Teaching the Next Generation

The best part of my day?  Sitting with the small humans in the Cassville Schools cafeteria, chatting about not only lunch but stories from their farm and what they learned that morning in class.  For going on two years, I have been working with Cassville schools on a food composting project.

After they are done eating lunch, the children separate their food waste from any trash (plastics, milk cartons) and put their uneaten food in a tub.  Cassville students Moria and Andy dump the tub outside into a garbage can, rinse it out and return the tub to the cafeteria. The lunch staff are terrific and have made many suggestions for improving the process. Thanks to Mike Gotzinger, we are also composting paper towels from the restrooms.

The project is evolving beautifully.  I estimate that the kids are diverting 200 pounds of food waste a week – food that has untapped value.  The uneaten food deserves to deliver on all work that has been put into it: from the carrot seed planted carefully in the soil to the steer butchered to provide our meat.  It has more work to do.

The kids are doing better than ever on food diversion in the cafe.  I believe that seeing the worms in action and asking questions will broaden their understanding of “why” and “how”.

Thanks to Cassville Schools for allowing me to be a partner in the cafeteria.  Together we can give food waste new ways to shine! Give peas a chance.

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