Hi everyone, my name is Katie and I am the new FoodCorps service member serving in Jackson County with Northeast Georgia Farm to School and the Northeast Georgia Food Bank. As a native to the Athens area, I am so glad I get this opportunity to invest more in this part of the state! It’s been almost a month since my service term started and my service at South Jackson Elementary School and East Jackson Elementary School has been full of engaging excited students on a daily basis.
Most of my time in this month has been spent getting adjusted to my school’s routines and trying my best to get my students’ names down (with over 500 students its been a little interesting). However in South Jackson, I was also able to jump in head first into my service term by doing garden lessons, planting seeds and even doing a few taste tests! Taste tests have quickly become my favorite thing to do as the students are eager to try new things and they generally really like what we serve them. My first week in the school, we were lucky to try cantaloupe from the school garden and okra that was donated from the Food Bank. Surprisingly, the okra that we roasted in olive oil with salt and pepper were almost just as big of a hit as the cantaloupe. It was refreshing to see students loving vegetables just as much as fruit!
Besides taste tests, I have been helping the school to prepare for the upcoming Farm to School month in October. The students are very excited to get to learn more about and work with the vegetable of the month, spinach, throughout October. We even have a song for the month called “Leaf it to Spinach” which has become an instant classic with the students. I’m excited to see what all we can do with spinach in the next month!