For the past six years, Foxhollow and Maryhurst have developed a partnership, the culmination of which is the annual Fall Festival, which raises funds for programming that serves the girls. In addition to fundraising, the partnership allows Foxhollow to bring farming and food inspired hands-on experiences to young people at Maryhurst through fun learning experiences and field trips. The girls might taste edible flowers right from the garden at Foxhollow, plant fall pumpkins, take photos for art class, or just enjoy a hayride and a fresh meal.
Recently, Maggie invited a group of ten girls to visit her at Anchorage Farmers’ Market, where she’d had a booth all summer. The goal was to teach the girls a tangible life skill, and so they came to learn about how to shop at the Farmer’s Market and prepare a fresh, seasonal meal.
The class started off with a tour of the Anchorage Farmers’ Market. Maggie and the students visited local farmers’ booths and gathered fresh ingredients. From there, they moved to Anchorage Presbyterian church, who donated their commercial kitchen as the classroom. Maggie demonstrated how to cook up some simple, home-made dishes using seasonal ingredients raised by neighbors. The girls received recipe cards and instructions to make the dishes on their own.
The menu included watermelon gazpacho, made from tomatoes, onions, peppers and watermelon; and a simple vinaigrette to use three ways – with kale salad, sautéed squash and in warm potato salad with herbs.
Maggie had never seen them eat so many vegetables so willingly. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to a teenage girl’s appetite when she is able to tear leaves, mix ingredients and taste for seasoning herself.
It is incredibly rewarding to raise money for Maryhurst programming through our Fall Festival. But getting to teach a life skill and see the girls’ surprised faces when they actually like a salad is a reward no one can put a price on.