Farmer Visit to Olivet Community Schools for Farm to School Month

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In this educational video, Olivet Community Schools hosts a farmer, Duane Morelan of Veges from the Ledges, in the cafeteria for Farm to School Month. The video is one in a series highlighting Farm to School best practices and innovations in Michigan, for use by Farm to School practitioners and community stakeholders.

Video Transcript:

Karla Love: Oh wow. We're so excited. Today we are kicking off our Farm to School month at Fern Persons Elementary in Olivet, Michigan. And we have our local farmer, Duane Morelan, who is here to talk to the students about how he grows vegetables. So as the students go through the line they're going to have some fresh little cherry tomatoes on their trays along with fresh watermelon. And as they go in to the cafeteria Mister Morelan will be there to talk to them and so I think we're going to have some nice interaction. 

Duane Morelan: Hi. How are you? You ever seen one of these before? You know what it is? It's a snake gourd. Yeah. It's interesting that a lot of kids don't know what certain vegetables are and they ask a lot of really neat questions. And then when you respond to them, when you see their eyes light up, I think that's the big connection right there. And hopefully they'll leave here today, you know, with some memories about our conversations.

Love: We are trying to introduce more colorful vegetables to students. We recognize that life doesn't live on corn alone and so we're trying to encourage students to eat the orange vegetables and the red vegetables and the purple vegetables and the really darker green vegetables because that's where the nutrients are that they need.

Morelan: This is a red cabbage.

What is this? 

Morelan: That is a crown of thorns. It's a gourd. That is an acorn squash. It's called a honey bear. They're very sweet and they're very yummy. Yeah. That's a big gourd. That's an eggplant. I would like to work with more schools. I would hope that they would catch on, you know, with the interest level and then with the energy that Olivet has shown. It's catching and I think the schools are missing out by not being part of this.

Love: If you keep putting that product in front of the student time after time, eventually they'll eat it, they'll try it. And then they do they're usually quite surprised. And sometimes even if they're not going to eat it as a first grader, suddenly as a third grader they tried it and their palates have changed and it's wonderful. So it's just a matter of continually putting it out there.

Morelan: That's a cherry tomato. That's a grape tomato. Try that yellow one. Yeah. They're good, aren't they? I grew those. 

Love: I suggest just give it a try. Start with baby steps. And Duane and I have started with baby steps. You know, they're only times when we say we're going to try and serve their vegetable to 300 students. We try and communicate those things and work that out. And baby steps is just finding things for the salad bar and people who are going to the salad bar, number one, are the ones who are enthusiastic about having the fresh produce.

Read the full Farmer Visit to Olivet Community Schools for Farm to School Transcript

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Date: February 6, 2014

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