I can hardly believe my FoodCorps service term is coming to an end. The last eleven months have gone by faster than I anticipated, but not without many lessons learned (and taught), new relationships built, seeds planted, veggies harvested, and foods tried for the first time!
As my term comes to a close, I have been reflecting on the last eleven months, all we’ve accomplished as a community, and all the pieces of the puzzle that made that happen. I am grateful for the schools and teachers that enthusiastically opened their doors, for all the mentors and supervisors who supported me in this position, and for the students who eagerly came to learn and engage with FoodCorps. This year has been filled with so many highlights and victories and here I’ve compiled the top 10 from my time serving with FoodCorps and the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition:
1. Reading 130 degrees on our composting thermometer for the first time! Food safe compost champions!
2. Any time I felt insignificant in my contribution to farm to school, remembering that this inspiring group of people was serving our entire state in big and significant ways! We are Oregon!
3. Hearing my high school students start to tell each other to wash their hands before harvesting instead of me nagging them to. School culture change!
4. Successfully explaining emulsions to fourth graders using smiley faces. Science rocks!
5. Each and every time I heard a student say, “Don’t yuck my yum!”
6. When the forward contracted frozen berries got where they needed to be without me reminding our partners. Finally seeing the fruition of months of relationship building!
7. When one of my third grade students said she had already tried my Green Smoothie when her older sister (in my middle school class) shared and made the recipe with her.
8. Pushing my own comfort zone as an educator by writing and singing a song about spinach to my K-2nd grade classes…and when it was actually successful and they LOVED it!
9. When my high school students taught ME how to build the 8 new garden beds we installed!
10. The simple fact that my service allowed me to pursue my passions, help my community, and make a difference in both small and large ways every single day.