Back in May, author Jacqueline Briggs Martin introduced IRW’s Food for Thought program at Milbridge Elementary School (MES) with her books “Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious” and “Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table.” To kick off the program, which is focused on learning about growing food and creating healthy habits, students participated in a variety of projects, including planting vegetables at the town’s community Red Barn Garden.
Last Friday, MES students got to reap the benefits of their own labor with a pizza lunch featuring ingredients they helped grow in the garden! The students munched on pizza with sauce made with oregano, basil and green peppers grown in the garden and a side salad made up of spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and radishes also grown at the Red Barn Garden and whipped into a fresh and beautiful lunch by MES head cook Renee Pray.
Purple potatoes were also featured on the menu. Last spring, grades 1-6 planted seven rows of the colorful tubers in the garden. Some were apprehensive to try the unusual vegetables, while others chowed down.
Trivia cards on each table accompanied flowers also picked from the garden, which helped transform the gym from a typical lunch. As one second grader put it, “This looks like a fancy restaurant!”
All were impressed by the students’ knowledge of food and health-related trivia questions including, “What ingredient causes pizza crust to rise?” and “True or false? Eating carrots can help your eyesight.” There were also questions about Jacqueline Briggs Martin’s books to jog the readers’ memories.
All students were asked to sign a card that IRW will send to Jacqueline Briggs Martin as a thank you for her visit last spring.