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‘Farm to School' : Muskogee students learning to eat and grow fresh veggies and fruits

Posted: 4:45 PM, Nov 15, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-15 18:49:45-05

You’ve heard the concept ‘Farm to Table’ where high-end restaurants bring local produce to the dinner table.

What about bringing that same organic food to the classroom?
 
That’s what Muskogee Public Schools is doing with its ‘Farm to School’ program designed to teach students about health eating choices.

Cassie Harringshaw’s organic farm outside Muskogee grows everything from radishes to carrots.

Just a few days ago, Peace of Prairie Farm harvest two rows of romaine lettuce.

The destination? Muskogee’s Irving Elementary.

“We enjoy what we do and we get to see that when we talk to the kids about it,” said Cassie Herringshaw, co-owner of Peace of Prairie Farm.

For the past two years, the Herringshaw family partnered with the school district to get the kids access to fresh foods.

“As an adult I want the kids in my community to know about how things get made you know and what it takes to make things happen,” said Herringshaw.

The program is hands on.

Students learn everything about how the vegetables are grown and pulled out of the ground here the farm.

Karah Lehman, who works as a nutrition education coordinator Muskogee Public Schools, uses federal grant money from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to introduce the Irving fourth graders to fresh veggies and fruits.

“Today we’re doing a program called, ‘Lettuce Make A Salad’ because we’re working with lettuce so that’s kind of like a pun, I like puns,” said Lehman.

This isn’t a school lunch, educators said the program is more like a daily snack.

They hope one day when kids pass by the salad bar, they’ll put something green on their tray.

“It takes a child 15 to 20 times to try something before they’ll actually really enjoy it. We try to expose them to these fruits and vegetables as many times as we can, so by the time they’re older and they can make their own choices like that other than us giving it to them they’ll be more apt to enjoy it,” said Lehman.

 

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