From Rachel Head, FoodCorps Service Member:
As a FoodCorps service member, I have the unique opportunity to get kids of all ages excited about growing and eating healthy food. On April 25, at SpringFest in Warrenton, I was delighted to be able to see some of my students doing their part to get the Warren County community excited about growing their own healthy food.
At the festival, a group of Warren County High School students proudly displayed strong and healthy tomato, okra, eggplant, squash, zucchini, basil, and marigold plants at a booth supported by Working Landscapes. They earnestly raised these plants from seeds in the high school greenhouse, and were excited to sell them to the public at SpringFest.
With the help of their teacher, Kristen Clarke, and myself, the students spent weeks preparing by tending to the seedlings in the greenhouse, making signs for the booth, calculating plant prices, and writing a newspaper article for the local newspaper, The Warren Record, about the sale. Despite the preparation, I could tell that my students were unsure of their knowledge about our plants at the beginning of the festival. Each time a customer would ask a question, they would swivel their heads to me to direct the question my way. After gently reminding them that they were, in fact, equipped to answer all of these questions, and encouraging them to have confidence in their knowledge, I was able to sit back and watch my students shine.
Customers were greeted by students with smiles, friendly welcomes, and signs listing the prices of the plants. The students helped customers decide which plants to buy, how to plant them, and offered recommendations on their favorite vegetables. They even offered special deals to customers wanting to buy in bulk! The students also informed their customers that proceeds from their purchases were going to support the high school students’ program, which is Warren County High School’s dropout prevention program.
By the end of the day, the students sold over 150 plants, raised $350 for college visits and other educational opportunities, and put smiles on countless faces, including my own! Watching my students inspire others to grow healthy food is something I will not soon forget. Keep an eye on these emerging leaders to see what they’ll do next!