Diggin' In With FoodCorps Fin - April 9th 2021

Hey there, Cougs!

Another week has passed and suddenly it seems like the end of the school year is fast approaching! With April and May in our sights, the first week of June seems just a hop skip and a jump away. But there’s still plenty of learning to be done, especially with all that’s going on outside~~

I asked the third grade what was something new they had noticed outside since Spring Break. They had seen the snow melt, the hills start to turn green, more bugs and birds flying around, and best of all: FLOWERS!

(The lovely Daffodils poked their heads up this week beside my house and all over town.)

With the return of our flower friends, the students had also seen bees! A perfect time to talk about how bees and numerous other flying creatures act as pollinators by bringing pollen from one flower to another in their search for nectar. The flowers present themselves so beautifully and flagrantly to attract and entice these pollinators to do the job for them. 

In class, we created our own flowers, and played a pollination game where student-bees buzzed around the room turning those flowers into fruit by spreading cotton-ball pollen. We got to see how flowers depend on bees to reproduce, and how bees depend on flowers to make honey and survive the Winter. Lastly, we read a lovely short story by Shabazz Larkin about how we rely on both of them for our food. If you have two minutes, you might enjoy The Thing About Bees. If it inspires you, consider planting some pollinator friendly flowers to support these creatures in our community. 

If I have learned anything about what kids like to eat, it’s that they like it better with Ranch. Feeling bold, I bet 4th graders that I could show them how to make a dipping sauce they would like better than Ranch. The sauce? Yogurt Herb dip. Just mix plain Greek yogurt with your choice of fresh herbs, throw in some lemon juice and minced garlic, and season with salt and pepper, and PRESTO! A deliciously savory, creamy, and healthy dip. The cooks loved it. 

If you couldn’t join us, you can try it yourself by using our recipe:

Speaking of what kids like, I’ve been trying to test out some new products for our school lunches. Specifically, Oregon made products. Knowing the limitations of a sack lunch, I’ve been looking for things that are easy to pack. I came across a dip from an Oregon company that makes Cuban-style black beans for school lunches. Wondering if the kids would like them, I had a group of 3rd through 5th graders taste test it, rate it from 1 to 10, and give their food critic’s feedback. This is what they said:

Mostly positive, and I think the 1000 balances out the 0, so we’re moving forward on trying to include this in our lunches! Thanks, kids!

Lastly, a mystery solved. I found these flowers on the 4th grade Tower Garden and had no idea what it was (I didn’t plant it…). Turns out, they’re Snapdragons! And if that wasn;t exciting enough, they’re EDIBLE! Not too flavorful, if even a little bitter, but an excellent garnish. 

Have a lovely weekend, folks. See you next week.