By Caroline Grady, FoodCorps Service Member
Many of us are at home right now wondering how to take care of ourselves as we experience life transitions in our home and working environments. While we all live life a little differently at home, there are steps we can all take to make our health and wellbeing first priority. Read on for some peace of mind as we dive into easy steps everyone can take to be healthy at home!
1) Establish routine:
2) SPICE UP YOUR LIFE:
3) AIM FOR A BALANCED DIET:
4) SURPRISE YOURSELF WITH CITRUS:
5) Move your body:
6) Consider new hobbies:
7) Pick up on old hobbies:
8) Lean on your support system:
9) Explore nature's beauty:
10) Organize for peace of mind:
In early November, huge gusts of wind ripped through the Dupont hoop house, completely detaching the plastic covering and bending the metal frame to one side. The extent of the damage came as a shock, especially since we had been about to put up side walls, which would have prevented the wind from wreaking so much havoc.
Thankfully, the Horticulture program from Chicopee Comprehensive High School came to our rescue, and we worked together to make a plan to improve the hoop house for this coming growing season! The Horticulture shop has been a wonderful partner, and has helped us grow our school garden program across the district by building and repairing garden beds; distributing seeds, starts, and soil; and offering soil testing and other expertise. We're very thankful for the huge role that they've played in getting this hoop house ready to rock and roll for spring 2020!
On the Mend:
The pictures below were taken four months after the wind storm. Horticulture teacher, Jonathan Duff, and a group of his students are attaching end walls and doors to the hoop house. Students have been hard at work over the winter months building these doors, as well as new tables for seed starting. These tables will line one side of the hoop house, and the other side will be tilled so that students can plant directly in the ground.
The project be should be completed by the start of Dupont's spring garden club on March 19th! Garden club students will be starting seeds to plant in Dupont's garden beds, as well as to distribute to some of the elementary school gardens across the district.
We had a blast at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough yesterday at the Dairy Innovation Challenge! We were lucky enough to bring a team from Dupont School to experience this unique and informative event.
The day started with a photo shoot with Pat the Patriot, followed by some dairy trivia (who knew cows could smell so far?!) and a rotation of activities to help us learn more about dairy farming and nutrition. We enjoyed hearing from Kies Orr, a dairy farmer at Fort Hill Farms in CT, who showed us some of the different components of a cow's diet. At lunch time, dairy took center stage in the amazing spread. We treated ourselves to creamy mac and cheese, and whipped up some fun concoctions at the milk flavor bar. And let's not forget the chocolate chip cookies, perfect for dunking!
After lunch, it was time for the students to buckle down to the challenge -- how do we get students to drink more milk in schools?! According to the New England Dairy Council, only 17% of students are getting 2 or more servings of dairy per day. We heard some awesome presentations from schools across the state. Dupont student, Mariah, worked with a group from Worcester, coming up with the idea of a "Moo Mobile," or a wheeling cart featuring a variety of customizable dairy options. Way to go, Mariah!!
Once the presentations wrapped up, everyone got a behind-the-scenes look at Gillette stadium. The rain cleared up just in time for our tour, as we made our way through the corporate boxes, media box, clubhouse, and then down into the opposing team locker room.
On the whole, we had a moonificent day learning and creating with teams from across the state. We're honored to have been selected to participate and hopefully we can add some innovative dairy items to our menus this year!
Drum roll please.........We're thrilled to unveil the recent makeover of the Bowie School Garden!
With funds raised by the PTO and a grant from SeedMoney.org, Bowie commissioned the Chicopee Comp Horticulture program to construct brand new raised beds. There are now 10 raised beds in the garden, and they are flourishing this season with help from the Fire Department and our Farm to School Team. There's a variety of crops growing--everything from kohlrabi to strawberries--and our Salad Days beds are looking ready for a bountiful fall harvest. A big thank you to everyone who has worked to improve the garden this year! We can't wait to see how Mrs. Schofield and her students use the garden this school year.
It's August, and our gardens are in full bloom across the city! We hope you enjoy this gallery of garden snapshots from our 7 school gardens. Our gardens are located at P.E. Bowe, Bowie, Dupont, Lambert Lavoie, Litwin, Stefanik, and Streiber. If you are interested in helping out with garden maintenance, please email Greta at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Sage like most herbs have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as anticancer actions. Some health benefits of sage is increase in brain function and protecting the brain.
How to Harvest
Most herbs are great to be harvested in morning or early afternoon to have the ultimate freshness, especially sage. When harvesting sage you either can harvest leaf by leaf or cut an entire stem off, using scissors. If this is your first time growing sage only harvest lightly then for the years to come you can pick as much as you want.
Sage was rubbed on teeth to make them whiter in nineteenth-century America.
Insider Tip: Sage pairs well with butternut squash! For a delicious pasta dinner, cook pasta in butter with sage and garlic, and then toss in roasted butternut squash and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese. Yum!
Not only is parsley a source of vitamins and antioxidants but also has health benefits. Parsley has breast cancer protection, fights inflammation, strengthens bones, and helps with digestion.
How to Harvest
To harvest parsley, you need scissors because like other herbs parsley likes to be snipped. When harvesting parsley grab a handful of parsley then you snip at ground level.
Parsley stems have a stronger flavor than the leaves. Add chopped parsley at the end of cooking for a burst of freshness.
Basil contains antioxidant vitamins and phenolics, is a rich source of vitamin K, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium and dietary fibre.
How to Harvest
The method to harvesting this herb differs depending on the amount you intend to pick. For small batches, just pick it off the amount you want from the plant. For larger batches, you pick top down. Cut back a third of the plants height, if cutting the entire stem of the herb plant. Cutting by thirds allow the plant to produce more, allowing you to harvest more.
Basil repels insects like mosquitoes. Basil has properties that are toxic to mosquitoes.
Mint has the highest antioxidant level. Benefits of mint is that it has anti-inflammatory agent that reduces seasonal allergy symptoms.
How to Harvest
You need scissors and a basket to be able to harvest mint. When harvesting mint you should cut 1-2" above the ground.
The US produces 70% of the Worlds peppermint and spearmint
Insider tip: There's tons of mint ready for harvest at the Stefanik Garden!
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.