Weekly Bits – April 10

Seeing is Believing. Waukon High School ag teacher Jessica O’Connor wanted to take students on a field trip to a production greenhouse. A perfect destination was found: Rolling Hills in West Union, owned by Eric & Fern Unruh. After Rolling Hills, they toured the Iowa Food Hub, where they get many of the local foods for their school lunch program. They finished at Unionland Market–a great retail store that sells many local products, from baked goods to dairy. Students saw different parts of our local food system, from producer to distributor to retailer. More.


FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage

Thanks to the Winneshiek ag lenders for hosting me at their meeting this month. We talked about the food system, opportunities for beginning farmers and the aging farming population in Iowa. Local food production can help bring on the next generation of farmers.


Help Needed. Farmers and businesses interested in contributing to the local food economic survey should act before April 24.


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

We all want our children to succeed in school and get off to a great start. It not just knowing their numbers and letters, but also getting a great start to their health. We know a healthier child is a better learner.

Help Wanted. Enjoy young children and looking for a summer job? Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Early Childhood is looking for a summer assistant.


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

National Bike/Walk to School Day is Wednesday, May 6! Iowa schools that host a celebration event on any day during the month of May can request freebies from the Iowa Bicycle Coalition! Contact Ashley at achristensen@uerpc.org to learn more!



Turkey Valley has a new lunch option for Jr. and Sr. High students, thanks to their peers.  At the beginning of the year, students voiced that they would like to have a second option for school lunch. Their idea was to incorporate a salad bar into their school lunch. Katie, the Resource Contact, facilitated meetings between administration and food service, but it was really the kids who voiced their need and desire to have this option. After several months of collaboration, cooperation and negotiation the students now have a salad bar. It is their hope that by having a salad bar their peers will make healthier choices and develop the ability to make healthier choices whenever possible.


SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Congratulations to the Decorah Community School District on being named an official Iowa Farm to School Chapter! Decorah joins Oelwein and Allamakee districts in this honor.



Mark Your Calendars!
April, Beginning Gardener Classes, Allamakee County.  Allamakee libraries and Master Gardeners are teaming up to offer gardening classes in April.  Click here for the dates.

May 1-2, Fayette County Greenhouse Tour. This self guided tour, features Cannon’s Greenhouse, Westgate, Fox Produce, Randalia, the Corner Market and Oelwein FFA, Oelwein, and K&K Gardens, Hawkeye. News releases, including maps, door prizes, punch cards, and more information will be printed in local newspapers soon.

May 2, Farmers Market Season Starts!  First Day of Winneshiek Farmers Market, 8-11 am. http://www.winneshiekfarmersmarket.com/

June 20, Breakfast on the Farm, NE Iowa Dairy Foundation Center, NICC, Calmar, 8:30-noon. http://iowadairycenter.com/breakfast_on_the_farm.php

June 21, 2nd Annual Crawford County Farm Crawl, 1-5pm. This is a great opportunity to explore some great farms and local businesses in Crawford County.



In Iowa, onions are a popular garden product, but they do require some special conditions and care to get optimal results. Here are some tips from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists on onion cultivar varieties and the proper way to plant them.


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