Becky Naab is a PRC AmeriCorps VISTA serving with the FoodCorps team in Livingston. 

As an avid basketball fan, March is the time of year college basketball is at its best with the March Madness tournament. As a FoodCorps member March is the time of year when it becomes time to start getting ready to garden and plan spring events. Both are reasons  why I absolutely love the month of March.
Window box planting

This month I finally received some Nancy’s Garden Boxes.  These boxes are made from recycled Montana state license plates and wood, and are distributed as part of the Governor’s and First Lady’s Math and Science Initiative.  I made sure to get one for each classroom I teach in (nine total). Currently, we are growing a variety of lettuces and some basil in the boxes. When finished, the lettuce and basil will be part of a fundraiser meal I am coordinating with our 5th grade students and teachers. The meal will feature as many local ingredients as possible, including our lettuce and basil, Pasta Montana pasta, homemade rolls made with Wheat Montana flour, and Wilcoxson’s Huckleberry Ice Cream, which is made right here in Livingston! The students will be working with a local chef to prepare and serve the meal to their parents and other guests. All the money raised for the event will provide funding for project based learning activities for our 5th graders as well as Farm to School!

Speaking of fundraising I have begun a new venture –planning the inaugural Livingston Farm to School 5K! For this run we will literally be running from Geyser Farms in Livingston to one of our schools! I have never organized a run before so I was a little apprehensive to do this, but with the encouragement and support of my supervisor, I’m working hard to make it happen. I’m learning that a lot more goes into planning a run than one might think. Recently, I met with our city commissioner, and he gave me then run down on all the regulations I must follow, along with a packet of paperwork to fill out. Luckily for me, our city commissioner is also a run

More paperwork

organizer as well. He gave me tons of advice and tips from the best ways to time the runners to where I could get free running bibs (the number you attach to yourself while running for identification). The planning of this run in the next couple months will be hectic, but I know in the end it will be worth it. Runners mark your calendars for Saturday June 2nd and come down to Livingston for our Farm to School Run! Seriously, if you’re interested let me know. Registration will hopefully start the end of April.

Finally I’ve been working with one our most enthusiastic science teachers at the middle school to start a new garden. I had 5 raised beds built by the industrial tech class at the high school this winter with some leftover grant money. After the students come back from spring break, we will be breaking ground, setting the boxes, and planting! While I’m excited to get the garden started, I’m even more enthused about having a teacher so on board and willing to take ownership of the new garden. It was my greatest fear that I would start a garden, be all alone slaving over it until I finished my year of service in July, and then leaving it to die without another caretaker. Now I have no worries and am anxious to get this garden going!

As you can see March has been a busy month for me. From Farm to School event planning to watching the March Madness tournament, my plate has been full and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Mixing business with pleasure.  Watching the Griz in class!