This year, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Farm to School Educator will be giving monthly updates on Farm to School programming in the region tied to the Harvest of the Month. Each month we’ll highlight the local food and farms’ involvement within the cafeteria and the classroom.

We chose to highlight beets in February as they bring sweet, bright and earthy flavors to a cold and short month. Their red and purple hues also pair perfectly with Valentine’s day celebrations! Beets can be eaten many different ways including boiled, roasted, steamed, pickled, or baked as chips. Their juices can stain, and are often intentionally used as a dye for fabric, or even as ink on paper.

In the classroom this month, we learned about all the different ways of consuming beets and the different ways to utilize their juices. Some classes learned how to make raw beet salads, some learned about the different parts of the beet plant that we eat, and some utilized beets to carve stamps and make prints.

In the cafeteria last month, many schools taste-tested beets together with their sweet potatoes, but Willsboro Central School chose to do them separately. The beets were thoroughly enjoyed, so much so that we needed to shift the lines on our voting board!

Each month, we’ll be recapping the great work being done in our local schools, so check back in! Next up…Maple Syrup.

For more information, visit http://essex.cce.cornell.edu/agriculture/farm-to-school

Written By: Meghan Brooks