Charlottesville City Schools and City Schoolyard Garden’s Harvest of the Month Program is back for another academic year! Harvest of the Month, which began in early 2015, is a monthly seasonal snack program that provides students with fresh fruit and vegetable snacks, plus complimentary lessons that focus on nutrition, cooking, and gardening. Each month highlights a different seasonal crop, which is kept a secret until just before snack time. Students are read trivia clues in the morning and play fun guessing games about the snack in their classrooms.
To kick off the program for the 2015-2016 school year, students were given this clue to guess the featured snack item: “This fruit grows in the woods, by the roadside, and in fields. Its stem has thorns to protect the small, sweet fruit from animals that enjoy eating it. The color of this fruit is also part of its name.”
The answer? Blackberries!
The students enjoyed the berries on their own, and learned about other ways to consume and prepare this delicious fruit, such as on top of a salad, with yogurt, in baked goods, or used to make jam. The students took home nutrition information and growing tips to share with their family, as well as recipe ideas for a healthy smoothie.
Local Food Hub primarily receives blackberries from Agriberry Farm in Hanover County. Agriberry has been an outstanding partner of ours for over four years, and each season we are amazed with the quality and quantity of their berries. Blackberries are always a customer favorite, and we greatly appreciate Agriberry’s hard work to provide us with a consistent and delicious supply throughout the summer.
Blackberry season, which began in early June this year, has now come to a close. While we will miss their sweet, summery taste, we will forward to the flavors of fall. Charlottesville students have a new mystery snack to look forward to in October, which will be presented during Virginia Farm to School Week. Stay tuned for more details!