October was a very special month for students across the nation that eat school lunch – Farm to School Month! Throughout the weeks leading up to Halloween, Allamakee schools celebrated by hosting cafeteria taste tests, learning how local food impacts the communities we live in and filling lunch trays with locally grown apples, pork and beef! All local food was purchased through the Iowa Food Hub which provides transportation and a market for farms growing food within 150 miles of West Union, IA. Typically, these are beginning farmers who harvest within the six county region of Northeast Iowa.
In the midst of a busy Farm to School Month, #F2S, we had National School Lunch Week (#NSLW17), the week of October 9! We combined #NSLW17 and #F2S and dedicated that week to a Harvest Celebration! On October 10, the Waukon Middle School had a lunchroom taste test of kohlrabi – students loved the alien looking vegetable! Wednesday turned the school into a farm with bibs, plaid and boots! Students could also wear a hat with the donation of a can – which many did.
Farmers came to help serve lunch to students, bringing not just the Farm, but the Farmer, to school! We celebrated our four-legged farm friends with pig noses and cat ears on Thursday. Friday was Iowa Pride day and included many photos at lunch. Students could stick their heads in a canvas “Iowa Gothic” print and pose with assorted signs and barn animals!
It was a quite an exciting, and exhausting, month in Northeast Iowa! I am looking forward to planning next year’s Farm to School Month!
From deep in the driftless, Liz