A preserving workshop for kids

I ran a preserving workshop this morning over at Beelarong Community Farm where I have my allotment.

It was part of Brisbane City Council’s GOLD n’ kids program for children aged four years and over and seniors to enjoy together.  They run them during the school holidays.

I chose to make strawberry jam as I thought that would hold more appeal for children – rather than chutneys or pickles. And they loved it.  We had seven children, youngest 6 years old, and it was great to see them enjoying the freedom of the farm and the use of the out-door kitchen.

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The first job was to wash the strawberries and hull them.

I broke the morning up with a tour of the farm and showed them where the strawberry beds were. That was a roaring success as they foraged for the fruit. They needed no help to find the tiny cherry tomatoes which tend to self seed all over the place. And the mulberry trees attracted like moths to a flame.

Then back to the kitchen for morning tea and to complete the jam making.

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The finished product. Each child took home a jar of the jam that they had made.

If you live in Brisbane and are looking after grandchildren during the school holidays it’s worth checking out the GOLD n’ kids program. Most, if not all, of them are free.

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maria
    Sep 23, 2014 @ 18:22:25

    What a wonderful experience for the children, Jean! Well done to you all for providing such an opportunity for the children to do something so special and perhaps something they may have not done before.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Sep 23, 2014 @ 19:09:22

      The children were all new to the farm Maria and they had a great time exploring.
      Jam making was a new thing for them too. They did really well in weighting the sugar, squeezing the lemons for the juice, and chopping up the strawberries.

      Reply

  2. cathyandchucky
    Sep 23, 2014 @ 18:32:36

    That’s a fantastic thing to do Jean 🙂 kids love being hands on and learn by doing.

    Reply

  3. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Sep 23, 2014 @ 19:10:10

    Hi Cathy. They did love getting stuck in.

    Reply

  4. Julia
    Sep 23, 2014 @ 20:06:15

    Hi Jean,

    What a wonderful idea! I love cooking with my 3 year old daughter and better still cooking with our own produce.

    I have a baby as well as my 3 year old that keep me up all night so I am always looking for something good to read. I am so glad you have gone back to blogging about your allotment, it makes for great reading 🙂 Please keep it up!

    Thanks,
    Julia

    Reply

  5. narf77
    Sep 24, 2014 @ 04:29:41

    The best bit about kids learning from seniors is that people live so far away from their relatives these days and often kids don’t get to visit with their grandparents a lot and the wonderful relationships that we had with our own grandparents tend to be lost in the process of modern living. When kids get together with seniors, magic happens. Kids are the most open and honest creatures on the earth and seniors tend to have given up on the fibs that most of us tell to keep moving around on the societal ladder and so the relationships that form between kids and seniors are mutually beneficial and most rewarding. I loved visiting my grandparents. They had time for us. They gave us undivided attention and were excellent at motivating and teaching us new things. I get the feeling that your class would have gone home full to the brim with new possibilities and that’s, inevitably, what we want for our kids, and our seniors, new possibilities 🙂

    Reply

  6. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Sep 24, 2014 @ 05:19:25

    Hi Narf. I loved running that workshop. You never know what to expect when you are trying to keep a group of youngsters interested. But those kids, and the seniors, were great. It was so good to see the children chopping, weighting and juicing, all in the open air kitchen. Then I thought it was time to set them free to run around so we set off around the farm. My grandson had helped me ice the cup cakes for morning tea the day before. They were slightly futuristically decorated, but much admired! And devoured.

    Reply

  7. Heidi @ lightlycrunchy
    Sep 25, 2014 @ 09:51:16

    What a great experience. I always loved learning things like making jam when I was a kid. It’s wonderful that you are passing on your expertise.

    Reply

  8. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Sep 25, 2014 @ 17:57:57

    Lovely to see these kid’s get excited about cooking.
    It was the first time the six year old had ever juiced a lemon and he wouldn’t give up until he had completely mangled it. 🙂

    Reply

  9. Kathy
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 14:17:25

    Yum, strawberry jam and running around the veggie patch…what a great morning you all must have had. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    Reply

  10. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Sep 27, 2014 @ 14:25:18

    We did Kathy. They were a grand bunch of children, and lovely grandparents too. The combination of washing and cutting up the strawberries, and squeezing lemons for the juice, combined with the freedom of the farm was just right for their age group – primary school age.

    Reply

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