Blue Sky Café- An Agrarian Kitchen
Sky Islands’ students will take part in the 3rd year of establishing our site-based farms and preparing lunches as part of the school’s Blue Sky Café. This is an urban farm-to-kitchen program to provide students with experience in both growing and preparing food. Student harvests from our on-site farms, as well as supplementary produce in partnership with Pivot Produce and from Tucson’s Rattlebox Farm, help to create the healthy lunches for themselves and everyone in the school community.
As part of this program, 9th graders will begin in the Urban Horticulture class with Michael Bagesse. There students will propagate seedlings in the greenhouse, select and plant seasonal vegetables to grow, install irrigation, and manage the farm. Then those students will take what they’ve grown—or we’ve purchased at local farmers’ markets and local retailers— and prepare healthy, nutrition-rich lunches in the fully-renovated school kitchen. The kitchen classes will be directed by our chef, Glen Coffman, in partnership with the growers.
A new health class is being added in 2018-19 to complement the culinary program. In that class students will study nutrition and develop healthy eating practices, as well as visit local farms and farmer’s markets. Students will also put together 2 “pop-up” produce markets on the school’s campus, one each semester.
This past year students designed and built a chicken coop and housed 30 chickens in it. Students in the Arid Lands class will continue to organically raise chickens and take responsibility for the health and safety of the flock. Eggs that our chickens provide will be used in the kitchen to enhance the menu options.
Designed to provide students with an authentic kitchen and dining experience, as well as generating minimal waste, the Blue Sky Café features real glass, flatware and tableware (not paper or plastic), provisions for vegan dishes, and opportunities for select menu choices. Menu planning based on seasonal ingredients will allow us to do this at a very low cost to students—the goal is that every student, regardless of income, can afford a Blue Sky Café lunch.
Monthly subscription prices are thirty/$35 per student, or twenty/$25 for students enrolled in the Culinary Arts classes.
Thank you for your support of our local food system and economy, sustainable organic agriculture, and the health of our students!