Sustainability: From Farm (Market) to Table, Collegiate-style

Agents of change

So: a big part of what we’re up to this summer involves pushing the boys to imagine themselves as ‘agents of change’ (broadly construed): to think—in ambitious-but-concrete ways—about the ways in which they can improve the world around them. We’ve organized this inquiry around three themes:

Sustainability

social justice

masculinity

These themes are interwoven across classrooms, co-curricular activities, and field trips; they overlap (sometimes in surprising ways), and they feed into one another: helping to bring an urban farm into a food desert, for instance, has clear implications for social and economic justice.

As you may have already guessed, our burgeoning foray into urban farming is very much a part of this work. Last week, the whole student body was introduced to the idea of urban farming; this week, a smaller group of boys committed to spending time each week at The Greener Garden, learning from our hosts and getting their hands dirty:


Chef@Collegiate, Phase i: Gone to Market!

‘Sustainability’ took on another kind of life outside the classroom this week, with a two-day competition—the First (Annual?) Chef@Collegiate!

The event began on Wednesday, when crews received a mission: given limited resources (i.e., time, money, and the ingredients that they would be able to find at a farmer’s market), their challenge was to choose a recipe they thought would make the tastiest salad… immediately thereafter, we hit the road for the the first of our ‘mini’-field trips—this one, to the farm market in Druid Hill park (where we ran into our friends, Warren & Lavette Blue!).

The boys did a great job haggling with vendors, and improvising when the ingredients they‘d sought turned out to be unavailable. The weather even lent us a hand—some of the boys just couldn’t resist the sprinkler—and the thunderstorms held off until just after the last gent was picked up!

Chef@Collegiate, Phase ii: the reckoning

…and then came: Thursday.

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It would be hard to overstate how seriously these boys took the making—and plating—of salad.

They labored through the afternoon, toiling tirelessly to put the right touches on their dish… and then waiting… even past dismissal (!)… for the arrival of our celebrity guest judge: Mr. Jack Pannell (Founder and Executive Director of Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys).

Finally: the verdict was in—-it was Muhlenburg, by a single point! …and there was much rejoicing.

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Along the way, the boys may have learned a thing or three about budgeting, meal planning, food prep, and—perhaps most importantly—how much healthy, tasty food is actually much closer than they’d imagined.


Oh, and: Co-Curriculars!

Finally (for now)—a few highlights from our other co-curricular adventures this week: the boys spent an afternoon at the pool…

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Some of the gents gave yoga a try:

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Our friends from FutureMakers paid us another visit:

…and if you ever want to get a group of boys to spend an hour working on a word problem together, try calling it an ‘Escape Room Challenge’:


…finally, from the ‘other-people’s-pain-is-funny’ file: the prize for last week’s crew competition was the chance to pelt Mr. Barthelemy with water balloons!