Telling the Story of Agriculture

"Food comes from a farm. That is the beginning of the story, not the end."

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The Garden in Winter

Winter may strike many northwest gardeners as a well-deserved rest from food production and maintenance. In my own garden, I have long since removed the last of the summer’s tomatoes, planted fall roots such as carrots and beets, sowed cover crop, broadcast native wildflower seed, and covered any open ground with mulch. Surprisingly, the zinnias I planted in the spring were still blooming in December, and when I visited the garden each week to make sure everything was still in order last month, I would catch glimpses of late season pollinators among the flowers.

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Book Club – Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life

Learning about agriculture may seem intimidating if you do not come from an agricultural background or don’t have previous experiences in the industry. Don’t let this discourage you. There are a multitude of different resources that are easy to comprehend and will make learning about agriculture enjoyable. A great example is the book, “Farm Anatomy – The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life” by Julia Rothman.

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Teaching about American Indians and Agriculture

November was National Native American/American Indian Heritage Month, but it is always the season to honor and reflect upon the traditions, stories, and current events of the many different tribes who first called Oregon home, and who do so to this day. For non-Native educators whose own knowledge of the cultural diversity, heritage, and agricultural/resource management traditions among Native Oregonians may be limited, it is important to develop the skills necessary to identify culturally sensitive, responsive, and accurate curriculum resources.

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Expressing Agriculture through Art

Oregon students in grades 7 through 12 submitted artwork for the Second Annual Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Young Artist Contest this past school year. The purpose of the contest is to showcase the beauty of Oregon agriculture while creating a positive learning experience for students. The contest also helps further students’ understanding of agriculture’s impact on our daily lives.

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Harvest of the Month

October is National Farm to School Month! This national celebration is all about highlighting innovative programs that foster connections between students’ taste buds, minds, and their local food system. One program gaining traction around the country is the Harvest of the Month. Each month, schools feature a local food item either in the cafeteria or in students’ classrooms. Students conduct taste tests, and learn about the nutritional content of the item. Some schools serve recipes in the cafeteria that feature the item all month long. Harvests are not limited to fruits and vegetables, but can include dairy, meat, or even a locally significant fish like salmon!

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