Blue Sky Café- An Agrarian Kitchen
Sky Islands’ students take part in the ongoing establishment and maintenance of 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, help to create the healthy lunches for themselves and everyone in the school community.
In the Urban Horticulture class, which is part of this program, students work with David Rollins to 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 Culinary Arts classes are directed by our chef, Momo Wilms-Crowe, in partnership with the growers.
In years past, students designed and built a chicken coop and housed 30 chickens in it. Students in the Urban Horticulture class continue to organically raise chickens and take responsibility for the health and safety of the flock. Eggs that our chickens provide are used in the kitchen to enhance the menu options.
The Health and Plant Biology classes also compliment the culinary program. In those classes, taught by Ennis Bustos and Lukas Bogard, students study nutrition and develop healthy eating practices, as well as learn about soil biology, plant ecology, and sustainable farming practices.
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-five dollars per student, or twenty-five dollars 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!