PHOTO OF THE WEEK One early morning last week — while the wind was calm and before the valley fog had lifted – a crew of nearly 20 Luther students, staff and faculty pulled plastic over the new high tunnel at the Luther College Gardens. Check out more photos on their Facebook page.
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen
Work on Monona’s bike park is underway, a year after the Jumping Kings — a quad of 8th grade boys — first approached the Monona City Council about creating the park. The city’s newest recreational opportunity will feature dirt mounds and banks that can be used for ramps and jumps. There will be courses for both beginners and more experienced riders.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty
Decorah, North Fayette Valley, and Postville FEEST teams gathered for their 1st FEEST event this week. Together they made some creative dishes with some unfamiliar produce: Eggplant and Squash Parmesan, Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Marinara, Quinoa with Purple Yams and Black Beans Bake, Kale Chips drizzled with honey and a refreshing salad made with persimmons.
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Halesia Johnson
Halloween is just around the corner and I need to purchase treats for all those little ones ‘Trick or Treating’ this year, including my own grandson. I hate buying the ‘traditional’ sugary treats but I know if I was a kid I would not want to get a tooth brush or a pencil. So what do I do? I want to pass out healthier treats but what? Finding goodies that are portable, lightweight, and nutritious and come in factory-sealed single serve packages can be quite the challenge. This is what I am going to do.
REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage
Nick Mabe (Iowa Food Hub Coordinator) and Teresa spent the week in Salinas, California with other food hubs that are part of the Group GAP pilot project. The purpose the site visit was to shadow USDA auditors as they perform the external audit of ALBA’s Quality Management System and its implementation. They learned how USDA auditors develop their checklists, engaged auditors in Q&A after each activity, and benefited from seeing the actual auditing process in real time.
SCHOOL WELLNESS – Luther College, FoodCorps, AmeriCorps
FFI AmeriCorps service member Megan Woodward (Decorah CSD) was recently featured in an article on the Iowa AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach program. Last year, 4-H Outreach Program members reached more than 17,000 Iowa youth, with more than 10,000 participating in six hours or more of AmeriCorps programming. Members managed more than 900 volunteers and spent 6,000 hours completing 138 community projects.
If you are a small-scale producer, marketing less than 100 beef a year, the way to market your beef for the least amount of time and money is to direct market in halves, quarters, and bundles. This document from eXtension.org explains how to resolve common problems with selling halves, quarters, or bundles. The information is also relevant to marketing pork, lamb, or other meats directly.
TIP OF THE WEEK: Roasting vegetables can be done on the grill or in the oven. They are a special treat especially this time of year when the vegetables are coming fresh out of your garden! The best roasted vegetables are soft and tender, browned and caramelized and full of flavor. It is easy to roast the vegetables, but there are some trick from the ISU Answerline to making them come out delicious.