When Karen Rotella, a Professor in the Hospitality Management program at Naugatuck Valley Community College, found that the children of the Exploration Room, a pre-school classroom in the College’s Child Development Center, were embarking on an extended project, exploring where food comes from, she rushed to collaborate with members of NVCC’s horticulture program to create a farm-to-table experience for several groups of the three-, four-, and five-year-olds in the class. NVCC’s horticulture program, which grows everything from lettuce to herbs to peppers on its Waterbury campus, provided the food. With this food, members of the hospitality program created the salad bar. The results were delicious. The class was able to see the food being harvested and prepared in front of their very eyes and were even given “fairy gardens” to take home courtesy of the horticulture department. The relationship between hospitality and horticulture is a strong one: students from horticulture help provide a lot of the veggies and herbs that hospitality students use and hospitality students have prepared dishes for the horticulture students using the fruits of their labors. While this is the first collaboration of its kind at the College, Rotella says a pizza party is in the works for the next batch of pre-schoolers. Present for the lesson were Child Development classroom teachers Laura Petrakopoulos, Cynthia Giarratona, and the Art Specialist, or Atelierista, Kristine Maksymiw.