It is harvest cooking time at Seth Boyden, thanks to the efforts of a soon-to-be Eagle Scout and the school’s garden teacher.
On Oct. 18, Columbia junior Jack Kelly cut the ribbon on Seth Boyden’s new outdoor kitchen, which he built as his Eagle Scout project. The kitchen, which includes a long stainless steel prep counter with a sink, and a small gathering space complete with white board, was built mostly in Jack’s parents’ garage. (Jack’s mom, Lynn Kelly, is a teacher at Seth Boyden and his Boy Scout Troop, Troop 5, calls Seth Boyden home.) Jack raised all the money for its construction and then, with the help of fellow Troop 5 Scouts and some dedicated dads and friends, lugged it to the garden and installed it.
Garden teacher Maggie Tuohy put the kitchen to immediate use, spending much of last week with students and teachers and some parent volunteers cutting up pumpkins, chopping garden kale and making Harvest soup. Needless to say, it was delicious. In addition to soup, the students counted pumpkin seeds (by twos, threes and fours) and cooked them.
The garden classes in the past week are part of a big push into the outdoors. Thanks to coordination between school administrators, the teachers and the PTA, Tuohy has had each class at the school out at least once so far this year, in addition to parent-staffed garden recess days. And the PTA has rebooted its plans for the Outdoor Classroom. Bids for the classroom are due to go out in early December, and if all goes as planned it will be completed in spring.
The classroom is meant to be a center not only for nature learning, but also art, performance, social studies and science. The school is also seeking grants to make a nature trail through the school, and to turn the entire school yard into an arboretum.