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Youth Farm Helps Students Connect Farm to Table

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Youth Farm Helps Students Connect Farm to Table
By Surabhi Mahajan, Farm and Gardens Program Developer – AmeriCorps VISTA Service Member

On November 4th about 70 students from Houck Middle came out to the Marion-Polk Food Share Youth Farm located on Chemeketa’s campus in Salem for a half-day field trip. The goal of the field trip is to connect children throughout Salem with the sources of their food. Students harvested carrots, shelled dry beans, and had a cooking competition styled like the Food Network show “Chopped”. Students had 15 minutes to cook a dish using squash, corn, and beans (the “three sisters” crops) and then vote on which group made the best dish. The winners were able to take home a sweet meat squash, which make a delicious pumpkin pie. Every other student took home delicata squash.

The field trip was a partnership between the Salem-Keizer Education Foundation (SKEF) and the Food Share. Joel Whitmore, a FoodCorps member with SKEF, coordinated the field trip.  The mission of FoodCorps is to connect kids to healthy food in school, so they can lead healthier lives and reach their full potential.

The Youth Farm is currently recruiting youth age 13-18 in the area for our farm-based 4-H club. Through the 4-H club youth can actively participate in farm work days, cook farm fresh food, and attend club meetings where they can develop independent leadership projects. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Emily Griffith at egriffith@marionpolkfoodshare.org.