FFI Bits – May 18

DECORAH  Some of the John Cline Elementary School kids had fun as the Walking School Bus turned into a Biking School Bus in honor of National Bike to School Day! A HUGE thanks to students at Decorah High School, Luther College Women’s Basketball, and Luther College Men’s Soccer for giving each kid a buddy to ride with and to the Decorah Police Department for helping everyone to stay safe!

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage & Kayla Koether

Iowa’s Food Hub Managers continue to work together, to meet and network, and to build capacity in the food system. This April, they asked food businesses from the Fairfield Iowa to join them so they could learn more about their products and see how they might find partnerships.

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

So, why not plant a garden with your family this spring? If you not experienced start small. Plant the vegetables that your family likes to eat and think of a way they like to eat them. Maybe plant a Pizza Garden with a few tomato plants, sweet peppers and basil. Or try a Taco Garden with tomatoes, lettuce, and cilantro. Here are some more suggestions.

ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen & April Bril

The 2017-2018 Green Iowa AmeriCorps have been key volunteers for several of Upper Exlporerland’s Safe Routes to School Walking and Biking School Bus routes! The number of children walking and biking to school has grown thanks to these wonderful public servants. We just can’t thank them enough for their time, positive attitudes and encouragement of active transportation for our youth! Click here to learn more about Green Iowa AmeriCorps. To learn about volunteering or signing your child up for a Walking or Biking School Bus contact Safe Routes to School Coordinator April Bril at abril@uerpc.org.

SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Waukon’s East Elementary students made mini pizzas as part of a grant to teach “Farm to Pizza” curriculum! After reviewing the components of MyPlate, students drew pictures of pizza toppings and ingredients while determining if they are a grain, fruit, vegetable, dairy or protein!

Crestwood Elementary is creating a school environment that supports healthy behaviors and aims to empower students through nutrition education, school meals, and engagement of staff, parents, and the community through a project with the Iowa Department of Education.

The weather cleared just in time for Turkey Valley schools to have their last all school walk for the year! Fresh air, great conversation, and a little bit of exercise is exactly what they all needed to start the week!

Week 3 of the John Cline Wellness Challenge – Healthy Food Taste Tests! Over 250 students tried spinach, blueberries and raspberries – Great job being Viking Super Tasters!

STEAM Day at Waterville elementary was a success! Students drew pictures of colorful fruits and vegetables and connected them to a Makey Makey board to complete a circuit and play some music!


Healthiest State Initiative, a nonprofit organization driven by the goal to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation, and the Iowa Department of Public Health announces that 12 Iowans have been accepted into the 2018 Iowa Walking College. Among those Walking College members is Jayne McCormick, a member of the “Walk-on Waukon” organization.


Whether asparagus is home grown in the garden or purchased at the supermarket or Farmer’s Market, fresh asparagus season is short. Here are some tips to help you select, store, and prepare asparagus to maximize the season.

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