New Pilot Program! Cornucopia – The Kitchen & Garden by popular demand for children who love to grow and cook.
Our Sparks (ages 4-7) have been really enjoying participating in a World Cooking program for awhile now, much to the jealousy of many of the older children who want to participate as well. So here it is, a cooking and gardening program for ages 7-14!
Led by Ruth Gaha-Morris of The Scrumpers Garden (Aeoncademy’s in-house caterer), students will be introduced to cooking from scratch, making such things as yoghurt, cheese, muesli, bread and pasta, flavoured from the growing Garden at Aeoncademy.
We will be using herbs and plants from our newly established garden beds as well as doing winter planning for the ongoing development of the kitchen garden. This is a real hands-on learning experience of food, gardening and sustainability.
Named after the mythical Horn of Plenty, a symbol of abundance, we have named this budding kitchen & garden program Cornucopia.
To help us launch this program, we are putting out a call for any gardening or kitchen tools you are not using. Spades, rakes, Bread tins, mixing bowls, even electric appliances like frypans or slow cookers . Also glass containers. Please recycle your clean, glass jars with lids (all sizes) in our big green collection bin outside the art room. All donations gratefully received!
On Friday 11th May a few daring souls braved the cold to attend our garden bee. Fortified with pumpkin soup and focaccia loaded with fresh herbs from our herb garden students, aeoncademy staff, students and volunteers helped to move garden beds, shift soil, rake leaves, plant bulbs, seedlings and even weed! As a result the front has been transformed into a new design ready to explode into action in Spring.
Over the coming months further gardening will continue the transformation of this space along with the garden beds into an interactive cornucopia of edible and sensory plants. We look forward to the nature play opportunities as well as nourishment this place is going to provide for our students and programs overall.
And never-fear, you can always make the next garden Bee 🙂
Due to the overwhelming success of the the Cornucopia class on Monday we are now expanding!
We have 7 more spaces available. So if you would like to book in, please get in touch now.
Another Cornucopia class is opening up on Tuesday pending sufficient interest. Book in now to make it happen.
We introduced Cornucopia last term to great aplomb, and straight away our students have gotten super excited about the fantastic mix of making amazing dishes, and growing organic food.
This term in Cornucopia will be an adventure in condiments, summer treats and (by popular demand) making lasagne from scratch.
The group did some intense planning at the end of last term and came up with some great ideas, including flat bread, butter, mayo, jam, seed spread, guacamole, salsa, hummus, crackers, chips, custard, meringues, ice cream and sorbet, and then all the bits to make an amazing lasagne – meat sauce, Béchamel, pasta and Mozzarella cheese.
Cottage cheese, jerky, crackers and dips – The children of Cornucopia have, over the past few weeks, made this essential suite of snack foods and taken them home to share with their families.
We made labne from our own yoghurt which we mixed with herbs from the garden, and curdled some milk with lemon juice for a simple curd cheese.A really enjoyable time was had by all when the Sparks joined Cornucopia to share the jerky making (and eating) process. Together we made BBQ, tomato salsa, pepper and herbs and honey soy sesame flavours and guzzled them all down. However, the most popular activity so far was this week’s crackers and dips. Nobody realised that crackers were so easy and that eggplant could actually taste good. Hopefully there was some left for families when the packages of biscuits got home.
On the garden side of the program we have been looking at what makes up soils with Penny from Caroola Farm. Cornucopia participants bought jars of soil from their gardens and we also looked into the soil in our beds at Aeon. It was very cool to see how all the samples were different and how we could turn them into the perfect growing medium. And as for growing, you should see our crop of oyster mushrooms growing in the art room. They have shot out of their box at a phenomenal rate and we have already harvested the first crop.
In the last few weeks of term we will be making some really simple homemade meals to take home to our families. Real baked beans and some fresh egg pasta with a simple tomato sauce. Hopefully if we manage to do a bit extra we can off it to other hungry families to take home too.
Cornucopia (our Kitchen and Garden program) started the term looking at breakfast food that most of us would buy at the store but are very simple to make ourselves. On the menu was baked muesli, Greek yoghurt and stewed fruits. Last week we had a great time teaming up with the Sparks and making a large variety of dried fruit and yoghurt leathers, then planting out strawberries in the garden. One day perhaps we will make strawberry leathers from our own fruit.
Two weeks ago we had some great fun making breads, and comparing the difference between a traditional sourdough and dried yeast bread. Both turned out beautifully, and so super tasty eaten hot from the oven. The following week we made some soft cheese to go on our breads, and were visited from Penny at Caroola Farm who is going to teach us about the different soils we have in our gardens and how to test them.
Also coming out of the kitchen last week Scrumpers Garden had cooked up some tasty treats for open day. There was a chunky veggie soup, garlic bread and sourdough croutons. Golden Beetroot dip and crackers. The Buckwheat choc chip cookies and yoghurt cake proved very popular along with the Scrumpers Garden preserves for sale on the day.
To kick off our great new kitchen and garden program this week we are, of course, going to start with the most important meal of the day: breakfast.
From throughout human history, we have been consuming grains and seeds to give us the energy we need to operate at our best, and from neolithic periods throughout Europe, to the fantastic spread of Mesopotamia, and beyond we’ve used cereals, honey and fermented foods for millennia.
Exploring the origins of breakfast, in Cornucopia over the next fortnight we will be making baked muesli, traditional Greek yoghurt and winter stewed fruits.
In the interests of reducing packaging waste, if you are able, please send your child with 3 jars or containers for the second class to put their goodies in. These do not need to be new or matching, just clean and sealable to take home.
We’ve also started to take the time designing concepts for the evolving kitchen garden at Aeoncademy, a staple of the Cornucopia experience.