From Phipps: “As part of the Museums Connect program, made possible by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the American Alliance of Museums, Phipps is partnering with the Gidan Makama Museums in Kano, Nigeria to provide an immersive experience for 15 local high school students in each city. Participating students will learn about nutrition, cooking and cultural food traditions by following local food from farm to table and will be communicating with students at their partner institutions. This project will last from September to June, resulting in the creation of a community cookbook that will be designed and created by participating students. Students will also meet each month for a Saturday workshop involving activities designed to get them thinking critically about their food system and food culture. Calling themselves the Global Chefs, this group of students is excited to learn more about what food means in their lives.”
My name is Hanna and I am a current Food Studies student who has been working on the farm for the past two years. I am also coordinating and teaching the curriculum for the Museums Connect program. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to bring Phipps to visit Eden Hall Farm.
Jamie Moore, Director of Sourcing and Sustainability for the Eat ‘n Park Group, was the expert chef who came to lead the students in cooking an ambitious menu, along with Nancy Hanst and Cathy Brinjack from Slow Food Pittsburgh. We cooked with them earlier in the program and were so thankful to have their brilliant leadership for another day! The recipes we cooked were all recipes inspired by ones that the participants brought in. We made a salad with greens harvested from the Eden Hall Farm greenhouse! We cooked vegetable fried rice and chicken fried rice, vegetable stir fry with optional marinated chicken, skirt steak or tofu. We also made baked onion rings and a lemon Bundt cake for dessert. We were so thankful to have a large kitchen to work in– we never would have been able to cook with all 14 high school students in the kitchen where we normally cook.
After making a fabulous meal, I took them on a tour of the farm, including the greenhouse and moveable high tunnel. The Global Chefs were able to see the greenhouse overflowing with little seedlings ready to get transplanted into the high tunnels. The moveable high tunnel was still growing some cabbages, Swiss chard and mizuna. Despite it being chilly, we were thankful that it wasn’t snowy or raining.
After the farm tour, the Global Chefs worked on creating a cookbook. Both the Nigerian students and American students will be making cookbooks that will be on display at the respective museums. They decided to include all the recipes that we have cooked together in the program, as well as one recipe from each student’s family. We brought lots of different materials for them to play around with to make their individual biography and recipe pages. It was fun to play with yarn, fabric, and stamps to begin creating beautiful, unique pages for our book!
Many thanks to the Food Studies program for co-sponsoring this day-long retreat and giving the students a chance to see many of the farming practices they have been learning about in action!