Thursday, September 15, 2022

Green days: 6&B Garden program teaching East Village kids how to garden and cook

Images and text by Daniel Efram 

The 6&B Garden Kids Cooking Workshop series continued on Aug. 21 with Gallo Pinto Collard Green Wraps on the menu, a recipe shared by one of the community garden's members from Costa Rica. 

This program for kids (ages 5 and up!) has been running since the fall of 2016, with a break during the worst of the pandemic, and offers not only some tasty recipes but also resources about gardening and sustainability. 

"Our goals for the program are to share with kids from the neighborhood the experience of picking vegetables and herbs straight from the garden and cooking and eating them outdoors," explains 6&B's Michael Mangieri. "As a cook and chef, this has always been my greatest delight. It never gets old. I am happy to have a way to share with the next generation."
"We share our love for the growing and cooking of food with the young people in our community through a lens of food justice and cultural appreciation," 6&B's Briar Winters continues. "We donate produce from the kids' farm that our program participants have helped us grow to our local food pantry at Trinity Church on Avenue B. Most of our recipes are shared with us by our garden members or folks from the community, with a special emphasis on sharing cultural food traditions."
The garden for kids provides an authentic farm-to-table experience, solidifying that the vegetables can be grown, nurtured and harvested in their own space in the East Village. 
"This program is part of our community food justice program," says 6&B member Barbara Caporale. "Our garden hopes to shift the paradigm of how community gardens are viewed by some as private clubs, to being seen as a place that can help meet community food need, and our children are a part of that solution."
After being shown what the vegetables look like when ripe for picking, the trio instructed the kids on how to choose and care for each plant. After rinsing, the kids were shown how to prepare the collard greens, pressing and flattening them, then removing the stems. 

Next, the crew cut up tomatoes, avocado and crumbled cheese. Mangieri boiled the collard skins until they were bright green and tender and cooked down onion, garlic and peppers with coconut oil to get the sofrito in shape. He then added black beans and rice to the sofrito base for the kids to stir together.
Afterward, the participants could enjoy the wraps they had created.

The next 6&B Garden Kids Cooking Workshop is on Saturday (Sept. 17) at noon, featuring recipes to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. 

For more information, please please visit the garden's website or email

The community garden is on the SW corner of Avenue B and Sixth Street.


noble neolani said...

This is such a great thing for these kids, kudos for all of those involved in this effort.

DuchessofNYC said...

Yay, such a good idea Barbara Caporale!! And all the other 6B'ers. We used to grow food for Trinity with high school kids at La Plaza Cultural but this program seems better in that the kids are cooking and tasting the plants. Bravo, more gardens can and should do this!

Anonymous said...

Great program!Thank you Micheal and Briar! and Team 6B!

Anonymous said...

What a great thing to do for the kids and the community! I wish there had been something like this when I was growing up.

XTC said...

I would submit every public park and green space should have a program such as this. Ballfields and skate areas are fine but there's nothing like taking care of a garden and growing your own food.

As Voltaire said, "Il faut culviter notre jardin"........(meant both literally and figuratively)

Sarah said...


Anonymous said...

How fitting to post this today featuring Gallo Pinto wraps as today is Costa Rica Independence Day and Gallo Pinto is a national tradition. PURA VIDA!!

Dan said...

Thanks for running this story EV Grieve! Three cheers for the best NYC Neighborhood Blog!

Unknown said...

So important; 6B garden is such an oasis !!!

Julius Klein said...

So important: Everyone would benefit from basic gardening, cooking & building skills. The 6B Garden is truly an oasis !!!

Amy Berkov said...

Thanks so much to Michael & Briar, Barbara-- and Daniel for the wonderful write-up!

Anonymous said...

This is fabulous! ( don’t let Carlina Rivera know about this place! )