Posts tagged ‘slow food pittsburgh’

October 16, 2014

We Proudly Open the Newest CSL Art Exhibit: Photos from the 2014 Summer Internship!

by Melissa Harding

Group photo

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the new photo exhibit in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes is a story of the summer! Last week, the 2014 summer high school intern cohort returned to Phipps for a celebration of their internship during the opening reception for the gallery. The photos displayed represent the interns’ experience over the course of the summer and their unique perspectives. Joining the interns at the opening reception were their family and friends, as well as friends of the program Nancy Hanst and Alyce Amery Spencer, of Slow Food Pittsburgh, and gardening guru Doug Oster. It was so wonderful to have the interns back at Phipps again; we know that they have taken their experiences here with them into the school year!

Throughout the summer internship, local gardening columnist and author Doug Oster very kindly taught the interns basic principles of photography, from composition to lighting and everything in between. The interns had a wonderful time working with Doug and clearly they learned well, as the photos displayed in the exhibition are lovely indeed.

Check out the slideshow below to see all of the photos from the show:

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To read more about this past summer’s internship, including the first annual Youth Garden Summit, click here.

The above photos were taken by Kate Borger and the 2014 summer high school interns.

November 21, 2013

From the Ground Up: Understanding Our Complex Food Systems

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, a team of helpers from all over the community joined our Global Chefs in the kitchen to make their first full meal as a group. Nancy Hanst of Slow Food Pittsburgh, local chefs Rhonda Schuldt and Jean Daniels, and Chatham Food Studies student Amber Webb and B. Thorp all helped our students to learn knife skills, how to carve a chicken and more. Students made a meal of enchiladas, both vegetarian and chicken, and baked apples. For many of the students, it was their first time eating some of these foods. Everyone enjoyed eating the meal together, sharing in the group’s collective efforts.

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Students also learned just how complex the American food system truly is. They examined what a food system is, the differences between localized and conventional food systems, and how food systems looks different around the world. Students also worked on an activity comparing how foods market themselves versus the reality of their production and content, as well as how wealth is distributed along the food system. Finally, they looked at pictures sent by their Nigerian counterparts and examined how their experienced with food are similar and different to their own.

Additionally, students shared their holiday recipes from the previous month’s assignment. The recipes that they brought were varied by holiday and culture; examples include spiced yams, strawberry pretzel salad, coconut shrimp soup, sausage brochettes, baked moi moi and sweet potato pie. Students also chose a theme for their next recipe assignment; they are tasked with interviewing an elder to get a traditional recipe from their family or community.

To see more images from the workshop, check out the slideshow below!

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The above photos were taken by Lisa Xu and program participants.

September 26, 2013

From the Ground Up: Museums Connect!

by Melissa Harding

phipps high school outreach underserved science education

“A place is a piece of the whole environment that has been claimed by feelings. Viewed simply as a life-support system, the earth is an environment. Viewed as a resource that sustains our humanity, the earth is a collection of places. We never speak, for example, of an environment we have known; it is always places we have known – and recall. We are homesick for places, we are reminded of places, it is the sounds and smells and sights of places which haunt us and against which we often measure our present.”
– Alan Gussow, American artist, teacher and conservationist

This fall, we are embarking on an exciting journey that explores the power of place –  the effect of place on our cultures, our food, our language.

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. They will be communicating with their partner institution and trying together to understand similarities and differences between American and Nigerian culture. 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; recipes in the book will represent all students in the group and share what they have learned. Additionally, students at Phipps will be hosting a community feast this spring to coincide with a visit from the Nigerian students.

Check out this video of the kids introducing themselves; this is their first communication with the Nigerian students:

To help them in creating their cookbook, students will meet each month for a Saturday workshop. Each workshop will involve activities designed to get them thinking critically about their food system and food culture. They will be planning and planting an edible garden at Phipps, cooking together, taking field trips to urban farms, and exploring ideas of sustainability and social justice through food. This program also has homework; students will be asked to use a different prompt each month to write a journal of their journey through the program, as well as to help them start collecting recipes for their book.

Our first monthly meeting was held last Saturday. Students began their day by getting better acquainted with each other and Phipps. They interviewed each other to both learn more about their group mates and to create a set of profiles to send to their Nigerian counterparts. They also spent some time journaling and cooking together; students made salsa using fresh vegetables from the gardens at Phipps and talked about the power of eating together to create community.

In the next few months, they will travel to Braddock Farms, a local urban farm worked by area teens, and cook together with Slow Food Pittsburgh. We can’t wait to learn along with these wonderful students – not only are they giving up their busy weekends to work with us, but their enthusiasm is amazing! We will share their journey, along with ours, every month. We will also ask you for your own thoughts about food and culture, here and on our Facebook page. Please share your insights with us!

Do you think that your own sense of place affects your food culture? Share your answers in the comments!

The above photo was taken by Cory Doman; the videos were taken by Hanna Mosca and Kate Borger.

July 29, 2013

In with the Interns: Week Five

by Melissa Harding

Frittatas by Rosemarie Perla

In with the Interns is our new segment featuring the 2013 high school interns; this segment will explore what they do, learn and experience this summer. Written by Kate Borger, this segment will also feature original words and artwork from the interns.

As anyone over the age of 35 knows, time races by way too fast.  In the case of the Phipps high school interns, they have discovered this truth early on by way of this six week internship that is almost over.  It’s hard to believe how much they’ve done, how many ideas and issues they’ve been exposed to, and yet how much more we’d like to squeeze into the program with only one week left.

This past week took them to Nine Mile Run in Frick Park where they not only learned about the  water issues facing our region, but were able to contribute by joining with the Phipps college interns and staff from Nine Mile Run Watershed Association to remove invasive plants along the restoration trail.

Working alongside Phipps horticulture staff, the interns got an in-depth look at Integrated Pest Management with our own bug guy, Scott Creary, and they were introduced to the complexities of fracking with a viewing of the documentary, Gasland.   As usual, Thursday’s featured activity was cooking with fresh, healthy produce.  Slow Food Pittsburgh chefs, Rosemarie Perla, Emily Schmidlapp and Amy Baer guided the interns through the very useful process of making frittatas, in this case using kale and zucchini grown in Phipps’ Edible Garden.

The internship program, not only provides hands-on work experience in Phipps Conservatory’s glass house and gardens, but is intended to open their horizons to pressing environmental issues- both local and global- and inspire them to become stewards of the environment through making sustainable choices, personally and perhaps in their studies and careers that await them.  There’s only so much you can squeeze into six weeks, but this extraordinary group of eight teenagers have managed to absorb every drop they’ve been offered.

The above photo was taken by Rosemarie Perla.

July 13, 2013

In with the Interns: Week Three

by Melissa Harding

In with the Interns is our new segment featuring the 2013 high school interns; this segment will explore what they do, learn and experience this summer. Written by Kate Borger, this segment will also feature original words and artwork from the interns.

So much information, so many ideas and inspiring activities packed into four days – that was the third week of the Phipps High School internship.  Working with the Phipps horticulture and science education staff is stimulating and educational enough, but this week was also loaded with a broad range of classes and field trips.  Monday afternoon brought University of Pittsburgh PhD candidate, Marnin Wolfe, to Phipps to wow interns with a class entitled “Why Plants Rule.”

At the nursery

Tuesday morning took our group of eight to the TreePittsburgh nursery in North Point Breeze where arborist, Matt Erb, led a street tree I.D. tour and provided opportunities for the interns to give back to the community by weeding the nursery grounds so that the young trees will grow into healthy saplings, ready to be planted throughout numerous Pittsburgh parks and neighborhoods.

Phipps Internship Photography Steinwald

The afternoon was spent in a photography workshop taught by Phipps Science Education and Research Director, Molly Steinwald. Nature photography and documenting the experience has been part of the high school internship program for several years now, and the spectacular results taken by last year’s interns is on display now in the Center for Sustainable Landscapes gallery space.

At TreePittsburgh nursery

On Wednesday, after a morning of work with the horticulture staff, our interns discovered the intricacies of a career in botany and combining interest in science with other disciplines by visiting Dr. Steve Tonsor’s research lab at the University of Pittsburgh, exposing the interns to yet another option for their future studies.

Phipps Internship Tonsor Lab Botany

The week didn’t end there.  Our Thursday cooking workshop was a celebration of fresh vegetables with the creation of Roasted Vegetable Hoagies as conducted by Eat’n Park’s Director of Sourcing and Sustainability, Jamie Moore, along with assistant chefs, Nancy Hanst and Alyce Amery-Spencer.  All in all, a fabulous, fun and informative week for the high school interns!

The above photos were taken by Kate Borger, Molly Steinwald, and the high school interns.

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