Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How we celebrated food literacy month

A few weeks ago in this post we told you about a new holiday: FOOD LITERACY MONTH! We even gave a few suggestions for how to celebrate.  Well, we followed our own advice and did some of these local food activities.

What we said: Read a book about food.
What we did: Not only did we read a book about food but we piloted an entire 5 week food and garden based science curriculum in the first grade classrooms at the Argenziano School! On the first day of the unit, students created a garden alphabet book, just like The Farmer's Alphabet and Eating the Alphabet. Content literacy, in action!
Students were assigned a letter of the alphabet and during a visit to the garden they drew pictures and wrote sentences using that letter as inspiration! The creativity was truly astounding. These "e"ggplant and "r"ed tomato pictures are just two of the amazing images these students created. We can't wait to show you "u"nderground roots, "h"ands and "j"umping insects. In the upcoming weeks, we will delve deeper into plant parts and what plants need to grow through science experiments, cooking demonstrations and taste tests.

What we said: Visit a local orchard to pick your own seasonal fruits!

What we did: We spent a morning at a local orchard picking apples! A child of any age can do this activity, even a toddler. Eat the apples fresh or make applesauce.

In the orchard

Only eat the ones from the tree, please!

What we said: Visit the Union Square Farmers' Market, every Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
What we did: We shopped at the Union Square Farmers' Market! September is a great month for shopping at the farmers' market. We saw Brussels sprouts, eggplant, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, zucchini, apples, peaches, plums, grapes, pumpkins, lettuce, basil, celery root and the list goes on and on! Thank you to all of the vendors who let us photograph their beautiful produce.

Welcome to the market!


Eggplant and tomatoes

Corn, carrots, radishes, beets, yellow squash and zucchini

Apples, peppers and more apples

Purple peppers

Kale, chard, orange carrots, purple carrots and onions

Peppers, beans, cabbage, eggplant and lettuce

Butternut squash, radishes, cucumbers, peppers, turnips, eggplant, potatoes and so much more
Winter squash and potatoes

Beets, fennel, turnips, chard and kale

What we said: Eat tomatoes! The Somerville Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services and Massachusetts Farm to School celebrate tomatoes as the vegetable of the month.

What we did: We ate tomatoes on a salad topped with hummus! All of these items were found on the salad bar at the Winter Hill School. It was delicious!

Delicious salad from the Winter Hill Salad Bar

Heirloom tomatoes, Union Square Farmers' Market

Cherry tomatoes. Try one to see if you like it!

And more cherry tomatoes, Union Square Farmers' Market.

What we said: Every Thursday and Saturday you can visit Shape Up Somerville's Mobile Farmers' Market. Thursday markets are held at the Council on Aging at the TAB Building (167 Holland St) 1-3pm and North Street Housing (at North St and Powderhouse Blvd) 4-7pm. On Saturdays the market will be at the Mystic Housing development (530 Mystic Ave) 1-4pm.

What we did: To be honest, we haven't had a chance to visit the mobile market. But it is next on our list!

Content and photos provided by Karyn Novakowski, Somerville Farm to School Project Director.

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