Harvest Festival is Monday

The middle school members of the Webster City Food Education Action Sustainability Team, FEAST, are hosting a community Harvest Celebration on Monday.

Organizers said the event would run from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at All Cultures Equal and the Boone River Country Community Gardens at 1440 Second St.

More than 300 Webster City second through sixth graders have been engaged in garden-based learning and have grown food in 21-raised bed gardens during the last two years. They have tried new fruits and vegetables and encouraged their families to do the same. More than 30 adults have dedicated time and energy to make these programs successful for the youth, their families and our community. That is a good start to improve the health and wellbeing for the people of Webster City.

The group is celebrating the first anniversary of FEAST. Once or twice a month, a school bus provides transportation for the Webster City Middle School Choices and Challenges youth to participate in lively, hands-on programs at All Cultures Equal, also the home of the Boone River Country Community Gardens. ACE and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Hamilton County lead the activities in the kitchen, gardens, and Moun Hall. This is the first year that these youth have planned, planted, maintained, harvested, cleaned, cooked, and shared produce from the Boone River Country Community Gardens. In FEAST, youth create, communicate, cultivate, cook, and collaborate about food.

It is the second year that Sunset Heights Elementary students have engaged in Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth USDA People’s Garden and Wellmark Foundation grants through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. They have been part of a nationwide research project to see if school gardens improve fruit and vegetable consumption, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts and skills, and life skills such as communication, leadership, and citizenship. Washington State University, Cornell University New York, Iowa State University, and the University of Arkansas extension services are partners to deliver the grant and are currently preparing the results. Training videos for the country were filmed at Sunset Heights. Sunset Heights students and staff will be sharing their garden experiences and produce during the Harvest Celebration Stone Soup supper.