FoodCorps in Warren County is back! We started the year in working with Ms. Perry and Ms. Davis at Northside Elementary School, 2nd grade teachers dedicated to making their garden grow. Their students planted cabbage, broccoli, and collard plants, removing summer tomatoes and peppers to clear the way. The second graders were learning about life cycles, and were able to see a plant's full cycle, from seed to fruit, and back to seed again as the tomatoes had fallen to the earth. We look forward to learning together this year, using our garden as the tool!
The Mariam Boyd Elementary Culinary Club held their Celebration Dinner for family members on Wednesday, June 5th. The club was a collaboration between Warren County 4-H, FoodCorps, and the school. Prior to the celebration, students were presented with aprons made especially for them by the Heritage Quilters. The students cooked a four-course meal for their family members, using recipes practiced during club meetings. They served sweet potato chunks as an appetizer, a bleu cheese and pear salad with maple vinaigrette, an entree of broccoli and turkey macaroni and cheese, and a fruit pizza for dessert.
This summer, Warren County 4-H campers joined Warren County High School's Garden Club to help tend our garden and learn gardening and cooking skills. Campers met weekly to plant, weed, water, harvest, and explore nature in the garden. Pairing younger students with the high schoolers, the latter were able to demonstrate knowledge they had learned throughout the year. They taught the youngsters about weeding and compost, and we all learned about cover crops and their importance in the growing process.
After a morning session in the garden, all campers and students would meet inside to prepare the produce they harvested. We used fresh summer tomatoes and peppers to make salsa, cooked up some bell pepper and onion quesadillas, stir fries out of garden harvests, and explored some other fresh recipes. A high schooler came up with her own delicious kohlrabi recipe, using vinegar and red pepper flakes. Several campers determined it was their favorite recipe!
Thanks to 4-H and Warren County High School for making these fun and enriching activities possible for our students and community members.
Caroline Stover is from Winston-Salem, NC, and is currently serving as Warren County's FoodCorps Service Member.