Sun West DLC’s first-ever Farm to Fork event was a huge success!
DLC high school students from across central Saskatchewan came together in Saskatoon to learn more about where their food comes from and to meet some of the people who help produce, process, and prepare it. “We wanted to create an opportunity for students to come together and learn about their food,” said DLC teacher Nicole Freeden. “and to think critically about the food choices we face every day”
Even before the event began, Ms. Freeden and DLC student Hannah Gust sat down with Global Saskatoon to talk about the day ahead. “It was a fun, early start to my morning” said Gust. “Going through the interview was a tiny bit nerve-wracking,” she admitted, “But once it was done, it was like….’Wow, I just did that!’”
The event officially began with a tour of the Agriculture Greenhouses at the University of Saskatchewan. Here, students toured both the horticultural and agricultural greenhouses and saw everything from ornamental coleus, to papaya trees, haskap bushes, tomatoes, peppers, chickpeas, wheat and so much more. “We learned how plant breeders work with plants from the wild, like wild potatoes from South America, to develop a crop that people can eat – the potatoes that we all are familiar with today,” explained Freeden. “I learned that the story of our food starts so much further back than even the seed that it came from. Plant breeders are working on developing new foods long before they come to our plate!”
Next, the tour moved to Sobey’s Extra in Stonebridge, where students toured each department and were able to ask questions of Sobey’s in-house wellness consultant, dietician, and chef. After lunch, students divided into teams of 3 or 4 for the “grocery games” where they raced up and down aisles to choose the ingredients they would be cooking later in the afternoon.
The highlight of the day was cooking at the Local Kitchen with Chef Scott Dicks. First, each team “unboxed” their purchased ingredient and explained how they chose among the categories and brands on the store shelf. Then it was time to COOK! Chef Scott developed a brunch-style menu including a savory pancake topped with braised beef and a sweet pancake with berries and freshly-whipped cream. “I learned how to poach eggs, and fry kale,” said Hannah. “As a group, we cooked lentils and used canola oil to fry carrots, onions, and garlic. We even made smoothies with sea buckthorns and it was delicious!” While they were cooking, students heard from beef, egg, grain and oilseed producers who explained how they produce these ingredients and answered questions on the fly.
Finally, it was time to eat! What an incredible meal these DLC students prepared with advanced techniques (and good old-fashioned arm-power: special kudos to the team who whipped the whipping cream by hand)!!
“This kind of unique learning experience is only possible because of the support of our producer and ag industry partners,” concluded Freeden. “We are proud to have teamed up withSaskatchewan Egg Producers, Sask Canola, and Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association for today’s event. It is this kind of industry cooperation that enriches the learning experience of our students.”
A special thank you to Hannah Gust for hosting our “student takeover” of the DLC’s social media and sharing the day’s adventures!