. Students will move through the harvesting through freezing process.
2. Students will identify a variety of methods of processing food for winter storage.
3. Students will contribute to the storage of the school’s squash harvest.
4. Students will identify the structure of both the industrial food system and the local system.
Selection of processed local foods (eg., dilly beans, pickles, crabapple jelly, frozen blanched swiss chard, frozen pureed delicata squash, etc.)
Station #1: knife, cutting board, spoons, compost buckets (for seed and pulp)
Station #2: baking pans, preheated oven, oven mitts, compost bucket (for squash skin), food processor, freezer bags, permanent marker
Station #3: plates, forks, butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper, industrial food system and local food system mapping pieces (link provided below)
Before you begin
1. Have day’s agenda and class expectations clearly posted.
2. Collect all materials. Prepare three stations: prepping squash for baking; scooping-pureeing-bagging-freezing; tasting and food system mapping
1. Welcome students to Opening Circle. Introduce the day’s lesson, and facilitate discussion of What does ‘processing food’ mean, and why do we process food grown here on our farm?
2. Explain that students will be divided into three groups, then rotate through the three stations.
3. Divide students into three groups, wash hands, and begin rotations.
4. Gather everyone for Closing Circle. Reflect on stations and preview next class’ agenda.