Cooking Together, Eating Together

As I wrap up my second year as a FoodCorps service member, I am lucky enough to conclude the term with one of my favorite series of events. In partnership with Garden City Harvest’s Farm to School Program, our team leads family friendly cooking classes in the...

Five Reasons to Love Lentils

A few weeks ago, a group of Ronan 2nd graders were asked to identify what Montana is famous for. Their list included: “big sky, wilderness and lentils.” Born and raised in Montana, I know that more than twice as many cows as people live in our state —...

Why I Serve in My Home State

When I graduated high school, I was determined to leave my hometown of Kalispell, Montana. I believed that staying would mean failing at life. I managed to move two hours away to attend the University of Montana, and after graduating, I hit the road. I spent the next...

The Art of Observation

I have been lucky enough over the course of this school year to work with the same seven 2nd grade classes every week and get to really know my students very personally and watch the way they learn, experience them building on knowledge and concepts that we’ve...

The Power of Simple

Simple is better.  It’s my new lesson-planning mantra.  I’ve learned it from my students, who continually amaze me with their capability for being captivated by the simple things. A planned ten-minute game interlude in a first grade class takes on a life of its own. ...

Farm to Knife

On a Thursday morning in early May, I informed the principal of Bigfork School, Matt Jensen, that two local sushi chefs were coming in to teach knife skills to seventh and eighth graders. Mr. Jensen was a little taken aback, but he rolled with it and requested only...

Beef, It’s on the Menu

The hum of happily chewing mouths filled the Ennis School lunchroom on January 15th as students, for the first time in our school’s history, enjoyed beef stroganoff prepared with local Montana beef.  Not only is this sort of beef purchase good for the local...

Butter Making in Billings

Madyson Versteeg is a service member in Billings. The first day of spring—the Vernal Equinox—inevitably brings with it a sense of renewal and hope for growth. Since January, we have been sifting through seed catalogs, drawing out garden plans, and planning garden work...