Up early to be picked up at 7:30... Thar's right, another round of blueberry picking. Everyone was in the van, Jamie, Megan, Rhonda, Staci, Alexis, and I, well everyone except for Leif who was in Boston. The Farm we were going to this time was about an hour away Huckleberry Hollow in St. Clair Missouri. Seems like the other students and I passed out during the trip. When we got there the farmer gave us buckets that had the amount of quarts written on the side, now it was time to start picking. There were way too many beetles to count, knocking our bunches as we picked. Buzzing filled the air each time. There were many more places to pick here from the other farm, and many varieties of blueberries. It begun pretty warm but got extremely hot, though it progressively got warmer. The sun became annoying, as I starved for shady places to pick though I couldn't really seem to stand still. In the end Rhonda and Megan picked the most berries giving us a grand total of 41 quarts. We were even picking with less people and were only 6 quarts short of our total from last time. We gathered all of our berries to be taken back and took a picture with the farmer. To our surprise it turns out he graduated at Maplewood Richmond Heights High School.
Healthy Eating with Local Produce (HELP) is a Farm to School program
dedicated to bringing fresh local foods into schools and supporting local
agriculture. We have developed relationships with area farmers to provide whole fresh foods to Maplewood Richmond Heights School District through the Salus Processing Center. HELP uses the processing center to turn food into items that can be stored for year-round use in the cafeteria. In Year One, there were four primary foods used for processing: apples, tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Some of our favorite processed items are tomatoes into marinara, sweet potatoes into sweet potato fries, and apples into applesauce. HELP works closely with school foodservice staff to create delicious healthy foods for students while educating them about the benefits of a more healthful diet. The HELP grant is designed to test if food processing and distribution can be fiscally sustainable for school districts.