Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Pictures and News Stories

School is back in session, and although we (Tory and Jean) are back on our respective home coasts, the garden is still growing, so much the beds can barely contain it! Robin and her Nutrition students harvested zucchinis and green onions the other day for a class project, and she took some photos of the garden growth (more photos below).

In addition to being a Blog of the Month for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, the garden has also been getting some nice local recognition, in the West Shore News, and as part of a story about the Montana Foodcorps in the Missoulian.

There are two amazing women that we need to thank for their roles in this project, and we’re so glad that they are featured in these stories: Robin Vogler, our site supervisor and the Food Services Director and Wellness Program Coordinator for the Somers/Lakeside School District, and Crissie McMullan, a founder of Montana Foodcorps. Both bring so much energy and passion to their work, and it was such an honor to be able to work with both of them for a summer. In Robin’s five years at the Somers Middle School she has transformed the school food service from reheated processed food to made-from-scratch, healthy food that the kids love. For more details on Robin’s amazing work, check out the piece she wrote for Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. She buys produce from local farmers, but she wanted to reduce the food mileage even more and grow food right on campus. So she asked Crissie McMullan at Montana Foodcorps for volunteers to make the garden happen, and we were lucky enough to get selected. Crissie started Montana Foodcorps after the work she was doing to get local food into the University of Montana was so inspiring that people kept asking her to come to their community to get local food into their schools. And Crissie is amazing but can only be in one place at one time so she created Foodcorps to send volunteers to those communities. Montana Foodcorps is now a model for the National Foodcorps program, which is currently in 10 states. For more information, check out Crissie's Montana Foodcorps blog.

Finally, here are more new pictures of the garden! A white pumpkin looks like it will be ready for Halloween (below), the zucchini and potato towers are looking great (middle) and the chard is getting huge (far below)!