From the Ground Up: Visit to Braddock Farms

by Melissa Harding

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As part of the Museums Connect program, made possible by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the American Alliance of Museums, Phipps is partnering with the Gidan Makama Museums in Kano, Nigeria to provide an immersive experience for 15 local high school students in each city. Participating students will learn about nutrition, cooking and cultural food traditions by following local food from farm to table and will be communicating with students at their partner institutions. This project will last from September to June, resulting in the creation of a community cookbook that will be designed and created by participating students. Students will also meet each month for a Saturday workshop involving activities designed to get them thinking critically about their food system and food culture. Calling themselves the Global Chefs, this group of students is excited to learn more about what food means in their lives.

This month, our Global Chefs visited Braddock Farms, an urban farm located in the steel town of Braddock and the area’s single source of fresh produce. Their host was Jake Seltman, Director of Educational Programming at Grow Pittsburgh, who gave them a tour of the farm itself and the produce stand where they sell the fruits of their labor. The students were delighted by chickens on the farm and remarked on the contrast between the farm they were standing in and the working steel mill behind it. They visited the farm stand to purchase carrots and peppers to take back to the classroom for a snack. They also had a chance to meet Jonathon, a summer intern at Braddock Farms who shared with them his experience working with Grow Pittsburgh.

Back at the classroom, students turned their farm stand veggies into crudités and served them with hummus; for some students, trying hummus was a first! Inspired by their morning in Braddock, students had a spirited conversation about the merits of urban farming, food justice and what Braddock Farms contributes to its community. Students also shared their recipes for this month; the topic was comfort food and students brought in recipes ranging from chocolate pudding to fried plantains. After talking about the importance of eating many of these foods sparingly, students decided that another rare treat, holiday recipes, would be their assignment for next month.

To see more images of the morning, check out the slideshow below!

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The above pictures were taken by Hanna Mosca and Brianna Manfredi.

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