Grow, Cook, Eat is an afterschool program One Cool Earth started this year with Atascadero Unified School District's Afterschool Lighthouse Program. In this 3-week program, students learn how to grow, fresh, delicious produce, then harvest and prepare it in healthy recipes right in the school garden.
At Santa Margarita Elementary, students participating in Grow, Cook, Eat had the chance to try popcorn. Not just any popcorn. It was Glass Gem Popping Corn grown by students at San Gabriel Elementary who grew this corn from saving their kernels the previous year. One look and you’ll want to grow this beauty yourself. San Gabriel harvested it shared ears of corn with Ms. Natalie’s afterschool class at Santa Margarita Elementary.
Glass gem, as you can see embodies in a variety of colors; you can see maroon, bright yellow, deep browns, and even grays find their way into each ear. The class took a moment to admire them.
“Who can tell me what part of the plant these kernels are?”, the educator asked during Grow, Cook, Eat.
“SEEDS!”, a student exclaimed.
Once the kernels were dry enough, Grow, Cook, Eat students at Santa Margarita easily popped off corn from the ear by picking the kernels one-by-one.
One student declared, “This is pretty relaxing” while fixing their attention on their own piece of corn, and placing the shelled kernels in a tin can. We ended up measuring 3 cups of popping corn from that day of Grow, Cook, Eat.
Next, we had to clean the chaff off of the corn. We did this by pouring the seeds from one bucket to another slowly. The corn is heavier than the chaff, so the chaff flew away with the outside breeze.
The result is this gorgeous popping corn you almost don’t want to pop, but we were too interested in the taste! The kernels pop white although it would have been pretty thrilling if it was as colorful as the glass gem. Grow, Cook, Eat sampled Pumpkin Glazed Popcorn in honor of the start of fall. The recipe came from Real Food Real Deals. Students taste tested the popcorn the week after shelling the corn.
All in all, it was very exciting to give the students a chance to learn the process of popcorn and the life cycle of seeds. Sometimes, popcorn can get a bad rep, but it seemed pretty pop-ular for the students in Grow, Cook, Eat at Santa Margarita.
One Cool Earth
where every child deserves a place to grow.