Category Archives: Wellness

Farm-to-School Day in March with “Spinach” provides a blast of spring-green!

The PTO Wellness Committee hosted our sixth Farm-to-School Day on March 24, 2010 featuring “organic, hoophouse-grown spinach” from Tantre Farm in Chelsea. The students were able to sample a savory Spinach Salad prepared with an oil vinaigrette and mandarin oranges.  A big bowl of fresh spinach leaves was also available for those who preferred a more simple, subtle flavor.  The students could also take home a coloring sheet, a word search with spinach facts, or a word scramble with recipes and nutritional facts about spinach (this sheet has been attached to this e-mail). Many of the students really enjoyed the spinach, coming back for seconds and thirds!

Thanks to Tantre Farm, Sara Simmerman-Director of Food & Nutrition Services of the Dexter Community Schools (and our lunch program), and her staff for providing us with delicious, local, and healthy food samples for our Farm to School Days this school year.

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Farm to School Day with “Potatoes” in February was a favorite!

On Feb. 12 the PTO Wellness Committee hosted a  Farm-to-School Day featuring “Fingerling Potatoes”.  Many students kept coming back for more…and more…and more!   Fingerling potatoes are known for their small size and odd “finger-like” shapes; their moist, waxy or dry, mealy texture; and their sometimes striking colors, ranging from red to yellow to purple. Fingerlings are ideal for roasting, particularly in the juices of other foods, and give cooks sometimes subtle, sometimes dramatic variations on the potato theme. They can be parboiled and then grilled, or used in salads with fennel and other herbs. These potatoes also can simply be diced, fried, and eaten as a snack food.

Besides sampling these roasted potatoes, the students were able to take home a Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head coloring sheet with a “Roasted Fingerling Potatoes” recipe attached and a crossword puzzle.  Many children would be very happy, if you made these potatoes for them!  The recipe for roasted fingerling potatoes is copied below:

ROASTED FINGERLING POTATOES

1 pound fingerlings (washed and not peeled)

2 Tbs. olive oil (or more–just enough to coat it all)

any herbs (such as rosemary, basil, or thyme) to taste

salt and pepper to taste

In large bowl toss potatoes with oil and seasonings.  Cut as needed so all our about the same size.  Spread in a single layer in a baking pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes (until tender and golden) in a 425 degree oven.   If you are short on time, cut potatoes in thinner slices and bake for shorter amount of time.

Our 2-3 classes also created very unique and individualistic Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads out of red, yellow, brown, and blue-skinned potatoes donated from Tantre Farm.   They were quite proud of their unique creations, and were able to share them with the whole school as a display during our Farm-to-School Day.  Please be sure to ask your children what they thought of the roasted fingerlings and the Middle Elementary Mr. and Mrs. Potato Heads on display.

Fingerling potatoes are certainly a favorite for all ages!

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Farm to School Day with “Squash” was a Blast

During our Farm to School day on January 27, 2010 Honey Creek students sampled baked winter squash with butter and other samples of baked winter squash with cinnamon, brown sugar, and butter. The squash varieties included were Black Forest Kabocha (smaller size kabocha; dark green, flat-round fruits; buttercup size with no button on end; orange flesh is medium-dry & sweet) and Sweet Dumpling (small 4-inch diameter, coloring is like the “Delicata”, but round, flat-topped shape) from Tantre Farm in Chelsea.

Winter squash are good to excellent sources of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, Vitamin C, and fiber.   Students were able to take home a squash handout with nutritional facts, a recipe, a coloring page, and a word search.   They were also encouraged to fill out a survey about what they thought of eating winter squash.  Here are the results of that survey: As far as the “taste of squash” 70% loved it, and 63% said “yes, they would eat it again”. Some of the overheard comments were:

“I had 12 pieces of squash today.”
“Yeah! It’s Farm to School day!”
“Hey, this squash tastes nutty.”
“Can’t we have Farm to School Day once a week instead of once a month?”

Overall the students seemed to really enjoy the varieties of squash that were tasted.

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Farm to School Day Featuring “Apples”

Our third Farm to School day was December 10, 2009.  We featured “Apples” from Wasem Farm during our lunchtime at Honey Creek.  Students were encouraged to sample 2 different apple varieties called Ida Red and Cameo.   Then they voted on their favorite variety.  The results of our apple poll resulted in a tie, so both Ida Red and Cameo apples were provided to classrooms’ fruit bowls in January by the PTO.  Please remember to look outside your child’s classroom to sign up to provide a vegetable or fruit snack, if the sheet is posted.  Students also brought home an Apple Fact sheet with a fun apple word search on the other side.

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Edible School Garden Mtg Feb 18

We are having a community meeting for those interested in sharing their ideas or skills and talents at our Edible School Garden meeting scheduled for next Thursday on Feb. 18 at 3:15 PM in the Pit. We would like to invite you to hear of our successes from last year, and encourage you to springboard ideas of more ways for our children to help our School Garden to continue to be productive and resourceful. Please email Deb Lentz if you have any questions, or are unable to attend, but are interested in being involved.

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Filed under Announcements, Edible School Garden, Theme Committee News, Wellness