Summer in Winter

The school garden beds in Oelwein are blanketed in snow and ice, and the sub-zero temperatures today seem so distant from the heat and humidity of the Northeast Iowa summer.  I have been filling up on roots: turnips, carrots, and potatoes.  Storage crops grown by local farmers this past season are keeping me nourished and warm during this season of sleep.  I am so lucky to have access to healthy, local food.  I am so privileged to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Continue reading

Mindfulness: Inside the Kitchen and Out


IMG_6344What does mindfulness look like? What does it feel like? How does it work? Mindfulness as described by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. In the kitchen this is recognized most often with mindful bodies and felt through the subtle ebb and flow of energies. Continue reading

Around the World in 30 Days

Enhancing Palates and Educating Children One Sample at a Time



The greatest challenge when introducing new foods to children, or adults for that matter, is simply in getting them to take that first bite. Over the last thirty days we have managed to take the Decorah Middle School students taste buds on a journey beginning in the streets of Mexico with Pueblo Street Corn and ending in Hong Kong with Shiitake Mushroom & Pork Pot Stickers. This was no easy task. How might we get children/adults to try Jamaican Jerked Chicken you may ask? By telling them it’s rabbit meat. No Joke!

Continue reading

Decorah Schools – I’ll Miss You!

Well, it’s official. The last day of school is complete. While it was just the last day of school IMG_1356until August for the students of the Decorah Community School District, it was my last day of school in Decorah as their Resource Contact and it was pretty bittersweet. While I am looking forward to all the fun that summer brings, I have so much that I’m going miss when I’m no longer the AmeriCorps Service Member for this wonderful school district. Continue reading