Plevna hosted one of two Montana Farm2School Workshops on Sept. 29.
By Jessica Paul
Plevna hosted one of two Montana Farm2School Workshops on Sept. 29. The Regional Workshops highlight Montana schools that are making Farm2School happen! They learned about the Harvest of the Month program and its benefits for other schools and communities. They discussed the Farm2School resources, made a few tours, and had a roundtable discussion with goal setting that will help everyone get involved in the Farm-to-School program. The attendees ate lunch at the Plevna School before beginning their busy day; followed with a presentation by the Mr. Isaacs.
Thursday’s business of the day consisted of a 2017 Action Plan, discussion of the website for Farm2School: www.montana.edu/mtfarmtoschool, the Harvest of the month website: www.montana.edu/mtharvestofthemonth, Website for the Montana Crunch time on October 24th: www.montana.edu/mtfarmtoschool/mt-crunch-time.html, and the Beef to School project.
Friday morning began with coffee and morning treats provided by Connie Lang and Berdie Rieger dieticians for the Plevna School lunch program. After the welcome and introductions, they discussed the intent of the workshop, followed by an agenda review. They then went over the basics of grounding terminology, followed by a tour of the Plevna School garden, and greenhouse.
Mr. Isaacs presented a slideshow detailing the purpose and goals of our school garden and outdoor classroom. This slideshow also detailed Plevna School’s progress since we started the Farm2School journey three years ago. Also highlighted were pictures of K-12 students building our raised beds, planting seeds, caring for and harvesting the vegetables. The theme was “Planting Potential – Harvesting Success”.
Following the presentation, participants toured the greenhouse and the raised bed areas. Mr. Isaacs and Taylor Rieger engaged the participants with a soil media mixing activity as well as an activity in which they planted garlic, radishes, spinach, and a cover crop of winter wheat. Participants also learned about the benefits of sunflowers in the garden, as they viewed the many aphids under the sunflower leaves and also observed various stages of ladybugs as they enjoyed growing with abundant aphids in their diet.
Next on the agenda was the Harvest of the Month and the buying of local ingredients, followed by a delicious meal of smothered beef, gravy, and potatoes provided by the Plevna School Cafeteria. They also visited with Nicole Buerkle, Business Manager, and Connie Lang and Berdie Rieger, dieticians, on their continuous efforts in promoting the Farm2School program in our school and our community. To close the workshops, they set goals for the individual, school, community, and regional Farm2School organizations as a guideline for other schools to follow in getting started on this wonderful program.