CheFarmers . . . The Next Generation

Written by Ian Rossiter

Article Written by Ian Rossiter

Our chefs are becoming farmers .  .  .  or at least one may think so if they hung around Ms. Dorsey’s Culinary Arts class at Habersham Central High School. Well, that observation would not be untrue. Over the past few weeks, the Culinary Arts class has teamed up with the North East Georgia Farm to School Program and FoodCorps service members to plan, design and construct an edible garden just outside their classroom.

So far, students have independently planned and constructed 4 four foot by  eight foot raised grow beds [with rough cut oak from Irvin’s Lumbers] and positioned them on their tilled and prepared site. As well, thanks to the generous donation of Mrs. Deborah Kilgore, the class has a 5th grow bed onsite. As if this wasn’t enough manual labor for our budding chefs-turned-carpenters, students then tackled the task of constructing a beautiful two bin composter constructed entirely of salvaged wood (Thanks Dr. Hamlin!). Post up the sign and drop some soil and seeds in those grow bed frames and they will have themselves a bonafide garden!

Growing their own produce just outside the culinary lab, these students will become certified hyper-local chefs, learning to grow and cook with the ingredients in their immediate environment. Herbs will be the name of the game for one dedicated grow bed, which will be sure to add amazing fresh and complex flavors to the students’ dishes year round. The students will plant out the remaining grow beds with whatever their hearts desire and the seasons will allow (I think we will start the winter with some nice greens and root veggies!). To complete the connection of soil to seed to produce to dish, the culinary class has already started to collect their food scraps and fill their composter bins!

Good things are happening in Mrs. Dorsey’s Culinary Arts class at Habersham Central High School. With the inclusion of gardening and composting to regular cooking labs, the students are indeed becoming an amazing combination of chef and farmer .  .  .  Look out for the next generation of CheFarmers graduating from a high school near you.

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