Fruit and Veggie Ambassadors sampling fresh fruit and vegetables at a Pawtucket Summer Food Service Program.
Do you know what a Malanga is? What about a Chocolate Pepper? The “Fruit and Vegetable Ambassador ” (F&V Ambassador) students of Slater Jr. High School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island learned about these unusual vegetables and more during their Summer Food Service Program fruit and vegetable taste testing. For the less adventurous vegetable eater, a Malanga is a root vegetable that has a nutlike flavor and when cut open looks similar to a sweet potato. A Chocolate Pepper is a purple Bell Pepper.
The students at this summer food program are nicknamed the “F&V Ambassadors” of their school. Along with this prestigious title, students get cool t-shirts and, most importantly, the responsibility of encouraging fellow students throughout the school year to make healthier decisions at lunchtime. Read more »
Two years of work is nearly complete on a project to eradicate what is considered one of the worst invasive exotic plants in parts of the eastern U.S.
An effort to grow and market locally sourced, locally grown and genetically diverse native plants (Rhody Native) in cooperation with nursery industry has been made possible with Forest Service Recovery Act funding. Photo Credit: Hope Leeson.
The Japanese knotweed grows in thick, dense colonies that completely crowd out native species. Forest Service Recovery Act funds helped to tackle the infestation in the largest contiguous forest block in Rhode Island where the invasive occurs. Read more »
L-R: Orlando Housing Authority President Vivian Bryant; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Rural Development Florida State Director Richard Machek and Rural Development Florida Single Family Housing Program Director Daryl Cooper participated in a business roundtable in Orlando, Fla., last Friday. They discussed the USDA Rural Development Home Refinancing Pilot Program which is available to USDA borrowers in 19 states.
When most people think of Orlando, Florida, they envision exciting theme parks, Cinderella’s castle and a mouse with big ears. But when USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Orlando on February 24th, it was with a different vision in mind. Read more »
I was honored to accompany Governor Lincoln Chafee at the Rhode Island Agriculture Day held at the Statehouse in Providence. In my remarks to farmers, agriculture organizations, legislators, and government officials, I emphasized the Obama Administration’s commitment to Rural America, and complimented producers for being a model for the nation in direct marketing of agricultural products.
Ten percent of Rhode Island’s agricultural sales move through direct marketing channels such as farmers markets, roadside stands and CSA’s. In addition, Rhode Island has developed a successful Farm-to-School program and a Farm-to-Plate program with local restaurants. Read more »
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food with Bee Keeper Mello. He brought a hive from Aquidneck Island Apiaries (honey is one of the many local ingredients used in Pawtucket’s breakfast and lunches, provided by local farmers)
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
After a cold and snowy month of school closings, the sun shone on February 10, just in time to present eight elementary schools in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, with Bronze awards in the HealthierUS School Challenge. Read more »
Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan holds a sack of Rhode Island potatoes produced at Ferolbink Farm
Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited Rhode Island last Friday to celebrate the preservation of Ferolbink Farm, one of the State’s most iconic coastal farms. The event highlighted the success of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, which allows for conservation easements on farmland, ensuring that such farms are preserved for the benefit of present and future generations. Read more »