Encinitas sixth graders take on Salad Wars at the Farm Lab

Kobe's Dunkin' Dressin' team won Salad Wars with their dressing with a shot of orange and honey flavor.
(Karen Billing)

You can’t beet ‘em: a group of sixth graders from Capri Elementary recently won The Salad Wars at the Encinitas Union School District Farm Lab. Every year all sixth graders in the Encinitas Union School District (EUSD) spend an entrepreneurial week at the Farm Lab DREAM campus on Quail Gardens Drive, developing an organic salad dressing company and devising a marketing plan. At the end of the week, teams of students serve up their dressings on a plate to a panel of judges who has the difficult task of picking a winner.

Student-created salad dressing at the Farm Lab.
(Karen Billing)

On Jan. 31, Salad War judges included Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear; Capri Principal Carrie Lancon; Roby Trada, the associate executive director of the Magdalena Ecke YMCA; Joe Dougherty, the district’s assistant superintendent of business services; and Cody Harrison, a project manager for Tree San Diego.

On Jan, 31, Kobe’s Dunkin’ Dressin’ was the victor with their tribute to the legendary Laker that mixed olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, white onion, garlic, orange juice, honey and orange zest. The team wore Laker colors and jerseys to make their presentation to the judges that included their creative logo design, advertising campaign and nutritional information. As part of their presentation they performed a rap and came up with a tagline: “We’re a shot of flavor, swish!”

In addition to the Dunkin’ Dressin’, students whipped up Moonlight Magic, Champion and Cardiff Cook dressings. The Cardiff Cooks gave their presentations in wetsuits and beach gear. The Champion team had the most unique flavor of the day with a dressing that paired blueberries, lemon, maple syrup and thyme. As part of their presentation, they sang their new lyrics to the Queen song: “We are the champions of salad!”

The judges for the Farm Lab Salad Wars.

All of the ingredients that were not grown at Farm Lab were donated by Jimbo’s and each student went home with a bottled sample of their dressings.

In addition to Salad Wars, all district students visit Farm Lab throughout the school year for grade-level lessons aligned with Next Generation Science Standards centered around problem-solving while promoting healthy lifestyles and stewarding a healthy planet.

More than just a unique educational experience, the Farm Lab is also the first in the nation to become a school-district owned certified organic crop production farm supplying its own school lunch program. Last year the farm served up over 20,000 pounds of fresh produce—all nine schools in the district have a daily fresh salad bar.

Thanks to Salad Wars, by sixth grade all students will have a good idea on how to spice up a simple salad.

A couple of Cardiff Cooks.
(Karen Billing)