Summer Class on Champlain Valley Food History and Production

Twelve lucky students this summer have the opportunity of taking a month long class about the history and production of food in the Champlain Valley. Not only will they be receiving a half-year high-school credit, but they will also be learning about, growing, and cooking food, as well as partaking in many fun and educational field trips. Each week includes guest lectures, field trips, garden work in the Farm to School gardens, and a fresh communally prepared meal corresponding to the week’s theme.

Week 1 will focus on the Pre-historic Food System and includes foraging for wild edibles and cooking our meal over an open fire.

Week 2 on Colonialism featuring a lecture on grain grinding and bread making and a tour of a local farm.

Week 3 on the 1800’s and focuses on preserving through fermentation and the students bartering for goods.

Week 4 on Industrial Food Systems with topics such as victory gardens, commercial dairy, and our own prepared TV dinners.

Week 5 on the Modern Food System featuring the students’ personal food stories, migrant justice in Vermont, and will culminate in a lunch and showing of food stories with family and friends.

For the class, instructors Laura Allyn, Sarah Heusner, and Jessie Mazar opt out of homework assignments and instead focuses on hands-on and engaging activities. The class involves frequent journaling to assist the students with their final project, an expression of their own food stories. There will also be an elected student, called a ‘documentarian,’ each day to help record the day’s activities with pictures and videos as well as provide a personal anecdote for this blog.

Laura Allyn is an International Foods and Health Instructor at Burlington High School (BHS), Sarah Heusner is the Burlington School Food Project Farm to School Coordinator, and Jessie Mazar works with the Burlington School Food Project as a Farm to School educator. Morgan Osborn is the Burlington School Food Project Garden Educator Intern for the summer and will be assisting the students with their blog posts.

We would also like to thank our wonderful sponsor Partnership for Change for making this educational adventure possible.


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