Today, a girl named Lakkana together with senior students in the team and teachers from Padpittayarat School arrived the 67th Student Arts and Crafts Competition organized by the Ministry of Education, to present their ideas, “9 Special Menus from Oyster Mushrooms”, which won the National Gold Medal Award from this stage in the contest of food processing for student grade 4-6.
“The 9 Special Menus from Oyster Mushrooms consist of 1.Very hot and spicy mixed oyster mushrooms with chili paste 2.Oyster mushroom sausage 3.Fermented oyster mushrooms 4.Crispy fried oyster mushrooms 5. Fried rice cracker mixed with oyster mushrooms 6.Fried oyster mushrooms mixed with herb 7.Oyster mushroom curry puff 8.Herbal green tea mixed with oyster mushroom juice 9.Bael fruit juice mixed with oyster mushrooms,” Lakkana, a grade 4 student from Padpittayarat School who is sponsored by the “Child Sponsorship Programme” pursued by World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) from the Kham Ta Kla Area Development Programme (ADPs), Sakon Nakhon province, explained the delectable menus created by Lakkana and the other two students from grade 5 and 6. The topic of the contest is processing products from the school agricultural plots for lunch, food preservation, value added, and distribution channels for oyster mushrooms.
Just listening to the girl who explained and introduced the 9 delectable menus from oyster mushrooms, the appetite and hunger were stimulated.
“My school has been supported the Agriculture for Lunch Project. There are vegetables, mushrooms, chickens and eggs. It is the activity after school and I am responsible to look after the oyster mushroom farm so I know how to grow and harvest the grown up mushrooms to prepare for lunch,” told Lakkana.
Mr.Kajorndej Siriwanok, Director of Padpittayarat School, told the project result that happened to the students, “The Agriculture for Lunch Project at the school supported by WVFT helps children have enough nutritious food and also develop professional skills to them.”
Padpittayarat School is a school in Kham Ta Kla Area Development Programme processed under the Child Sponsorship Program of WVFT. It is a small school for Kindergarten to grade 6. There are 191 students and 40 children are benefited by the Child Sponsorship Programme. Most of children are from farmer families and after the rice harvesting, their parents will be the workers in the town and the elderly are at home to look after grandchildren. The promotion of agricultural skills in school is a learning process for children to be a career path in their future, and the children also can help parents to do farming at home.
“There are a lot of blooming mushrooms and because of children got bored with the repeated mushroom dishes, I asked children to create the menus of oyster mushroom processing and the vocational teacher also gave more knowledge to the kids,” said about the learning development of children, Mr.Kiattisak Romkes, the teacher who look after Agriculture for Lunch Project.
“We have created the menus and tried cooking many times with the recommendation of teacher until teachers and friends agreed that the taste was delicious! Then we noted the perfect amount of ingredients and the cooking procedure in order to maintain the same taste every time,” Lakkana told about the oyster mushroom menus created by herself and friends in the group.
“The mushroom menus are very tasty, so I invited students to think of selling. The children will learn cultivation, food processing and the development to distribution. I let children created the name of each menu and the creative ideas of the new generation came out with the strange names but are easy to remember. Then, WVFT staffs help to make labels and support food packaging. For food processing and selling, the children will help each other as the activity after school. The math teacher also taught children to do income/expense account and cost accounting. The income/expense account is a practice for children to be honest,” Mr.Kiattisak gradually taught all processes of agricultural skills to children.
“There are 9 special menus from oyster mushrooms but actually now we have created the recipe for 30 menus,” grinned Lakkana.
The 9 menus that Lakkana and senior students have created help oyster mushrooms to be kept longer and the processing also adds value to the cheap mushrooms as well. What Lakkana and friends have thought and practiced together are the learning experiences that give the occupational knowledge and skills to the kids to earn a living and bring them to the greater learning in future.
If anyone is hungry and would like to try an oyster mushrooms menu, please directly contact Padpittayarat School ...