MONTE DEL SOL EDIBLE KITCHEN Mother’s Day Celebration May 10, 2009

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009


(SANTA FE, NM)—Monte del Sol Charter School invites the public to The Mother Earth and Mother’s Day Celebration, a benefit luncheon, May 10, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

The event supports the Monte del Sol Edible Kitchen Garden project. Culinary Arts students will prepare and serve a delicious lunch with school Chef Andre Kempton and Culinary Arts teacher Tanya Story. Parent and community volunteers led by Deborah Madison and Bob Ross, co-chairs of the Edible Kitchen Garden project, have created a lively celebration. Garden club students and the botany class will conduct a plant and seed sale and share personal accounts through poetry and stories of how this Garden to Kitchen program has transformed their school experience. Festivities include live music by Zuva, kitchen and garden tours by gardener Erin O’Neill’s students, both silent and live auctions, and more.

While most American high school students are disconnected from the practical and theoretical understanding of how to grow food and feed themselves in a sustainable manner that promotes health, pleasure and well-being, the educational programming at Monte del Sol Charter School connects its students to the sources of their food and gives them the opportunity to prepare and share meals.
The Edible Kitchen Garden engages 7th through 12thz grade students at Monte del Sol Charter School in growing, cooking, and sharing wholesome food, nourishing life-long connections t o community and environment. Gardening and cooking classes provide hands-on opportunities to learn and understand science, history, and math through practical application. The botany curriculum is entirely hands on, applying science to gardening, learning to observe biological systems as well as be a part of them. Kitchen science and culinary arts classes teach measuring, culinary skills, and personal responsibility. Another part of the Edible Kitchen Garden program is a delicious and wholesome school lunch cooked in the school’s new kitchen by Kempton.

“Our 7th grade history class is studying people's relationships to the land throughout time, using the outdoors as well as the garden as a learning tool,” says Erin O’Neill, Edible Kitchen Garden coordinator and teacher. “The students go on ‘wild walks’ where we study local ethnobotany, utilizing native plants as food, fiber, and medicine. We also do traditional food harvest and preparation such as grinding corn grown in the garden. At the beginning of each school year, the harvest from the previous grades plantings are used in the kitchen and the students in the spring plant traditional food crops to be harvested the following fall by the incoming 7th grade. The Botany class learns everything from food politics to plant science. They have been a part of prepping, planning and planting the garden every step of the way all spring.”

The Monte Del Sol Garden Club meets once a week to care for the garden through, planting, watering, weeding, and even picking up trash.  Gardens take extensive care, especially in such a wild and public area.

Other things that set this public charter high school apart from others in Santa Fe include:
• In a state where almost 50% of high school students do not graduate, 95% of Monte del Sol’s seniors graduate.  Of last year's 56 graduates, 52 are attending college.
• The Mentorship Program places students with mentors from a wide-range of professions; 180 students were placed this year.  This successful program is now being used to model programs at other Santa Fe high schools.

WHAT:  Monte del Sol Edible Kitchen The Mother Earth and Mother’s Day Celebration
WHERE:  Monte del Sol, 4157 Walking Rain Road (Nava Ade Neighborhood)
WHEN:  Sunday, May 10, 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
TICKETS:  $12., 505-820-1160.

All proceeds benefit the Edible Kitchen Garden, which engages students in growing, cooking and sharing wholesome food to nourish life-long connections to their community and environment.


Jennifer Marshall