FoodCorps Teams Up with Local Farmer
Jim Bardenhagen brings apples, squash to Suttons Bay Elementary
Healthy Food, Farm to School, FoodCorps | November 28, 2012 | By Kirsten Gerbatsch
FoodCorps is a nationwide team of leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy.
They do that by placing motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service. Working under the direction of local partner organizations, the program implements a three-ingredient recipe for healthy kids. Service members:
► Teach kids about what healthy food is and where it comes from
► Build and tend school gardens
► Bring high-quality local food into public school cafeterias
- Mark Coe: Having had the oppertunity to present at a local school with Meghan and Leanna, supporting the work Food Corps does is a wonderful thing. They provide a learning oppertunity to our children in agricu...
- Linda Hutchinson: Great! Having been raised on a farm, near Arcadia, I wish my dad who was a Farmer's Market regular in the 60's, 70's and 80's, was here to be involved in the "farm to table" and "local food" initiati...
- Dale Scheiern: It is easy to store and enjoy all winter long too!! Take 1 qt. freezer bags, fill to the point they will lay fairly flat ( not rounded) so they stack easily in the freezer. Local fruit all winter lo...
- Sharron May, The May Farm: You are correct if you are referring to industrial monocultures of animal or plant agriculture which are extractive, organic or not. Fortunately there are small farms pioneering more regenerative prac...
- LillyM: I've been fortunate enough to meet and work with Lianna and hope to meet Meghan. Every FoodCorps volunteer I have met over the years has been incredible. A phenomenal organization with dedicated and...
|Jim Bardenhagen shares different varieties of apples that he grows with Suttons Bay Elementary students.|
How often do typical elementary students get to eat lunch with the farmer who grew their school meal? Last month, every student at Suttons Bay Elementary had the opportunity to meet Jim Bardenhagen, who grows apples and squash on his farm in Leelanau County.
Bardenhagen’s an avid supporter of Farm to School efforts in the region. He visited all three fifth- and sixth-grade classes and one first/second-grade class to introduce students to different kinds of apples and share information about himself and his farm.
"Farmer Baseball Card."
FoodCorps Service Members Kirsten Gerbatsch and Daniel Marbury, who are funded and supported locally by the Michigan Land Use Institute, partnered with Bardenhagen to bring his produce into the cafeteria to prepare a Buttercup Squash & Apple Salad for the kids with the food service staff. Bardenhagen greeted students, slicing and handing out nine different varieties of apples along with his ‘farmer baseball card,’ featuring his picture and facts about his farm.
During every lunch period, he was surrounded by a group of wide-eyed students, all fascinated by Bardenhagen’s apples. One group of girls even stayed after all their classmates left to ask, “What is the sweetest variety of apple? What is the softest kind of apple? The hardest? What kind of apple do you use to make apple pie?” In a world dominated by mealy Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples shipped in from across the country or around the world, it was encouraging to see a third grader sincerely interested in the difference between a Gala and a Honeycrisp.
Many of the Suttons Bay Elementary students had never tried squash, so some approached their first bite of the salad with a bit of trepidation. But after, the kids were hooked on the mixture of sweet and tart flavors along with crisp and soft textures. Several students even asked Marbury to write down the recipe to bring home to their families.
The friendly farmer sitting in the lunchroom, and the smiling FoodCorps service members, made the delicious and nutritious foods more familiar to the young students who are still discovering new foods and developing tastes.
It’s experiences like these that extend learning beyond the classroom—into the lunchroom and into every meal.