Monroe County Schools on the Go is celebrating October as Farm to School month with student taste tests, farmer visits to schools and a community and school gardening workshop.
Students are tasting roasted squash, potatoes and carrots; apple salad; local watermelon, and dried cranberry cherry craisins, among other items.
Farmer Jake Wedeberg who works on his family’s century farm near Gays Mills, Wis., presented at schools in the three coalition districts Oct. 22 and 24. The farm has been certified organic for 22 years and he and his brother are proud and excited to be fifth generation organic farmers.
Wedeberg’s interactive presentation included cow milking, a bean bag toss, butter making and taste testing. At Lakeview Elementary in Sparta, he was joined by Farm to School Chef Jason Boris and Community Health Education Specialist Jess Shown for additional taste tests and activities.
The presentation and taste tastings are part of the coalition’s efforts to increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption in Monroe County. Through a Transform Wisconsin Food Systems Impact grant, Monroe County Schools on the go is working to create a sustainable food system by developing and implementing a strong farm to school effort in the Tomah, Sparta and Norwalk-Ontario-Wilton school districts.
The school and community garden workshop Oct. 24 at the Barney Center in Sparta was well attended. Beth Hanna from Community GroundWorks led the session and provided insight into the best practices for school and community gardening.