FFI Bits – May 2019

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Turkey Valley students participated in an all-school wellness walk to kick off the month of May. It was just what the students needed!

ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen & April Bril

In 2016, UERPC’s Safe Routes to School Program held its first “Free Friday Morning Open Gym” at Luther College. Without a recreation center in Decorah, families with young children needed a space where children could run off some energy when the temperatures outside were too cold. Fast forward three years, and the 2019 open gyms were just as popular, consistently having 50-60 participants each Friday morning throughout February and March.

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

The local featured Food of the Month for May is LEAFY GREENS. Fayette County Preschoolers have been enjoying locally grown Boston Butter Bibb lettuce freshly picked from our local Rolling Hills Greenhouse in West Union.

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage & Kayla Koether
The theme for the May lessons for the Farm to Early Care teacher box was spring crops. Boxes this month contained local spring greens, spinach, radishes and tomatoes to make kid-sized salads in the classroom.

The schedule of the summer gatherings for the NE Iowa Food and Farm Network has been released. Save the dates– or better yet, print a copy and stick it to your fridge!

SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

MFL MarMac students in both the high school and elementary school are learning more about hydroponics thanks to a $2,000 McElroy Grant. Third grade teacher Jennifer Wilwert and high school agriculture teacher Sarah Wille applied for the grant together after learning they both had an interest in sharing the unique plant-growing method with their students.

Wings Park Elementary in Oelwein is getting chickens! Check out this breaking news segment created by Miss Bormann’s 3rd grade classroom.

Decorah high school has introduced an Alternate Veggie Station to its cafeteria. Students may substitute a vegetable from the station for one they may not enjoy as much served from the regular lunch lines.

Last week at Central school Garden Club, they had their friends Pete and Natasha from Turkey River farms stop by. They showed students how to use a broad fork to work up the soil in the beds and helped plant onions. It’s great to be in the garden again!


The State of Iowa announced the launch of its new effort encouraging residents and visitors alike to explore Iowa’s outdoors. The “99 Counties, 99 Parks” initiative features one county conservation-managed park in each of Iowa’s 99 counties. The Family Fun Guide includes a variety of activities, including recipes, a scavenger hunt, art projects, geocaching, and creating nature sculptures.

The Summer Food Service Program is a great opportunity to provide students in low-income areas with nutritious meals and snacks when they are not in school. There are many summer food service sites across Iowa, but they are often underutilized simply because children are not aware that these feeding sites exist. Find out if there is a summer food program in your school or neighboring school and promote the opportunity to your students and their families. Visit Summer Food Rocks to find a meal site near you. Waukon, Postville, Ossian, Howard-Winneshiek, MFL MarMac

The 2019 Iowa Farm to School Conference will be held June 21-22 at Central College in Pella, Iowa. Registration is now open! Stay in the loop on the latest conference updates, deadlines, and announcements by joining the Facebook event. #IowaF2S2019

Many farmers markets are open for the season. Find one near you! 

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