Food plays an important role in bringing communities together. This summer, we hosted a month-long vegetable gardening workshop in collaboration with the University of Maine 4-H Cooperative Extension. Nine students from preschool through elementary school participated. Led by Sandra Copel (UMaine) and Juana Rodriguez-Vazquez (Maine Migrant Education Program Regional Coordinator), the workshops guided students and their families through the entire process of planting a garden, from seed to harvest. They even included a lesson on worm composting! In their garden, students planted different vegetables and herbs that can be used to make salsa: tomatoes, cilantro, and peppers, just to name a few.
In September, students celebrated their harvest with a salsa making party. Families gathered one evening at the Mano en Mano office in Milbridge with their favorite salsa recipes in hand. The lesson included information about the science of cooking as students meticulously measured out different ingredients. Together, the group made different kinds of salsa and enjoyed their dishes with crunchy tortilla chips. There were plenty of leftovers for students to take home and share with their families. This garden project gave all who participated the opportunity to value their relationship with nature and the food we eat while building self-confidence.
Have a look at more photos from the Migrant Education activities taking place this fall: