Z is for Zucchini!

Posted by on Oct 5, 2017 | Comments Off on Z is for Zucchini!

Z is for Zucchini!

What have you enjoyed during Charlottesville’s Farm to School & Healthy Schools Week? Today we celebrated Harvest of the Month. This month, Local Food Hub sourced zucchini straight from Walnut Winds Farm which is home to three generations of the Livengood family! From 8.5 bushels of zucchini and with the help of 25+ volunteers and student helpers, we were able to share 3,200 servings of zucchini to students and community youth. A big thank you to UVA’s Fashion for a Cause volunteer group who has helped work nonstop for 2 hours cleaning, cutting and chunking zucchini for students yesterday.

At City Schoolyard Garden we explored some exciting changes to the Harvest of the Month programs at Jackson-Via and Johnson Elementary. Instead of doing our regular morning distribution at these two schools, Jackson-Via and Johnson joined the growing list of lunchroom taste test-style programming (Walker and CHS also do this). So today, we had volunteers serving students zucchini in the lunchroom. So today, students had Chicken Noodle Soup made with local chicken from Timbercreek Farms, steamed local broccoli and steamed local zucchini at lunch. If that doesn’t sound delicious, I don’t know what does

Switching over to the lunchroom gives us a different opportunity to engage with students. It helps go beyond distribution and gives us time to have a conversation about the zucchini. We are able to have conversations directly with students to find out whether they’ve had it before and hear their opinions. We heard “Ooo! I like it. It’s really sweet.” And “It squeaks when I eat it.”

Want to have some reading fun to go with your Harvest of the Month? Check out this month’s storybook called Carlos and the Squash Plant, by Jan Romero Stevens:

This story, told in English and Spanish is a new twist on southwestern lore. Carlos enjoys tilling the rich brown earth on his parents’ farm in northern New Mexico, but his dislike of baths leads him to ignore his mother’s warning about what will happen if he doesn’t wash the dirt out of his ears. What a surprise Carlos gets when the itching in his right ear turns out to be a sprouting plant that gets more and more diffiuclt to fit under his hat!

With youth active in their gardens and enjoying healthy food in the cafeteria for Charlottesville Farm to School and Healthy Schools week, it was great to have one more fresh veggie on the plates and in the gardens for CCS youth.