FFI Bits – March 9

Check out the super sensory station in this Postville classroom! FFI service members Claire Anderson, Kate Lower and Liz Happ provided a ‘Winter Growing’ station at the annual Postville STEAM night. The station provided a variety of herbs for parents and students to touch and smell, a mini-potting activity for starting seeds, and a taste of herbal tea. A big thanks to the Iowa Food Hub for supplying the beautiful Rolling Hills Greenhouse herbs!

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage & Kayla Koether

With the average age of today’s farmer at 60 — and rural America losing population as the cost of land and equipment soars — a new documentary film, “Farmers for America,” reveals the people waiting to take their place in the fields; the practices they’re championing; and the obstacles they must overcome. NE Iowa Food and Fitness and local FFA chapters and partners are hosting two showings of this movie:

Friday, March 23, 6 pm, Williams Center for the Arts, Oelwein
Sunday, March 25, 7 pm, Town Theater, Waukon

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

March is National Nutrition Month. As the FFI Early Childhood Coordinator, I encourage you to spend some time this month reflecting on the two simple questions listed below. It doesn’t matter if you are a parent, teacher, food service personnel, school administrator, daycare provider, grandparent, or anyone else who at times feed children…. these are very important questions.

What are we feeding our children?
Why is good nutrition for children so important?

ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen & April Bril

The City of Oelwein is taking advantage of Healthy Hometown program, a resource powered by Wellmark, by hosting a Walking Audit Workshop on Tuesday, March 20 from 1-4:30pm at the Oelwein Public Library. The Walking Audit and partnership with Healthy Hometown is a great opportunity for the community to assess current walking conditions and start conversations about ways to increase walkability for residents in the future. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Jessica Burkhart at jburkhart@oelwein.k12.ia.us  by March 16.

The City of Decorah was recently selected to participate in the Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program. The goal of this program is to gather community input for how we can improve our local transportation system (walkability, bikeability, signage, river access, traffic safety, etc.). As part of this process, a Transportation Assets and Barriers (TAB) Workshop is being held on Saturday, March 24 at First Lutheran Church in Decorah. The workshop will include a series of focus groups that will meet throughout the day to discuss the pros and cons of our current transportation and discuss improvements people would like to see. Those wanting to participate in a focus group can RSVP to April Bril at abril@uerpc.org by March 16.

SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

NEW HAMPTON  The Wellness Team at St. Joseph school in has introduced a new After School Snack program. The purpose of the program is to provide a healthy snack for 5th to 8th grade students before they leave school for sporting practices, long bus rides or the walk/ride home.

ELKADER  Miss Lower is using a kids cooking curriculum that hits reading standards as well as focusing on healthy, kid-friendly recipes that focus on vegetable and fruit intake!


The latest edition of the Healthy Schools – Healthy Students newsletter is available. Learn about school running programs, school wellness grants, school nutrition trainings and more!


Green’s Sugar Bush
, 1126 Maple Valley Rd, Castalia
28th Annual Maple Syrup Festival, Sunday, March 25 and Saturday, March 31. We serve 10-2, rain or shine. Dress for the weather, we are a outdoor event.

Great River Maple, 217 Clay Brick Lane, Garnavillo
MapleFest – Join us for our annual maple syrup event on Saturday, March 17 from 8-4pm. Come and see how real maple syrup is made on our family farm and enjoy a pancake breakfast or a maple bratwurst for lunch.

Lambing Days Open House at Prairie’s Edge Farm, 1206 150th St, Castalia
Come see the new spring lambs, pick up some meat, and explore the farm during our spring lambing days! March 18, 10 am – 2 pm and March 25, 10 am – 2 pm. (Same day and down the road from Greens’ Sugar Bush pancake days).

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