On Tuesday afternoon, community members joined the ChicopeeFRESH team to celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Chicopee Public Library. This is the first in a series of hands-on events scheduled at the library throughout the year. The goal is to spread the word about our farm to school program, and engage community members in our efforts to connect kids to healthy food both in school and at home.
With over 35 kids and adults in attendance, our first event was an overwhelming success. Our FoodCorps Service Members, Greta and Jordyn, organized two fun craft activities to get participants ready for Valentine’s Day. At one table, kids exercised their creativity to make Valentine’s Day cards for their loved ones using beet paint and potato stamps. These all-natural cards came out beautiful! The kids were shocked to learn that the paint was made with only beet juice and water and were very excited to make their cards! Some of the older kids even took a chance making their own potato stamps in different designs.
At the second table, community members made no-bake granola bars as healthy treats for their Valentines. They mixed together the basic ingredients of wowbutter (soy butter used as an alternative to nut butters), oats, and honey. They then were able to choose their own toppings such as dried cranberries, pretzels, sunflower seeds, and everyone’s favorite: chocolate chips. Once they mixed the ingredients together, they pressed their bars into the shape of a heart using cookie cutters, and then wrapped them up and put them in gift bags. With cards and sweet treats in hand, our participants left the library ready for a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebration!
Be sure to join us for our next workshop on Tuesday, April 11th from 3:30 - 4:30pm. We will be celebrating Easter with natural egg dying and other fun crafts! And check out the recipes below to celebrate Valentine’s Day the ChicopeeFRESH way!!
Beet Paint Recipe: Peel and chop beets (number of beets depends on the size and amount of paint desired!). Place beets in a blender with 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth. Place a bowl under a strainer and pour mixture through the strainer. The liquid in your bowl acts as your watercolor paint.
Granola bar recipe:
¼ cup of oats
2 tbsp nut butter
½ tbsp honey
Spoonful of desired toppings such as nuts & seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.