From Rachel Pringle, co-author of How to Grow a School Garden: A Complete Guide for Parents and Teachers
It didn't matter what day it was, each time my students came to the garden they would immediately ask, "Are we going to cook?!" Sometimes there was a reason; they'd see the large bowls ready to receive the harvest sitting patiently on the center table. But other times it was just a quick question, asked in the hope that perhaps the suggestion would make it a reality. There was never any doubt: cooking and eating were the best parts of garden class.
Each fall, without fail, students planted fava beans, lettuce, kale, broccoli, and chard. These were our staple crops which easily grow in San Francisco's mild winter climate. We'd watch them grow while we weeded, patrolled for pests, mulched, and watered. Students would remind me, when the chard leaves were large enough for them to hide behind, that it was time (come on already!) to pick and eat.
Every student that came through our garden knew how to harvest chard and prepare it for a simple sautè. We'd pick two leaves each, depending on size, and we'd wash and tear them into smaller pieces that fit in the wok. If students swore they didn't like garlic before, the smell of it cooking in olive oil would inevitably bring their noses closer for a good whiff. "Yummmmm," they would always say as they pulled their heads away.
I developed a connection to the local bakery and would get baguettes donated for our harvest days in the garden. We'd slice them thinly and place the sautè on top to make a crostini — just a snack, but the best one you'll ever taste!