This is a long one, but very tasty…..read on!
On October 25th, Julian Elementary and Junior High celebrated their 6th annual Food Day with a full day of fun, experiential workshops about cooking, nutrition, backyard gardening and agriculture. Our theme was “California Grown.” Garden Ambassadors helped me decorate the school early in the morning while our food-themed soundtrack blared.
Nine presenters delivered the following 30-minute lessons at the elementary school:
Eat the Rainbow: Getting kids active with physical education activities, the UCSD School Wellness team taught kids how fruits and veggies of all colors help our bodies.
The workshop ended with a persimmon taste test!
A Seed is a Backpack: Our yearlong FoodCorps service member, Mr. Cam taught kids the parts of the seed and then let them examine various seeds with microscopes and magnifying glasses.
Bees, Flowers and Veggies in Our Connected World: For the sixth year Camp Stevens has been an important part of our Food Day. This year they taught the kids to make “bee hotels”—a collection of nesting tubes for native bees.
Cooking with Chef Joey and Chef Greg: Back by popular demand from the Healthy Adventures Foundation, our two chefs worked with the kids to make ambrosia salad and fruit roll-ups.
Growing New Food from Old: Another longstanding partner with Food Day, the Resource Conservation District instructed students how to make their own pots out of newspaper, fill them with soil and plant potato pieces!
Composting with Worms: A new presenter at Food Day and a wonderful new addition to our event, the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation spent the day teaching students all about vermicomposting, including a chance for the kids to dig through castings to find the red wrigglers.
My Cheeseburger Came from a Farm: Well-known and loved by generations of Julian students, retired teacher Kathy Cauzza and team brought an amazing lesson on farming and ranching, an educational program of the Cow Belles.
Apple Growers of Julian: Teak and Kaitlan Nichols, with Harvey Arntson, are six-year presenters with the Julian Apple Growers Association. Every year students learn about Julian’s apple heritage while pressing their own apple juice.
Food, Fiction, Facts and Fun!: We were pleased to have the Julian Library join us this year, making crafts with students, reading stories and sharing fun food facts!
At the Junior High, another set of six classes was offered to students:
Bounty Bags–Keeping in Sustainable: Artist Teal Young walked students through the steps of turning an old t-shirt into a reusable shopping bag as she educated them about the perils of plastic bags and wildlife.
California Conifers–Forest Food: Representing the Volcan Mountain Foundation, Janice Smith and Kat Beck taught students about conifer wildcrafting in the backcountry, offering samples of Douglas Fir shortbread cookies and toasted pine nuts.
We Grow it ALL in California!: High school agriculture teacher Mr. Martineau brought over his FFA students to discuss the primary crops of various California counties, offering food samples from each region and displaying handmade visual aids.
Rethink you Drink: Back for a second year, Daniel Barajas of Health and Human Services challenged students to think about their sugar intake and the various health effects.
How does it grow? Food Films: These four to six minute films that focus on different crops are beautiful, interesting and memorable. Once again, Mr. Pierce showed the films and facilitated discussion. For a sample of these wonderful short films, click here.
GUTS! Your Second Brain: A new presenter, Ms. Fiendisen of Smart Care educated students on the importance of healthy gut flora, ending her presentation with tastes of sauerkraut and kombucha.
In addition to the workshops, students at the junior high were treated to plates of homemade salsas, whipped up by the Pathways weekly parenting group. At the end of the day all students also got a chance to sample many different foods from Julian and around the world in a large tasting rotation.
On both campuses, all presenters, staff and volunteers enjoyed a lunch provided by our amazing partner, Soups and Such, and delectable cookies by California Mountain Bakery. Chef Donald of Jeremy’s on the Campus also brought a tasty, beautiful California Thursday lunch for the children.
Finally, the fifth grade garden ambassadors went on a fieldtrip to Down the Road farms to finish the day, learning all about organic gardening from Farmer Josh and Farmer Bri. Here we are standing in front of the oldest apple tree in Julian!
Clearly, it was a full and wonderful day, packed with fun and learning. Thank you to the parent and community volunteers who helped to make it happen! Also thanks to Dave Palmer of Dunk Tank Marketing and the Farm to School Collective for many of the photos above!