Story of The Week 11/7/2016

Story of the Week

11/7/2016 Story of The Week

Pesto Perspectives

By Alanna Ojibway, Upper Valley Haven Children’s Services Assistant

alanna-ojibway-blackboardBy far one of my favorite activities of our summer program was a program I called “garden chef” where children were given a different weekly veggie or herb from the garden to then make some kind of recipe with and then make enough for “samples” to distribute to staff. One example of this was a day that we harvested basil leaves to make homemade pesto. Once we had made the pesto we put a small sample of it on a cracker and then I would walk around the Haven campus with them to distribute the samples to different staff members or residents.

At first, almost all of the children participating had something negative to say about the pesto. “It stinks”, “it’s ugly”, “it’s too green”, “who would eat this!?”…etc. bottom line was they were not overly impressed with their creation. However, after giving out the first few samples to adults and getting AMAZINGLY positive feedback, it was obvious that they began changing their perspective and gained a totally new sense of pride for what they had made. By the end of the day, the kids had totally changed their mind and couldn’t get their hands out of the pesto jar to keep eating more. It was so wonderful to witness this
transition which not only broadened their pallet, but also gave each child a new sense of empowerment and pride in something they could make on their own from something they grew in our garden.

This is just one example, but I think it really captures my greatest goal of the summer and my year of service in general which was to empower children and inspire them to make healthy choices. For me, nothing could have been more rewarding than being a part of a new positive experience for those children. I will never forget the moments of growth I experienced with these kids this year.

VHCB AmeriCorps is a program of the
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board.

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