Friday, May 30, 2014

Strawberry Blast!

2014 Strawberry Blast Organizers: Cy'rae, Sammie, and Roanna
Last week we had our 7th annual Strawberry Blast event! We had about 175 middle and high school students from across the county come to the farm for a morning of food, farm, health, and empowerment activities. Everyone had an amazing and fun-filled time going to all of the different stations, making and creating things, and eating really good food. Here's a look at what went down:

At the front, people made name tags and received a map of all the different stations that were at the Blast. Then they followed signs to the strawberry field. Everyone was able to pick a few berries and while they ate them, they could read the signs that were placed in the field about strawberry justice. (Thank you Liz, Army, Cleo and CASFS for sharing your berries with us)!

Then everyone headed towards the FoodWhat area where the rest of the action was!

Grow Your Own Food station- the youth could come and fill up a 4” pot with soil and transplant lettuce or chard into the pot to take home. They then put a directions sticker on their pots so they knew how to take care of it when they got home.

Smoothies: An all-time favorite! Participants blended smoothies made from local organic strawberries, bananas, milk or rice milk, and yogurt using a bike blender (or an electric blender). No extra sugar added and, as always, the smoothies were so good! Thank you to People Power, Straus Family Creamery, Live Earth Farm and Dirty Girl Produce for helping make this station possible!

Goats and a Sheep: At this station, there was a real baby goat and a lamb! They were a little nervous because there were a lot of people, but Gail Harlmoff of West Side Feed and Farm gave them a bucket of food, and they calmed down quite a bit. They were so cute!

Rainbow Veggie Quesadillas: What if school lunch was this delicious and healthy? Fran and pulled up with Truck Stop and whipped out some rainbow veggie quesadillas topped with strawberry salsa. As Jaime passed them out he told folks about the health benefits of eating vegetables of all different colors. Those quesadillas we so good I probably went back 5 times throughout the Blast. It was one of the best tasting things there!

Strawberry Tarts: At another station, we got to make our own strawberry tarts. We went in front of a cutting board, chopped up one or two strawberries, grabbed a crust and filled it with yogurt, and then we placed our strawberries on top of the yogurt. They were a bit messy, but they were sweet and really good.

Pop- Up Fruit Stand: At another station, MAH was hosting the Pop Up Fruit Stand. We chose a fruit or a vegetable and shared a story that associated with that fruit or vegetable that we had. Then we wrote that story down so that everyone that came to that station could read our story and then share their own story. The after we told our story, we got to make our own buttons to show off to everyone!

Race to the Plate: A group of three to for of us received around 10-15 cards with food products on them, and then we gathered at the starting line and raced each other to 5-6 plates on the ground a few feet away from the starting line. We had to match the food the the right group that it belonged to, like if it was a starchy food or something else. The first person to get rid of all their cards and sprint back to the finish line won.

What You Drink What You Think: Under the canopy, we learned about how much sugar we are actually drinking at this workshop. We learned things like how much sugar was actually in an energy drink can and how bad it actually is for us. At the station behind the canopy, we played Fast Food Jeopardy, where we had to answer questions about food, fast food, and the fast food industry. We split into two teams and the team that had the most points at the end won the game!

And we had even more stations than that! The Strawberry Blast was a huge success. There was great food, lots of information to receive, and there was plenty of opportunities to have fun. I had an amazing time and can't wait for next year's blast!

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