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!
Zucchini and summer squash provide nutritious value to your diet. Zucchini and summer squash provides vitamins B6, riboflavin, folate, C, and K, and minerals, like potassium and manganese. Health benefits of zucchini are improvement in digestion, lowers blood sugar level, improves thyroid and adrenal functions, and boosts energy.
How to Harvest
Zucchini and summer squash that are ready to harvest are 6-8 inches long and are firm and dark green or yellow. Harvesting zucchini and summer squash, you can use a knife, scissors, or pruners. With the tool you cut about 1" to 2" from the body of the fruit. If you don’t have a knife or scissors you can use your hands. Grab the zucchini or summer squash fruit and twist it. Pulling the zucchini or summer squash may cause damage to the zucchini or summer squash and the plant.
The world’s largest zucchini on record was 69 1/2 inches long, and weighed 65 lbs. Bernard Lavery of Plymouth Devon, UK, was a farmer who grew the vegetable.
Green beans are a good source of vitamins A, C, K, B6, and folic acid. In terms of minerals, green beans are a good source of calcium, silicon, iron, manganese, potassium, and copper. Other benefits of eating green beans are reduced heart disease, and detoxifying harmful metabolites.
How to Harvest
Green beans are ready to harvest when the bean is 4 inches to 7 inches long and a width a little bit larger than a pencil. Harvesting green beans, grasp the bean where the bean and vine meet and just pull.
In the city of Blairsville, Georgia they have a festival called Green Bean Festival. On every last Sunday in July the city honors the vegetable, celebrating with cooking contests, beauty pageants, and other fun activities.
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.