Virginia Students Try Something New During Farm-To-School Week | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Virginia Students Try Something New During Farm-To-School Week

Play associated audio
"Farm-to-School Week" has hundreds of Virginia students trying vegetables they might not see otherwise.
Photo courtesy of Bull Run Mountain Farm
"Farm-to-School Week" has hundreds of Virginia students trying vegetables they might not see otherwise.

It was a celebration of locally grown food as kids around the state took part in "Virginia Farm-to-School Week." 

Business was brisk at the Local Food Hub during the annual farm-to-school event, which ran from Nov. 12-16. Local Food Hub is a distribution point working with 75 different farmers to connect local food with restaurants, grocery stores and institutions. This week was especially busy with additional deliveries to 52 schools. 

School cafeterias throughout the state were featuring locally grown tomatoes, grass-fed beef, sweet potatoes and apples, said the Food Hub's Emily Manley.

"We'll go in and bring 10 different varieties of apples and let the kids kind of choose their favorite apple," she said. "And most kids are surprised that green apples and red apples taste different, and they can tell the difference."

Farmer Steve Vargo will never forget the day he tagged along for an apple tasting.

"I remember some kids who would just stand there at our table and shovel in apples, and it was like they just couldn't get enough of the stuff," he said. 

At Tye River Elementary near Lovingston, Va., more than 375 children lined up to try sweet potatoes in two colors: orange and white. The program sold many children on surprising options, said cafeteria manager Francis Kidd.

"Broccoli — they love broccoli and carrots," she said. 

A few kids were so excited they dressed up for Farm-to-School Week. One fifth-grade boy wore overalls, his best plaid Sunday school shirt and a straw hat to lunch.

"The school's been trying to get a lot more healthy nowadays, and I've been trying just to see what I like," he said. One thing that passed muster: the sweet potato fries. Another young student was pleased to discover there's more to life than red apples.

"I tasted the apples right there, and they actually taste better than the red apples, smoother and not that crunchy," she said. 

More critically, the kids discover that farmers in their own neighborhood grow food by putting seeds in the ground, that dirt is good and that fresh is better.

NPR

A Punch Line In The U.S., Christmas Fruitcake Is Big In Calcutta

Seen as indestructible in the West, fruitcakes are indispensable in the bustling Hindu city. Bakers of all faiths have the ovens running round the clock to feed Calcutta's appetite for the cakes.
NPR

Inside The Indiana Megadairy Making Coca-Cola's New Milk

Coca-Cola got a lot of attention in November when it announced it was going into the milk business. In fact, its extra-nutritious milk product was invented by some dairy farmers in Indiana.
NPR

Nevada Congressman's Loss Exposed Raw Nerve In Democratic Caucus

One of the most unexpected Democratic losers on Election Day was Rep. Steven Horsford from Nevada. His defeat is about politics, but also about race.
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #BringBackOurGirls Made Nigerian Schoolgirls All Of 'Ours'

As part of a series on hashtag activism in 2014, Audie Cornish speaks with Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Open Society Foundation. Ezekwesili was one of the early promoters of the hashtag #bringbackourgirls, about schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria in April.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.