Last Friday, kids at Rolling Ridge Apartments in Athens got to taste fresh local and organic cucumbers and blueberries. Kids in the Garnet Ridge neighborhood got to try them today. It’s safe to say they were a big hit — especially the blueberries, which many of the young tasters had never tried before.
The cucumbers were offered sliced, with the option of adding salt. The blueberries were served as just straight up freshly picked berries. Some tasters favored the cukes, while others reported they liked the two products equally. But overall it was the blueberries that stole the show. Kids at both locations repeatedly returned for more blueberries.
One young man, about 9 years old, loved the blueberries so much that he would have easily eaten the entire gallon bag full on his own if I had given him the chance. I had to remind him to save some for others, at which point he said, “But I love them so much I want to eat them all. I need to eat them alllll!!”
We talked about how blueberries grow (above ground and on bushes) and about what they need to survive and be healthy (water, soil, sun). This young blueberry enthusiast looked across the street at an empty grass field, blasted with sun, and realized aloud,
“Maybe I could grow these blueberries right there. Then I could eat them any time I want”.
I encouraged this idea, and told him that could be his new goal. With his eyes still on the field, and a blueberry in his mouth, he replied,
“Now you got me daydreaming”.
A couple of kids at Garnet Ridge got creative with their intake of the produce. They made blueberry and cucumber sandwiches, and used toothpicks to make mini-“dumbbells” to lift some weights before eating them :-).
Adults enjoyed tasting the cucumbers and blueberries, too, and they got to take home fresh produce from Collective Harvest’s CSA. Lots of cabbages, potatoes, onions, and green beans. Families at Garnet Ridge were also able to take some fresh strawberries, blackberries, sugar snap peas, and tomatoes from Trader Joe’s (thanks to UGA’s Campus Kitchen); potatoes and onions from UGArden; and cucumbers, beets and broccoli from the Athens Farmers Market (again thanks to Campus Kitchen!).