Garden Kitchen Labs

girl in the garden

The Garden Kitchen Lab is a hands-on, cross-cultural educational program that combines a garden, a kitchen, and a media lab to teach kids about urban horticulture, culinary arts, and STEAM disciplines. 

Since launching at NYC Parks in 2014, the Garden Kitchen Labs program has served over 600 children across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Garden Kitchen Labs currently operates six gardens across NYC.

Curriculum

The Garden Kitchen Labs curriculum focuses on four key areas of knowledge:

  • Gardening: Developing an interest in and knowledge about plant care, including harvest schedules and composting.
  • Cooking and Eating: Understanding that food comes from real plants, not just the grocery store. Tasting new plant-based foods and developing enthusiasm for cooking.
  • Science: Learning to use scientific instruments (e.g., microscopes) and building scientific observation skills, and developing knowledge about biology, chemistry, and plant nutrition.
  • Digital Media: Learning to take photographs with a point-and-shoot camera and to create media (photos and videos) with a digital microscope. Highlights include making stop-motion videos, using tripods and lighting, and using cloud-based tools (e.g., Google G-Suite).

Join the Garden Kitchen Labs Program

Our garden kitchen labs are perfect for kids aged 8 to 13. Currently, garden kitchen lab programs are available at select recreation centers across the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

Schedule

Garden Kitchen Labs is an after-school program that operates during three seasons each year.

  • Spring Observations: April to June
  • Summer Wellness: July to August
  • Autumn Transformation: October to December

How to Register

Registration takes place on a rolling basis, starting two weeks before the beginning of each session.

To join the Garden Kitchen Lab program at our recreation, please visit the Garden Kitchen Lab Registration form to register. To sign up for the Garden Kitchen Lab at Dyckman Farmhouse, please visit the Farmhouse's website.

Seasonal Programs

Our four key curriculum areas are taught differently each season/session: 

Spring Observations

Summer Wellness

Autumn Transformation

  • It’s harvest season! Children celebrate the medicinal properties of the garden, cook delicious recipes, and create stop-motion food-media projects.
  • Kids enjoy eating organic food and learn about salads, jams, and other delicious recipes.
  • In the late fall, the program focuses on molecular gastronomy and the changes that take place in food fermenting, mixing, reducing, or browning.
  • Students produce food and science media by taking photos with digital microscopes and point-and-shoot cameras.

 

Children engage in journaling and media projects each session.

Our surveys and observations reveal children’s overwhelming enthusiasm for the curriculum, as well as positive attitudes towards vegetables and new skills. Ultimately, the program’s goal is for children to help bring positive change to their own communities by developing new attitudes towards healthy eating and bringing home recipes that can be shared with family and friends.

fruit powered game kids search for recipes in media lab
glasses boy with fresh mint/herbs kids with fresh tomatoes

 

Contact Us

For more information about the program, please email us media.ed@parks.nyc.gov or call (212) 360-2791.

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