Weekly Bits – June 5

ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

Thanks to generous donations by the Winneshiek County Community Foundation and the Iowa Cancer Consortium, NE Iowa Food and Fitness has been able to give away nearly 350 bike helmets to kids without one this spring! Want to know if your bike helmet fits properly? Click here!

Should toddlers and preschoolers wear helmets? YES. Here is why.


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

FFI Early Childhood welcomes some new team members this summer. Shanna Putnam-Dibble will be creating resources for Farm to Preschool Programs and sharing early childhood stories and information through the FFI blog. She is excited for the opportunity to work with Food and Fitness because she is passionate about early childhood education and helping young children develop healthy lifestyles. Meet Shanna.

Brynne Stellner is the FFI Early Childhood Intern. A student at Luther College, Brynne is looking forward to assisting with center gardens and teaching kids how to be healthy. Meet Brynne.


FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage
The Northeast Iowa Food and Farm Coalition announces the 2015 Local Food Directory is now available.  The directory has been connecting consumers with direct marketing farmers for nine years.  This year’s directories were printed in partnership with Inspire(d) magazine, a local publication based out of Decorah. Inspire(d) covers positive news in the Driftless Region (Northeast Iowa, Southeast Minnesota, and Western Wisconsin) and can be picked up for free at more than 100 locations across the region. Directories are also available at www.iowafreshfood.com.



Due to an increased interest in home food preservation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has developed the “Preserve the Taste of Summer” program. This program includes both online lessons and a hands-on workshop focusing on home food preservation with the most current USDA-approved food preservation recommendations.

SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Just because summer break has started doesn’t mean a break from the school garden. Some Oelwein 2nd graders recently enjoying some time in the garden. While they were busy planting, other volunteers were making some more raised garden beds to use. More on Facebook.


Ashlee Scherf and Jared Opperman have joined FFI as Pick a Better Snack interns (PABS) this summer. An NICC student, Ashlee will be working at Postville Head Start and assisting them with garden and nutrition education. Jared is an Oelwein FFA student and will be helping with garden and nutrition education as part of the Oelwein summer program.

PABS encourages fruit and vegetable choices for snacks. Funded by USDA SNAP-Ed dollars, PABS is coordinated by ISU Extension and NE Iowa FFI in Postville and Oelwein.


Home canning can be a fun and rewarding way to preserve the produce you are growing in your garden.  The only way to safely preserve food is to process it in either a boiling water bath or pressure canner. Here are some tips to help with your canner choices.


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