Weekly Bits – Oct 31

header broccoliWho knew broccoli leaves were so BIG?
Northeast Iowa Community College Calmar Campus Child Development Center (CDC) preschoolers (above) learned about broccoli this month.  Activities included exploring the stems, painting with the leaves, and tasting (of course).  According to director Lydia Guyer, “It was a great center-wide collaboration working with broccoli this month. From the cook, kids, staff, and director, we all pulled together to make learning about broccoli fun and delicious!” — Halesia Johnson, FFI Early Childhood Coordinator


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
Out and about throughout the region…
Walking School Buses: West Union, Decorah, Cresco, Elgin, Clermont, Oelwein

Events:  NICC Wellness Fair, Youth-Adult Partnerships Training, Elkader I-WALK Sidewalk Mapping, Maynard I-WALK Sidewalk Mapping, New Hampton I-WALK Sidewalk Mapping

Meetings:  North Fayette Valley Spring Bike Rodeo, Postville SRTS Coalition, Active Living Work Group, South Winn Spring Bike Rodeo, Decorah Spring Bike Rodeo, New Hampton SRTS/I-WALK Coalition, Elkader SRTS/I-WALK Coalition, Maynard SRTS/I-WALK Coalition


Come out to Phelps Park tomorrow, November 1 from 1-3 PM for the Harvest Festival and Sweet Swap! Put good use to your leftover Halloween candy and use it as a token to play games, make crafts and get your face painted! Costume parade starts at 2! Members of the Decorah Food & Fitness Youth 4-H Team are helping out with the event put on by the Winneshiek County Conservation Board.


REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage
As part of the farm bill, the federal government will no longer subsidize EBT machines, a move that will force many small, SNAP-accepting stores to stop accepting benefits, or raise their prices. The article summarized in this blog post does a good job of illustrating how a change in policy ripples all the way through the system and may result in unintended consequences.  These ripples are even being felt in northeast Iowa.


SCHOOL WELLNESS – Luther College, FoodCorps, AmeriCorps
This garden clean-up at St. Ben’s (Decorah) proved to be much more exciting than RC Megan thought it would be. The students found plenty of earth worms, which some kids pulled out to examine, and we also found a mole!


Funding Sources for Local Food Projects
Looking to start a local food business or processing facility? How about a school garden? As local food systems continue to develop, community leaders need access to capital to start or sustain their efforts. A new white paper from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture presents information about 31 federal, state and private grant programs that are available as funding sources for development of local food systems.

New Funding for Business Support
Winneshiek County Development, Inc., with its partners in education and industry, have received grant funding from the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program to provide businesses with an array of consulting services and workshops aimed at improving small businesses and the local economy.


TIP OF THE WEEK:   This week, the Spend Smart Eat Smart blog compares the cost and nutrition of pre-made box dinners versus homemade.  The convenience is certainly tempting, but what is the trade-off?  Turns out that the homemade dinner not only costs less, but it whips up in no time.

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