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Darien Chef Brings ’Farm-to-Table' Day Camp to Norwalk

Darien's Jane Peters-Mossa holds a platters of dumplings at her 'farm-to-table' camp in Norwalk Monday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
Darien's Jane Peters-Mossa poses with counselors and a camper at her 'farm-to-table' camp in Norwalk Monday. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky
Jane Peters-Mossa Photo Credit: Jay Polansky/file

NORWALK, Conn. — For campers looking to explore the culinary arts and wellness in Norwalk, Jane Peters-Mossa has the perfect recipe — thepinkrhubarb’s summer programs.

The camp has been a hit since Peters-Mossa held her first session in June. Each week, 12 to 15 campers come to learn at Fodor Farm’s barn and on its historic grounds.

Campers range in age form kindergarten to Grade 5. And many have come for multiple one-week sessions. “They love it,” said Peters-Mossa, who lives in Darien.

The camp counselors come from Darien High School and bring their unique talents to the farm. Counselor Christian Kanlian, for example, “loves to cook” and helps campers develop their culinary skills. He plans to go to Cornell University in the fall to study food science.

On Monday, Peters-Mossa helped the campers prepare butternut ginger five-spice dumplings. And it's not just about food: Campers learn fine motor skills by folding the dough, she said.

Many young campers have sensitive palettes and might not be drawn to sophisticated foods such as the five-spice dumplings at first, Peters-Mossa said. So she encourages campers to bring a snack to camp. (The foods the campers prepare aren't full meals, either.)

But the camp offers campers the opportunity to try new foods, which they normally “wouldn’t normally think about,” she said. And sometimes they take their experiences beyond camp.

“They go home and they make this stuff,” she said. “They’re taking it with them, which is so perfect.”

Peters-Mossa has also invited guests ranging from a beekeeper to a guitarist to stop by camp. She also had a presenter talk about the benefits of essential oils. The camp is meant to teach children about overall wellness — not just about healthy cooking, she said.

Her camp also provides children with the chance for some offline interaction in an increasing digital world.

“They using their hands,” she said. “They’re talking with friends and doing thoughtful crafts.”

Time just seems to fly by at camp, Peters-Mossa said. “It goes by so fast. It’s unbelievable,” she said, shortly before her campers gave her high-fives as they moved between activities.

While thepinkrhubarb’s summer programs end Friday, Peters-Mossa plans to run the program again next summer as well as programs throughout the school year. For previous Daily Voice coverage on her camp, click here.

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