October is an exciting month in northeast Iowa! The leaves are changing color, the air is becoming crisp and harvest season is winding down for most farmers. As we enter autumn, we honor the summer of hard work by harvesting and sharing garden bounties with friends and family. Schools across the county have joined together to celebrate this time of plenty through Farm to School Month, a month dedicated to developing and applauding strong connections between schools and local foods.
Here in Allamakee County, we are working to make this a month full of fresh food, fresh ideas and fresh faces. Our foodservice director has been working tirelessly to feature local food on the lunch menu almost every day throughout the month of October. I am hosting weekly cafeteria taste tests promoting vegetables from the Iowa Food Hub. Most importantly, we are working as a community to teach youth about the importance of local food in and out of the classroom.
This week, the Waukon Middle School had a very special guest in the lunchroom – fresh kohlrabi sticks!
Students overwhelming agreed that kohlrabi is delicious, with many coming back for seconds and thirds! They loved the alien looking vegetable and many said they grow it in their gardens at home.
As I was setting up for the taste test, I had a student stop in her tracks when she saw me. “Do we GET to try that?!” she bellowed across the cafeteria. I turned towards Michelle Kiel, a fellow staff member and my taste test wing-woman, and we both beamed. Good things are happening in Allamakee County!
From deep in the driftless,