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August 2016 Event: LA Farmers Market Challenge & Cooking Class

On Wednesday, August 3rd in Los Angeles, a group of student participants, PAL officers, F&K board members, Chef Sam and the fabulous team at Fig & Olive Melrose met at the Santa Monica Farmers Market to participate in the Farmers Market Challenge. 

The students broke into four teams, and each team had thirty dollars to purchase items to create a salad. Students were encouraged to engage in dialogue with the farmers to determine if the product was certified organic, whether organic methods were used in its production, where the farm was located, etc.  Each team had approximately fifty minutes to purchase the items for the salad (requiring them to use their negotiation skills and creativity), stay on budget (developing financial skills), and learn about the farmers' products (practicing listening skills).  A lot of teamwork was on display, and the group could have happily stayed at the farmers' market for most of the day!

The second half of the day was spent preparing the salads at Fig & Olive in Melrose with the ingredients that each team had purchased.  With Chef Sam and his team's encouragement and help, the teams came up with some amazing salads.  A big thank you to Chef Sam and his team for helping to cultivate the creativity that flowed from the students and produced a beautiful meal!

The students enjoyed a family meal together with the salads, pasta, chicken, and zucchini flowers!  Over dinner the group discussed the freshness of the seasonal ingredients, how that affected taste, and what everyone had learned from the farmers.   

The students left with a healthy goodie bag of fresh pluots, tangerines and a jar of honey, all seasonal and locally produced.  All in all, a lovely day for everyone involved!