Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jamie Oliver Takes On School Lunch Menu and Obesity in West Virginia

Finally, sort of a solution to one of the causes to childhood obesity, a local and national crisis due to processed foods and school food mediocrity. This British chef uses the media to kick some U.S. butt by exposing truck loads of fat and pizza for breakfast....view video. Considering the obstacles, both political and financial, it is a wonder that so much local food is being bought by area schools. Last year, 205 farms in the state sold food to Massachusetts schools according to Kelly Erwin, director of the Farm to School program in Amherst, MA. In a recent Hampshire Gazette story, Erwin, Senator Stan Rosenberg, Andrew Morehouse of the Food Bank and others weigh in on recent legislation to increase school spending on local food. For the entire story in the DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE, read on. 

Grow Your Own: Gardening 101

In a couple of weeks, Molly Merritt will be teaching Gardening 101 as part of Montview Neighborhood Farm's Workshop Series. Education Director Lisa DePiano's impetus for providing this course is a response to people's increased interest in growing their own vegetables. Advanced courses such as "Permaculture Fundamentals" will be offered also. Molly is the annual vegetable grower at Montview, a small, human powered farm located on city owned conservation land in downtown Northampton.

ValleyLocavore: Molly, what made you want to teach this class?

Molly Merritt: I have been interested in organic gardening since I was a teenager. I have apprenticed on various farms in New York and Massachusetts and studied sustainable agricultural at Hampshire College.

VL: What will the workshop entail?

MM: Soil testing and amendment (correcting soil contents), a few methods of bed preparation and the basics of growing crops from seed to harvest. 

VL: Will the workshop be hands on?

MM: I will be giving participants a sample planting schedule, which is concise guide to what to plant when. I will also give them a resource list for helpful materials.

VL: When and how much?

MM: The workshop costs $25 to $40 based on ability to pay. No one will be turned away. It will be held on Saturday, April 18th from 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. People can register by sending an e-mail to: montview@pedalpeople.com or by calling 413-825-6795.