Meet our Summer Interns: Keegan

13 Aug

keegan1Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Keegan and I am an intern for Green Plate Special this summer. It has been a joy, a challenge and a true blessing to garden, cook and learn with a special group of youth this summer. Thanks to the Green Plate Special community and space, this has been a life changing summer for both myself and the youth.

I am a rising senior at Occidental College in Los Angeles where I am majoring Urban and Environmental Policy, with minors in politics and biology (try saying that five times fast). I am involved in a myriad of pursuits and therefore consider myself a student, athlete, activist, journalist, artist, entrepreneur, farmer, teacher, mountaineer, and most importantly, an earthling.

I recently returned from a semester abroad in Nepal, where my love for and fascination of food was elevated once again. Last summer I received a grant to study urban transit systems in Brazil, but I spent a month of my summer in the Atlantic Rainforest working on an organic farm. Despite the long distance I have traveled to interact with food and people, I am delighted to have the opportunity to return to my beloved hometown of Seattle, where I have participated as an urban farmer and culinary connoisseur with a diverse team of youth and adults.

Favorite vegetables: Carrots and sugar snap peas!

Favorite fruits: Nectarines and mangoes!

Favorite thing to cook: Momo’s! Momo’s are Tibetan dumplings which I cooked with my host
family in Nepal nearly every week.

Favorite family cooking memory/experience: Cooking showstopper (aka Dutch babbies) with mom and sister on lazy Sunday mornings.


Order a box of produce from the Green Plate Special Garden

5 Aug

August 6 – September 17

In August and September, the Green Plate Special produce stand, managed by our youth interns, will be selling pre-packaged boxes of produce. The perfect option for the cook or supporter of Green Plate Special who likes a culinary adventure, Green Plate Special’s produce boxes contain an assortment of the freshest produce from our garden. For your convenience, they can be picked up between 10 am and 6 pm each Thursday evening.



Place an order for a single box of produce to be picked up between 10 am and 6 pm on select Thursdays. Orders must be placed by 12 pm each Wednesday prior to the Thursday pick-up date. Quantity is limited.

Produce boxes can be picked up on Thursday before 3 pm from the Green Plate Special produce stand, or between 3 pm and 6 pm from the Green Plate Special office (entrance off the alley on the west side of the garden).



Meet our Summer Interns: Emily

3 Aug

emily1Hello! My name is Emily and I am excited to be serving as an intern with Green Plate Special. I recently graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a major in Food and Nutritional Science with a dietetics emphasis. I also have a background working with youth and cooking and hope to expand my gardening experience this summer!

I’m a Seattle native who enjoys living in the city while having the ability to experience nature at a moment’s notice. While I plan to pursue a graduate degree out of the area in the coming years I feel confident I will end up back here soon enough!

I wanted to pursue a position with Green Plate Special after reading their mission and meeting with the staff here. They combine the three interrelated disciplines of cooking, nutrition, and gardening, while targeting children just when they are starting to take control of their own food habits. Building healthy habits young can have life long impacts and I am excited to be a part of that. This position was also a great way to get outdoors and enjoy our beautiful Seattle summers.

Favorite vegetable: Cauliflower

Favorite fruits: Pears and Raspberries

Favorite thing to cook: A good curry is always a great way to incorporate tons of veggies, the spicier the better!

Favorite cooking tradition: Every Christmas morning my mom makes the same bear claw pastries from scratch and now of course I help her as well. Being patient and waiting for the dough to rise is so hard to do as we are all so excited to dig in to our once a year treat.


Summer of Service: Discovering soil, water, and animals in the garden

30 Jul

For our fourth year working with Summer of Service, a program of Seattle Parks and Rec, we’re joined in the garden and kitchen each day by eight youth who work and learn with us each day. In the mornings, we water the garden and harvest produce for our daily cooking projects. This group of young people is with us three days a week for six weeks, so they have the opportunity to progress in their cooking techniques. So far they have perfected vinaigrette, worked with fresh chicken eggs, roasted vegetables in the oven, grilled chicken and vegetable skewers, and baked zucchini muffins.

In the first three weeks, our themes spanned the garden: from soil, to water, to animals and insects. We learned about compost and worms, learned which plants need to be watered each day, cooked fish in our wood-fired oven, and practiced feeding the chickens. We pounded natural dye out of flowers, and dried flowers in books to preserve their color. We painted garden stakes, made butterfly feeders, and have begun a mural on the wall of our chicken yard.

We always have lively conversations with this group of youth around the lunch table, and we enjoy hearing stories about their favorite foods, as well as their fresh perspectives on gardening and cooking.

Meet our Summer Interns: Ashleigh

13 Jul

Hi my name is Ashleigh! I am currently a senior at University of Arizona studying Nutritional Sciences. I am originally from Seattle and am eager to be a part of bringing excitement about food to the youth of my hometown. In the future, I want to focus on Nutrition education within the community, helping to bring necessary skills in order live a healthy lifestyle. When I first came across the internship online I was so excited to find an opportunity combining everything that I am passionate about; cooking, food, kids and even now as I am slowly learning, gardening.

Asleigh 1
I first developed my passion for food while taking a cooking class at my high school. Although my family always placed an importance on eating healthy, this was the first time that I was able to experiment and be in charge of what I was cooking myself. I was able to try and learn so many new things, it opened a whole new world for me. I now am involved in teaching a cooking class at my University hoping to spark the same interest and excitement in my peers.


It has been an amazing experience so far this summer to see the kids get so excited about learning and trying new things. I was truly shocked to see how much the returning kids retained and knew about different nutrition facts/cooking skills and how fast the new students were able to catch on. I think GPS is truly a great hands-on experience that allows kids to be creative and have fun while also teaching them life skills that help them prosper.

Favorite Vegetable: Green Beans & Sweet Potatoes

Favorite Fruit: Strawberries & Mango

Favorite thing to cook: I basically live off of Stir Fry! Just throw a bunch of veggies + meat in a pan and Voila!

Favorite family cooking memory/experience: My memory is pretty simple on Sundays my family would all pitch in to make a bunch of food for the week. We would turn on music and all be chopping and cooking together.

June Summer Camp: Exploring the Pacific Northwest

8 Jul

Our first summer camp this year was all about the foods of the Pacific Northwest, from the hyper-local produce from our garden, to wild salmon from Lummi Island Wild. Our menu centered around the early summer bounty of the garden, including bean salad with our first cucumbers, popsicles with freshly picked raspberries, and green pea, mint soup.

The 14 youth who joined us had the chance to plan their own garden beds and select radish, lettuce, beet, and turnip seeds to grow for other youth to harvest later in the summer. They watered their seeds each day, and radish sprouts were popping up by the end of the week.

Art projects during camp included mosaic stepping stones for our flower garden, ladybug feeders, and a garden sculpture inspired by Pacific Northwest totem poles, which tells the story of our week at GPS. After full days of creativity, cooking, and tending to the garden, we all enjoyed “options time,” with activity choices like visiting the chickens, shelling dried fava beans, and making flavored ice cubes for water.

Meet our Summer Interns: Anna

6 Jul

Hi friends! I’m Anna. I’m currently a student at the University of Puget Sound where I am studying psychology and studio art. I guess you could call me an East coast transplant. I was born and raised in a small town just outside of Portland, Maine. I’ve been in Washington for three years and have loved getting to explore the upper left coast. Though, I do love New England and eventually see myself growing old by the sea.

Anna with her summer camp team

For as long as I can remember, the garden has held a special place in my family’s heart. I remember being to amazed by my dad’s ability to identify any plant or tree, whether in our garden or in the middle of a faraway city. I would spend hours outside spreading mulch and weeding with my mom, slowly realizing just how satisfying it is to look at a beautiful garden. I would look forward to the summer not because it was the time of my birthday, but because we would get to harvest veggies from our own garden, only to eat them that very night. I became so excited to see what the season would bring, how each month we would receive a new gift from the garden. As a family, we always sat down for dinner together, and this shared meal, KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAwhich we often cooked alongside one another, was something special. Now, years later, my brother has become an organic farmer and I find myself constantly inspired by the hard work and passion exuding from him always. Both he and my dad are constantly searching for new ways to cook their eggplant…or Swiss chard. And it is their exploration of good food and sustainable landscape practices that has quite obviously influenced me.

I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to work with Green Plate Special as it is unlike any experience that I have had. I remember being a camp counselor and loving every second of the interactions that I had with the kids, feeling like I could be a leader for them, but also being pleasantly surprised when I ended up learning so much from them. The structure and function of camp was hard for me as I felt like these kids were being bogged down with rules and expectations. Green Plate Special offers students with the creative freedom and autonomy that they, as middle school aged kids, truly deserve. And I find that pretty great.

Favorite vegetables: Broccoli and cabbage

Favorite fruits: Nectarines and raspberries

Favorite thing to cook: Risotto with shrimp and peas

Favorite family cooking memory/experience: Making any Italian food with my family, whether it be rustic Italian bread, eggplant parm, tri-color and anise cookies around the holidays, or just a great big pot of red sauce; I love learning about how my dad’s grandmother or parents would cook such meals and being able to relish in our Italian heritage


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