Food program

County fifth graders participate in the Halifax County Farm-to-School Program this year learning about the nutrition, science and growing of sweet potatoes as well as the importance of buying local produce to support area farmers.

Another successful Halifax County Farm-to-School Program is almost in the books.

According to Agriculture Marketing and Development Director Kimley Blanks, approximately 400 fifth graders participated in the program this year learning about the nutrition, science and growing of sweet potatoes as well as “the importance of buying local produce to support our great farmers.”

Of course, Blanks said no lesson is complete without tasting some local sweet potatoes.

This year the students each tried a sweet potato smoothie, a sweet potato and spinach quesadilla and sweet potato hash, and students got to vote for their favorite.

This year’s winner was the sweet potato hash.

“The recipes for each dish can be found at www.genuinehalifax.com in case you would like to give them a try,” Blanks added.

The last part of the program will be in late October when the fifth graders at Meadville Elementary harvest their crops of broccoli, kale and turnips that they planted in August from their Farm-to-School garden. Students have spent the last two months caring for their garden and learning to grow their own food as part of what Blanks described as “a great lesson for all students to carry with them through life.”

This program is made possible with the collaboration of the Halifax County School System, VCE, NRCS, Halifax SWCD and Halifax County Agricultural Development.

“Additionally, we would like to express our gratitude to our sponsors Sodexo and Abbott Farm Suppliers for their support,” Blanks concluded.