Texas Duo Delivering Food EducationWed 29 Aug 2012
Story by Donelle Simmons
From Soil To Harvest in Texas, DFW Truck Farm Providing Hands On Food Education
Mother and Daughter duo, Marilyn Simmons & Donelle Simmons, are avid North Texas Gardeners and set up Garden Inspirations in 2005. In 2011 they joined the national urban agriculture project, Truck Farm, helmed by Ian Cheney, and now run one of the 25 truck farms, the DFW Truck Farm. Every truck uses their traveling, tactile, edible classrooms to organize workshops for kids that will show them how fun, creative, easy and rewarding it can be to grow your own food. Ultimately the goal is to engage youth with gardening and inspire them to make healthy choices.
About the DFW Truck Farm
The DFW Truck Farm provides hands-on education to the community about growing its own food “from soil to harvest” and encourages the community, from the young to the old and the novice to the pro, to plant and grow vegetables in any kind of space with an emphasis on the healthy benefits of growing food and eating seasonal fare, which provides consumers more control of the foods they eat. We are the 25th truck farmer in the fleet of national truck farmers.
This August, the DFW Truck Farm visited a summer kids cooking camp just before the school year resumed. The kids’ camp is offered by Personal Chef Erin Willis from Dallas, Texas and teaches children ages 7+ to learn more about growing, cooking, and eating real food. With great garden beds to excellent cutting skills these campers get a great taste of what food can really taste like without the recipe being dumped out of a cardboard box with powdered seasonings. Chef Willis asked the DFW Truck Farm to visit her camp and talk about what we are growing on the truck.
The Connection To Real Food
Marilyn Simmons, education coordinator of the DFW Truck Farm, brought basil, thyme, oregano, stevia, rosemary, and mint for the campers to touch, taste, and smell. There were many sensations happening as the herbs were passed around the cooking table. Each camper was prepared with a cutting board and a knife to work on an herb cheese recipe that they would sample as the end of the class.
Marilyn taught the campers how to make a bouquet garni and Chef Erin Willis talked to the campers on the different ways they could use their bouquet garni at home. The campers then chopped and chopped on different herbs to mix in with a cream cheese for their mid-morning snack, excited to see their own herbs being blended with the cheese and came back for seconds and thirds at snack time. This is the key to the DFW Truck Farm education program, the connection to real food.
The experience of learning about real food is what the DFW Truck Farm is about, teaching where the plants grow and what your food looks like from the soil to the table. We applaud Chef Erin Willis for her kids cooking camp and hope the experience of the camp and the DFW Truck Farm made a real food impact! To learn more about the DFW Truck Farm visit www.dfwtruckfarm.com or like us on Facebook: DFW Truck Farm.
Find out more about the DFW Truck sharing gardening and food education in North Texas.
About the author: Donelle Simmons is a garden educator through Garden Inspirations in Dallas, Texas. She is leading the way by creating garden education courses and teaching those around her about real food and growing your own. She is the project manager for the DFW Truck Farm, the Truck Farm coordinator for the National Fleet, and is co-host of The FarmGirls Organic Gardening Radio Show in Dallas, Texas. Learn more: www.gardeninspirations-tx.com
Photos By: Donelle Simmons
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