Weekly Bits – Aug 21

Congratulations to all the local dairy products that received purple ribbons at the Iowa State Fair. Many of the products shown above are produced right here in northeast Iowa!

 

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

Local food coordinators and food system partners gathered in Story City this week for the quarterly Regional Food System Working Group meeting. Systems trainer, Kathy Zuercher was the featured speaker, and she talked about how systems-thinking principles can be applied to food system work. My heart filled with pride as FFI was held up an example several times of how quality community relationships leads to quality results.

 
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

Even the youngest kids can have cooking adventures! Young kids love helping with small tasks such as stirring and pouring ingredients. Older kids can learn to crack eggs and measure ingredients. Here are some great tips for working with kids in the kitchen.

 
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

You can find numerous gifts of movement every day in your own life. You just have to look around to discover where they are. Finding opportunities to move throughout the day is surprisingly fun. You may think your day is crammed so full that you can’t fit in one more thing. One opportunity you may not have considered is what is call “Active Waiting”.

 
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

Fun was had making healthy snacks and playing food games at the Clayton County Fair!

 
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Chad Elliott, culinary specialist at Decorah Community School District was a featured panelist on a recent webinar hosted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. The webinar introduced the Midwest Menu — an effort to invite all schools across the Midwest to serve a coordinated lunch tray featuring local and regional foods on Thursday, October 22. Will your school be involved?

 
PARTNER NEWS

A new publication from ISU Extension and Outreach compiles dozens of resources for people interested in farming. “A Resource Guide for Beginning Farmers” (LF 0006) contains information on everything from soil and composting to small farm equipment and whole farm planning, including information on food safety and seed saving. The structure was chosen after reviewing curricula from over a dozen incubators and other farm training programs from across the country. Most topics are geared toward fruit and vegetable growers and additional modules may be added depending on user interest-on topics such as livestock management.

 
TIP OF THE WEEK:

Freezing is a great way to preserve fruits and vegetables.  It is quick and easy to do and if you follow the directions you will have a high quality nutritious product.

 

Weekly Bits – August 14

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

Iowa Farm Bureau hosted their Ag Leaders Retreat in Northeast Iowa last weekend. The group of farmers was diverse; their goal was to learn more about the local food system work here. They toured Country View Dairy, a sheep farm, a certified organic vegetable farm, the Decorah farmers market and a local winery. Above, Mike Bollinger from River Root Farm talks about his intensive cropping operation. Later, I talked to them about food system economics and the Iowa Food Hub. Lots of great questions and discussion. Thanks for coming!

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

What if you could increase your creativity or your child’s creativity by 60%?  Would you do it?

 
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

The Fall Walking School Bus Season in Northeast Iowa is just around the corner! Most routes will be starting the first week of school. Contact Ashley (achristensen@uerpc.org or 563-382-6171) to sign up, learn more or create a route for your neighborhood or community!

 
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

Iowans can learn how to “Preserve the Taste of Summer” during online lessons and hands-on workshops from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The online lessons are available and workshops are planned for August 27 and Sept 3.  A workshop on August 27 will cover Jams and Dehydrating and be held in West Union.  A workshop on Sept. 3 will be on hot water bath canning and salsa making and freezing and will be held in Decorah.  The workshops will be held from 5:00PM – 8:00PM each evening.

 
The home food preserver registration fee is $35 and covers all eight online lessons and one hands-on workshop. The professional level of “Preserve the Taste of Summer” qualifies as continuing education for Iowa teachers and registered dietitians. The registration fee is $100 and covers all eight online lessons and two hands-on workshops.

 
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

These Elkader youth manned a farmers market stand as a fundraiser for the community garden. Looks like they had quite a selection!

 
PARTNER NEWS

WORKSITE WELLNESS  This summer’s food education events for faculty and staff at Luther College have been a huge hit for people of all ages. The events are put on as part of the college’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)  Rebate Program. This summer, cooking classes have taught participants how to make pesto, risotto, crepes, African stews, green smoothies, nori rolls and creative salads. Gardening classes taught participants skills related to building a low cost hoop house, keeping backyard chickens and growing grapes.

 
TIP OF THE WEEK:

Summer is the perfect time to load up the car for a getaway with the family. The highways are lined with fast food restaurants and gas stations, but that’s about it. Not only are the options at these places high in calories and low in nutrients… they can get expensive too! The ISU Extension Spend Smart Eat Smart blog crunches the numbers. Find out how you can make a meal that keeps everyone full and happy for half the price.

 

 

Weekly Bits – Aug 7

What is better than growing cucumbers in the community garden? Making pickles on-site! These Elkader youth are using their garden kitchen to make pickles with ingredients harvested just moments earlier.

 

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

The Luther College Student Gardeners have recently begun selling fresh produce to Dining services so that it can be sold in a “farm stand” in Oneota Market. All produce is grown by students at the college farm about a mile from campus. They offer a large variety of items such as kale, collard greens, radishes, beets, mixed greens, cucumbers, and eggplant. Stop by weekly to see what new crops they have harvested!  It doesn’t get much more local or convenient than this!

 
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

Ashlee Scherf, an FFI Pick a Better Snack Summer Intern and NICC Student has been spending part of her summer at Head Start in Postville gardening and teaching the children about nutrition and eating better. Below, they are checking out the Postville Community Garden

 
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

At two-years-old, Andi is more into exploring and wondering than actual hiking, but it still fun for the whole family. Northeast Iowa has an abundance of beautiful hiking trails for all ages. Whether you are looking for a casual scenic walk or a vigorous trek, there’s a trail for everyone! Check out some of these hiking locations and tips for hiking with kids in Northeast Iowa.

 
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

PARK-IT IN POSTVILLE  The annual Park-It will be held at Lull’s Park in Postville on Wednesday, August 12 from 5-7 p.m. Events include a volleyball scrimmage, bags and ladder games, frisbee golf and more. Free popcorn will be provided by the YMCA Board of Directors. This event is planned an hosted by the Postville FFI 4-H Team.

 
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

A recent study by Arkansas researchers found that schools with fruit and vegetable programs saw decreased obesity rates. The study calculated that the fruit and vegetable program costs were about $50 to $75 per child per year to reduce the obesity rate by 3 percent. That’s a staggeringly small cost compared to the $280 to $339 per-student per-year cost of an effort to reduce childhood obesity by just 1 percent as estimated by other researchers in 2011.

 
PARTNER NEWS

NEW TOOL ASSESSES WELL-BEING  Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative now offers a free assessment tool that allows Iowa businesses, schools and communities to measure and study their overall well-being. The tool assesses physical activity and nutrition, but also tobacco and substance abuse, dental health, community engagement and emotional health. Upon completion of the assessment, the school, workplace or community will receive immediate feedback with access to resources and tools to implement change.

 
TIP OF THE WEEK:

Do you know which fruits and vegetables keep best in the refrigerator and which ones should be left on the counter? Check out this video from ISU Extension for storage recommendations for your summer garden bounty.

 

Weekly Bits – July 31

Celebrate National Farmers Market Week! Mark your calendars for August 2-8, a week designated by USDA to celebrate America’s farmers markets. Will you be shopping at a farmers market that week?

 

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

Unionland Market in West Union has a new produce cooler thanks to the Iowa Food Hub and a grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The funding for this project was to explore the opportunities (and challenges) of partnering with non-traditional food retailers to increase the access of local food in rural communities. Stop by and check out the new, fresh offerings!
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

“I want a snack!” Most parents know that phrase all too well. We may even cringe upon hearing it, but it is okay for kids to eat a little something between meals. In fact, snacks can play a big part in fulfilling a child’s daily nutritional requirements. The important thing is to provide children with nutritious snacks that won’t undermine your primary goal of keeping them healthy.
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

The 2014-2015 SRTS Annual Report for Northeast Iowa is now available. This report summarizes spring Travel Tally results and SRTS activities of participating schools.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

Among the corndogs and funnel cakes, fruit has been a favorite item on a stick at the county fairs! Come find me at your county fair and make some refreshing fruit kabobs. (I’ll be by the Bike Blender)

Fayette County Fair, Aug 5-9
Clayton County Fair, Aug 5-10
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

GOOD-BYES ARE HARD  The service members have been saying farewell and are off on their next adventures. This week Ashley Dress and Ashley Turk post about their experiences. Good luck, ladies!

 

BETTER BREAKFAST, BETTER GRADES  A new study from the University of Iowa reinforces the connection between good nutrition and good grades, finding that free school breakfasts help students from low-income families perform better academically.

 

PARTNER NEWS

PRODUCE DONATIONS Here we are, in the heat of the summer! As your garden bounties come flowing in, skip the canning and preserving one day, and instead donate your fresh produce. Visit www.cultivateiowa.org for more support on how to donate produce, what types of foods to donate, and where you can donate your garden produce. (Don’t worry! Good Samaritan Laws protect you from any liability when donating produce.)

 

HELP WANTED  Iowa Food Hub is accepting applications for a part-time bookkeeper for their local food distribution business.

 

HELP WANTED  FFI is still looking for service members for NE Iowa schools. A new partnership with ISU Extension in Clayton County has a service member working with MFL MarMac schools and delivering 4-H school enrichment programs and after-school programs county-wide.

 

TIP OF THE WEEK:

Shopping at the farmers market is different than the grocery store so here are some tips for readers who may not have given it a try before or found it to be overwhelming.

 

Weekly Bits – July 24

The Central school gardens in Elkader are now called the Central Community Gardens. And, they are in full bloom! Kale is ready to be harvested in the North Garden and Dill in the South Garden. The community is welcome to share in the bounty as well as help pull some weeds at any time. If you prefer to water and weed in community, join them at 4:30 on Tuesdays in the North Garden and 4 pm on Wednesdays in the South Garden.

 

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

While hogs certainly are abundant in Iowa, getting locally grown and processed pork on the school lunch menu hasn’t been as easy as one might think. Merrill Angell, owner of County Line Locker in Riceville, envisioned a connection between farm to school programs and his business. “I was always curious when they talked about local foods for schools, they didn’t talk about meat […] Why not supply our local schools or hospitals?” Read how they did it.

 
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

Sugar and spice isn’t always nice. Would you be willing to measure out 20 teaspoons of sugar and eat it, every 24 hours? Over a month’s time you would consume a little more than a 5 pound bag of sugar. Too much sugar leads to more problems that just hyper children. Read more.

 
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

Are you an area trail user? Take an online survey to share your thoughts on our regional trails! For additional information on the trail user survey and trail counting efforts, please contact your county conservation director or Karla Organist with Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission at korganist@uerpc.org or 563-382-6171.

 
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

Parent/child Cooking Classes are underway in Oelwein and Postville… we’ve been having lots of fun cooking together and trying new foods! The program is made possible by the Pick A Better Snack program and Iowa Food Hub.

 
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

HELP WANTED  FFI is still looking for service members for NE Iowa schools. A new partnership with ISU Extension in Clayton County has a service member working with MFL MarMac schools and delivering 4-H school enrichment programs and after-school programs county-wide.
EDIBLE EARTH CAMP  The busiest week out of the summer for some of FFI service members is Edible Earth Camp. Every day the daycampers traveled around Northeast Iowa visiting different places that grow and produce food – like Seed Savers Exchange, Waving Grains Bakery, the Winneshiek County Farmer’s Market, WW Homestead Dairy, and the Decorah Fish Hatchery.

 
PARTNER NEWS

RUNNING A FOOD HUB  The USDA released a comprehensive study that investigates eleven different food hubs across the country. The USDA has invested more than $800 million in more than 29,100 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects since 2009, including food hubs and other such enterprises. The report is the first in a series of technical reports to help food hubs plan for success, address challenges and achieve viability. The detailed report covers a range of topics related to customers, products, food safety certifications, and viability and success, and concludes with food hub insights and recommendations.
HEALTH COACH CERTIFICATION NICC is offering a course for certification in Health and Wellness Coaching. This 52-hour program is designed for individuals who may apply their coaching knowledge in a wide range of industries and settings, including educational environments, corporate wellness programs and non-profit agencies, in addition to traditional healthcare positions.

 
TIP OF THE WEEK:

This time of year at the ISU Extension AnswerLine, they answer so many questions about freezing.  People have questions about freezing fruits, vegetables, and leftover food. Click here for some tips on freezing fruits and vegetables.

 

Weekly Bits – July 17

header garden

Parker from Postville received a 4-H CloverKid ribbon for his home garden which was judged as part of the Allamakee County Fair. The Home-Judged Garden Class allows members to showcase their skills as caretakers of vegetable or flower gardens in the their backyard, community garden, or even in a container. This garden was grown almost entirely from seed.

 

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

The amount of greenhouse availability in Chickasaw County is quite unique, reports the New Hampton Tribune. That unique quality isn’t only helping the businesses in the area, but Chickasaw County’s tourism industry as well.

 
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

Numbers!  In Early Childhood we learn about numbers; how to count with them, what order they go in, and how to live healthier by using numbers. Yes, that is correct – numbers can help you be healthier.

 
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

The New Hampton Police Department will be pulling over a few more younger bikers this summer….young bicycle riders that is. The move is part of an effort to reach out to kids and reward them for safe bike riding behavior. Officer Bob Svec explained how the program works on 95.1 The Bull. A similar bike safety promotion program has been taking place in Elkader over the last year, where the Elkader Police Department is rewarding youth for wearing bike helmets and obeying traffic laws.

 
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

Summer day camps that focus on the topic of food and nutrition are available in the communities around the region. The Wisdom & Wellness program in Cresco features breakfast and lunch for youth under the age of 18 along with educational programs related to food and nutrition. The Cresco event is led by one of our former 4-H Food & Fitness youth leaders, Lauren Obermann!

 
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

There are lots of simple ways to get kids outdoors in Iowa this summer. Iowa DNR has created a checklist to guide your outdoor explorations.

 
PARTNER NEWS

A NEW FARMERS’ MARKET is coming to Elma beginning Wednesday, July 15 and every Wednesday thereafter through-out the summer. Market open 3:30-6:30 p.m. and to be located in the outdoor classroom area on the former school grounds. There will be a grand opening of the Elma Farmer’s Market on Wednesday, July 22. The Elma Farmer’s Market is just one of many projects being implemented as part of a “Fit for Life” grant that Elma was awarded earlier this year.

THE NE IOWA FARM TO SCHOOL CYCLE MENU was recently featured in an article in the Ames Tribune.

 
TIP OF THE WEEK:

Fresh watermelon, cherries, and blueberries…sure signs that summer is here. For the best value and best taste, buying in season makes sense. For tips on shopping for seasonal fruits and vegetables, watch this new video from ISU Extension.

 

 

Weekly Bits – July 10

header o fmFirst grade students in the Oelwein Husky Adventures summer program took a trip to the farmers market. They loved showing of their finds – lots of veggies!

 

 

 

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

Iowa Food Hub hosted managers of 9 food hubs in Iowa on Thursday. Sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the group to an in-depth look at IFH operations, infrastructure, and partners.
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

Here is a kid friendly breakfast idea if you aren’t a morning person that can be prepared ahead of time with your kids and are a great grab and go for busy families.
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

Summer Fun Kids Marathon! There’s still time to WIN!
During the month of July, challenge the youth in your life to complete a marathon (26 miles)- walking, running or biking 1 mile or playing outside for 30 minutes almost every day. But don’t just stop at one marathon! If kids want a bigger challenge, have them try to complete as many marathons as they can! Each completed marathon equals one entry into the prize drawing. Click here to download a Mileage Log.
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

Crestwood High School’s Food & Fitness Club displayed a board about their cross age teaching lessons at the Mighty Howard County Fair. Keep a look out for other 4-H Food & Fitness Clubs at your county fair this summer!
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Over the past couple of years, STEM has figured large in the vocabulary in school curriculum. And, no, FoodCorps Ashley Dress doesn’t mean the part of the plant that we occasionally eat. “Although I do like celery, especially with some peanut butter on it, and luckily for us, celery and the gardens that grow it fit beautifully into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics that teachers are so concerned about!” More.

 

PARTNER NEWS

It is county fair season! 4-H and FFA members are also part of the “local food system.” At four county fairs in northeast Iowa, 4-H members sell their livestock projects at an auction at the end of the fair. In addition to receiving top dollar for their animals, youth get to shake the hand of the person who bought their animal and create an instant connection from farm to fork. Is there room in your freezer? Winneshiek, July 11; Chickasaw, July 13, Allamakee, July 19; Clayton, Aug 10.  This throwback-post talks about the local investment.

 

New Food System Book. Nationally syndicated columnist Alan Guebert and his daughter Mary Grace Foxwell will read from their recently released book The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey at various upcoming events throughout Iowa. Published by the University of Illinois Press, the book is a collection of personal memories written over the past two decades as part of Guebert’s weekly Farm and Food File column. Each column recalls and reflects on the people, food, and values he learned on the 720-acre, 100-cow “southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth” in the late 1960s. The Land of Milk and Uncle Honey was recently included on Bon Appetit Magazine’s 20 Food Books to Read This Summer, LA Magazine’s Top 10 Summer Books for Foodies, and Food Tank’s Summer Reading List.  Here are the dates.

 

TIP OF THE WEEK:

Have you been making jams and jellies with the early summer bounty? Did something go wrong? The ISU Answerline has some of the more common problems and their causes for jam and jelly.

 

 

Weekly Bits – July 2

Students at the Postville Summer Wellness Camp show off the homemade trail mix with dehydrated apples they made the previous day. After snack they played a rousing game of Garden Freeze Tag and explored the Postville School Garden.

 
FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

Summaries of 11 recently completed research projects are available from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. One project was completed by the NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative (FFI) and ISU Extension and Outreach in partnership with local schools. It investigated the effectiveness of a cycle menu featuring Iowa-grown foods to increase local food purchases by schools. By the end of the project, local food purchases by four school districts increased 158 percent in two years.

 
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

July is upon us! See what Brynne has been up to: School Gardens, Kindernature, Tot’s Program and Fun Food Fact of the Week.

Two-year-old Andi’s latest adventures include kayaking and park hopping and strawberry picking!

 
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

The MFL MarMac School Board agreed at its monthly meeting on June 8 to contribute $20,000 of local option sales tax funds toward phase I of McGregor’s Turner Park: Fitness for All Ages project through a 28E agreement, which would allow the school to use the park for activities and practices.

 
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

Getting to help with “Cook This” at the Summer Kids Club in Ossian this month was a lot of fun! We had 30+ kids learning about the MyPlate, playing games to match the foods to their proper groups, making tasty snacks like English Muffin Mini Pizzas and Hungry Caterpillar Fruit Kabobs, and lots of physical activity!

 
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Students in the Waukon summer program have found a creative outlet in their school garden. They painted raised beds with designs drawn by students. They turned pallets into bright signs for the garden. They put a walkway in the courtyard, and students were pleased to shovel rocks into wheelbarrows and dump them into the pathway. Check out the photos.

 
PARTNER NEWS

Support Oelwein’s school gardens with a simple click! Vote once a day, every day until July 6, and you could help the school district secure $15,000 in funding from Nature’s Path Gardens for Good program. We really appreciate the support!

The Summer Iowa Games offer sports for individuals and teams of all ages and abilities. Registration is still open for many many of the sports at the 2015 Summer Iowa Games powered by the Iowa Food & Family Project. The main weekends of the Games are July 11-12, July 16-19 and July 24-26 with other competitions being held from May-August. Be a part of the Iowa’s premier sports festival with 60 sports and 13,000 athletes. Find your sport today at www.iowagames.org.

Thanks to a new law, kids will have another winter activity option again. Starting July 1, Iowa cities will have liability protection against sledding accidents on municipal property. Earlier this year Gov. Branstad signed House file 570, which protects municipalities from claims of negligent design or construction of a public facility for recreational activities, such as sledding. Cities across the state closed down public sledding areas last winter after concerns of liability were raised.

 
TIP OF THE WEEK:

This week’s tip comes from FFI Intern Brynne. She has suggestions for colorful and healthy snacks for the July 4th weekend.

 

Weekly Bits – June 26

VISIONARY LEADERSHIP
FFI’s program director, Ann Mansfield, received the Visionary Leadership Award at the Healthiest State Initiative’s “Taking Back Our Health” conference on June 18. The Healthy Iowa Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have developed and implemented policies and practices resulting in sustainable environmental change and healthier living for Iowans. Congrats, Ann!

 
FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative partners believe that all people should have access to good food – even those with limited ability to pay for that food.  In a previous post, I wrote about equity on the food production side. In this post, I would like to highlight a few programs where FFI is working on the food access side — namely a farmers market coupon program, SNAP benefit processing, and a charitable sponsor to make community investment possible.

 
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

Rain, Rain, won’t go away? Try an indoor obstacle course! Andi’s Adventure this week was running, jumping, and crawling through the living room! The obstacle course was intense – it included stepping or jumping over foam noodles, log rolls (or forward rolls) on a tumbling mat, shooting a basket, a bean bag dive, crawling under a blanket tunnel, hopscotch, and a daring walk across the balance beam (masking tape on the floor). It was a BLAST! Get up, get moving, and get your 60 minutes of physical activity today – rain or shine.

 
ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

Bike Rodeo season has finished up for the spring in Northeast Iowa. 12 Bike Rodeo events have been hosted throughout the region, reaching well over 1000 students with bike and pedestrian safety education that could one day save their life. A BIG THANK YOU to all the schools and volunteers who helped make these important events possible!

 
YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

There have been some exciting conversations recently about the development of new middle school FFI 4-H Teams at Howard-Winneshiek and Nashua schools for next fall. I find that middle school students are very excited and engaged about this work, and school-based FFI Teams give them an outlet for their creative energy. They are not afraid to share their ideas and try new things, and it gives them a way to make a positive impact in their community.

 
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Ever wonder what the service members do in the summer? In this post, Megan shares some of her duties. “Summer is great time to recharge our batteries, do some programming, collaborate with our fellow service members, and of course, take care of our gardens!” she writes.

 
PARTNER NEWS

Support Oelwein’s school gardens with a simple click! Vote once a day, every day until July 6, and you could help the school district secure $15,000 in funding from Nature’s Path Gardens for Good program. We really appreciate the support!

 
TIP OF THE WEEK:

It’s officially pool weather in Iowa! Check out the blog this week for ideas on quick, healthy snacks to enjoy poolside!

 

Weekly Bits – June 19

ADVENTURES WITH ANDI
Tag along with 2-year-old Andi and her mom as they find food and fitness adventures in northeast Iowa this summer. This new blog series is penned by FFI Early Childhood Intern Shanna Putnam-Dibble. This week’s adventure took them to area farmers markets.

 

ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

Kids Marathon coming to Northeast Iowa July 1-31, 2015!
Think you have what it takes to finish a marathon, all 26 miles? Now’s your chance to take a whole month to see if you can do it! To complete a marathon in one month, that means walking, running or biking 1 mile or playing outside for 30 minutes almost every day. You can do that! To join in, visit www.winneshiekwild.com for more information and to download a Mileage Log. GREAT prizes!!!

 
FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

It is often assumed that starting a food hub is a capital intensive process requiring large investments in infrastructure, transportation, logistics and personnel at the outset. A new publication produced by the Leopold Center, ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Food Hub, describes how emerging food hubs can grow successfully under money constraints if cash flow is managed strategically.
EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

Take a moment and think about your family’s screen overload. Does your child have access to cell phones, computers, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, televisions, DVRs, or other digital devices in your household? If so, your child might be suffering from “digitalitis” or too much screen time. Too much screen time is linked to several issues in young children like behavioral concerns, weight gain, sleep problems, inappropriate exposure to risky content and inhibiting communication skill development. Click here to see what you can do.

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT – Laura Liechty

The dance marathon put on by the MFL MarMac McGregor Center Stu Crew (student council) to raise funds for the Turner Park: Fitness for All Ages project brought in $3,000. The student organizers recently presented the funds, which will go toward the purchase of a swing set, to members of the Turner Park committee in McGregor.
SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Wings Park Elementary School in Oelwein (Silver) and St. Joseph Catholic School in New Hampton (Bronze) have been awarded the HealthierUS School Challenge Awards by USDA. Congratulations on receiving this prestigious award of nutrition and physical activity excellence! The honor roll continues to grow!

Oelwein, Elementary, Sliver, 2015
St. Joseph Catholic School, Bronze, 2015
Decorah, Elementary, Bronze, 2015
Postville, Elementary, Bronze, 2015
Howard-Winneshiek CSD, Gold, 2013
Central CSD, Bronze, 2012
PARTNER NEWS

NEW SHRIMP FARMS BEGIN SALES
Northeast Iowa is now lucky to have not one shrimp farm in the region, but TWO! Sherlock Shrimp in Ridgeway opened the doors of its retail store this week in the old elementary school. Shrimptastic near Fayette expects to begin sales at their farm store in July. Yum!

 

CRAWFORD COUNTY FARM CRAWL THIS WEEKEND
This 2nd Annual Farm Crawl is a great opportunity to explore some great farms and local businesses in Crawford County, Wisconsin, from Locally Grown Food to Locally Grown Flowers to Local Art! The meandering drive through the ridges and valleys of Driftless Crawford County is sure to be beautiful!

 
TIP OF THE WEEK:

The weather is heating up and our humid Iowa summer is just around the corner. It’s easy to turn to sugary drink mixes, sports drinks and juice boxes in the summer because they’re convenient and tasty. The problem with these is that they can be really expensive and also high in sugar. Ads would have us think that whenever we sweat we need to have a sports drink to recover. Thirst is a sign that your body needs to be hydrated, but water will do the trick unless you are doing a super intense workout! More on hydration for ordinary folks.