Weekly Bits – Oct 7

HAPPY NATIONAL 4-H WEEK! The Food and Fitness school based teams are organized as 4-H clubs to connect them to local, state and national resources around agriculture and healthy living. What have they been up to? Spied some Allamakee 4-H members at the Waukon Homecoming parade, above. MFL MarMac HYPE members handed out local cheese curds at their parade. Postville 4-H Garden Club members harvested 303 pounds of pie pumpkins and 434 pounds of butternut squash for the school lunch program. Contact your county ISU Extension office to learn how to get involved as a youth or volunteer.


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

Lessons learned from Decorah’s Walking School Bus:
Lesson #1- Trying to blow leaves off trees is a good way to take a very deep breath and can almost instantly turn tears to laughter.  And, your friend might even say, “Hey, you aren’t crying anymore,” and that will make you laugh even harder!
Lesson #2- Learning to take turns is important.  But knowing when to give your turn to someone else because they need it in that moment is even more important.
Lesson #3- All those 12-18” twigs on the ground are actually ski poles disguised as twigs.  Who knew—they are far more valuable than I thought!


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

Recently FFI Early Childhood participated in a ‘Playgroup’ in Waukon.  We enjoyed cooking with families using the featured local food of the month – apples.  We made apples quesadillas and an apple crisp and crunch salad. Both recipes only had five ingredients that can easily be found at local groceries stores or markets. It is wonderful to see entire families participating in the preparation of the meals and sitting down together to eat and enjoy conversation about cooking healthier. It doesn’t need to be difficult, time consuming or expensive.



The FEEST (Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team) interns met this past weekend to learn how to facilitate a FEEST, which included shopping for fresh local produce and vegetables, recruiting other youth to attend, and how to go about cooking a meal with no recipes.


The MFL MarMac HYPE Team (Healthy Youth Peer Educators) is doing a Bulldog Water Bottle Fundraiser right now. They are selling these 22 ounce translucent blue Camelback water bottles with a yellow bulldog logo imprinted on them for $15 each. Order yours today by contacting one of our HYPE members or emailing brandi.crozier@mflmm.k12.ia.us.


SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Decorah’s school garden yielded over 400 pounds of butternut squash. Chef Chad shared this recipe for Cinnamon-Chipotle Rubbed Squash on their Facebook page this week.


It was thumbs up for the “Allamakee burgers” served at St. Patrick’s school in Waukon this week. They will also be serving local apples and potatoes. And check out the milk from WW Homestead Dairy. They made the switch to bulk milk this year and have seen milk consumption skyrocket.


FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage & Kayla Koether

Happy Farm to School month! I’ve been visiting school websites to check out the menus to see what schools have planned for lunch. Here are a few of the schools that are really celebrating Farm to School by serving local foods at least twice a week!


The Iowa Food Hub has moved a cool-bot trailer to its seasonal home at Sinsinawa Mound Center near Dubuque. The Iowa Food Hub has been working on creating a food hub ‘node’ in Dubuque, and is working with farmers and buyers in the area to facilitate local food aggregation and sales. More.



Winneshiek County Development, Inc. has announced two grants to help new businesses in their county. The Biz Booster Challenge is open to anyone who starts a new business or significantly expands an existing business. The winner could receive a grant up to $12,000.


Ag-Mini Grants up to $5,000 may be awarded to any expanding or starting local food producer or processor and can be used for marketing or distribution in Northeast Iowa. Contact Stephanie Fromm for more information or to access the full grant application. director@winneshiekdevelopment.org. Applications are due December 15.



Pumpkin seeds have become a versatile snack that can be savory or sweet. Pumpkins are plentiful this time of year and there are many recipe options available for pumpkin seeds. Here are some tips.



Do you love all the farm to school activity in schools like we do? Did you know that you can donate funds to your school to help with Farm to School purchases? The Iowa Food Hub is a 501(c)3 non-profit and has a Farm to School fund where contributions can be directed toward schools specified by the donor, to assist with purchases of local produce or meat. Click the link or contact Teresa Wiemerslage to learn more (wiemer@iastate.edu).

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