Dirt to Dine Camp - 28 kids, 2 locations, a lot of happy campers!

I never would have thought that in one week 28 kids could learn as much as they did.  This camp took the kids from farm straight to table every day, and they got it, they really got it. Lucky for me, my connection with Eileen Gorden and her great idea and great people, has made this has a reality. She came to me with an idea to start a camp where the kids could spend time on a working farm and then translate the knowledge in to cooking class. Marie Sayles was the brains behind the
 farm side and I acted as the chef and coordinator of the cooking part. Eileen worked tirelessly to put all our ideas together, working to secure beautiful locations for the week.  It worked out beautifully!

These kids now know how to milk a cow or goat and make fresh cheese within hours. They know that the animals have to be taken care of, fed, and cleaned. They know how to grind wheat from the stalk into flour for dough. They know how important bees are to our world and how to extract honey from a hive. They did things I have never even done!

They know carrots come from the dirt not from a plastic bag, and how much work it is to pull sunflower seeds from the flower. They know that a farm fresh egg tastes so much better than one stamped with a date from a store. They have the knowledge to make informed choices at a young age!

Here is a sample of one of our days:
  • Day 3: Chickens & Eggs
    • Animal care, farm chores, chicken diet, harvesting fresh eggs from chickens
    • Making chicken stock with whole chicken
    • Make fresh egg pasta noodles
    • Make chicken noodle and Italian egg drop soup
    • Make savory french toast with Parmesan 
    • Compare raw eggs for color; conventional versus farm fresh free range 
    • Taste test: fast food nuggets versus free range chicken breast
    • Feast on the food they made, discuss and recap the day.



At Connolly Ranch in collaboration with Chef Michael Chiarello & Bottega Restaurant 

Dirt To Dine is week-long summer camp bridging farming, gardening and cooking experiences in a dynamic, hands-on, youth-driven environment. The camp brings your young epicurean’s enthusiasm for all things cooking back to the source of the ingredient’s: land, soil, seeds, animals, plants and more.

Dirt To Dine is set in two locations: the epicurean center of the Napa Valley, Yountville; and Connolly Ranch, Napa County’s only family farm dedicated to education. Visit the website for bios of the "Dirt to Dine" team, click on camps.

 I would also like to thank our volunteer teachers Greer Westerink and Kim Kendall-Stubbe who worked so hard to make this camp a success. 

Stumble Upon Toolbar

1 comment:

Gudrun said...

ok, so jealous! This is the way I would like to camp. How about an adult camp, yeah, that sounds good.

Thanks for teaching those 28 kids more about where their food come. I think that type of instruction is so important...