You’re looking for a healthier you in 2018. A better diet is part of your resolution, and maybe some Fairfax County youth can show you the way.
This tale’s roots are in October 18, 2017, which was a great day for some Fairfax County kids. It was a pretty good day for Fairfax County agriculture, too.
October was National Farm to School Month, and that meant opportunity! Floris Elementary School, Frying Pan Farm Park, and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) teamed up to bring local food to local kids.
Here’s how it worked. October 18 was a crisp Wednesday morning, and the weather allowed for easy harvesting conditions at Frying Pan. A five-gallon bucket full of beautiful lettuce, a half-bucket of shiny green peppers, an armload of bright yellow summer squash, and more carrots than one person could carry were gathered. That was enough food for a bundle of students in grades one to six at Floris Elementary to sample all they wanted.
Christie St. Pierre of the FCPS Office of Food and Nutrition Services helped Frying Pan Historic Farm Educator April Schmidt wash and chop the fresh produce in the school’s kitchen. Floris Guidance Counselor and Green Team Leader Sarah Dekramer prepared a cafeteria table with signs and serving supplies. Ms. Dekramer created the Floris Elementary Green Team as a student club that, among other green tasks, tends to and harvests from a garden at Frying Pan, which is not far from the Herndon school.
During each grade’s lunchtime, Green Team members stationed themselves at the serving table and gave a sample of fresh veggies to any students who lined up for a taste. Kids kept coming back over and over for more veggies, and the Green Team members clearly enjoyed passing out tasty food they helped grow.
So, youth showed the way. When folks say “kids will not eat veggies” just show them these photos. Then take the next step. Now it’s your turn to get healthier.
Author April Schmidt is the Historic Farm Educator and Kidwell Garden Coordinator at Frying Pan Farm Park.