PrecipAre you interested in the Nevada Legislative sessions regarding the Mason Valley and Smith Valley groundwater limits October 5th and October 7th but cannot go to Carson City for up to four days for the hearings. Do you not have enough internet bandwidth or enough data on your personal internet to run streaming video for the live sessions for four days? The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in Lyon County will be running the streaming video of these sessions in the conference room at 504 S. Main Street in Yerington on a 50-inch monitor for viewing. The room is reserved for this use October 5th through October 8th from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for those who wish to attend. Please contact Marcia Moffitt if you plan to attend so that we can make accommodations to meet the response. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance must contact Marcia at least three days prior to the first day of the sessions.

This will not be an interactive system but viewing only. Those wishing to give expert testimony or ask questions will still have to travel to Carson City. For more information and requirements regarding expert testimony please refer to the Mason Valley News article.

According to the Mason Valley News , you can to go the DWR website to obtain copies of the curtailment orders. You can contact Malcom Wilson of the Division Resources at 775 685-2806 for a copy of the Desert Research Institute model files or memorandum. More details regarding the curtailments are available in both news articles in the Mason Valley News.

FFVP logoLyon County schools will again be participating in theUSDA Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program grant through USDA will begin receiving fresh fruits and vegetables from Bonaza Produce to try to encourage youth to eat more fruits and vegetables, expand the experience of trying new fruits and vegetables, and providing healthier food choices. Schools included in the program are: Yerington Elementary School, Dayton Elementary School, Sutro Elementary School, Fernley Elementary School, and Silver Stage Elementary School.

horiz.colorgrape-tomatoUniversity of Nevada Cooperative Extension supplies educational support for this program by creating fruits and vegetable flyers with information about the produce to be eaten that week. The flyers are prepared by Lyon County Extension Educator Joy Paterson and includes information about nutrition, history, horticulture, and fun or odd facts to engage the kids in learning about the food they eat to encourage them to try the produce that is presented. While only students at schools that qualified for the program will receive the fruits and vegetables at school, flyers will be posted to the fresh fruits and vegetable section of the Lyon County Cooperative Extension blog. Parents or teachers can use the flyers to create their own tastings or to discuss fruits and vegetables that the cafeteria served. Specific vegetable or fruit flyers can be requested and will be provided if previously prepared.

This weeks produce is grape tomatoes and honeydew. Have you tasted either of these? Have your kids? If you find these in the supermarket, pick them up and host your own tasting. Try it, you just might like it.

IMG_5026 (960x1280)

Making jelly is fun!

IMG_4943 (960x1280)

Pressure canning lid is locked into place

A two-part “Food Safety and Beginning Canning” class was taught by Lyon County Extension Educator Joy Paterson. The first part of the course consisted of a two hour long workshop where participants learned the biology of botulism, the science of food selection and preparation for use in canning and the basics of boiling water bath canning and pressure canning. Unsafe or untested methods of canning were briefly discussed with scientific discussion of why some methods are unsafe, unpredictable or untested using the latest information from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. During the workshop, participants checked canning jars for safety, handled various canning equipment and looked at canned jars of food. Participants were encouraged to bring their equipment to share with the course and for a safety evaluation of pressure canning equipment. Even veteran canners learned new information that will make grandma’s recipes safer and canning that produce faster.

Are you canning at the right pressure for you altitude?

Are you canning at the right pressure for you altitude?

Afternoon class cuts up garden vegetables for a quick canning pickle

Afternoon class cuts up garden vegetables for a quick canning pickle

Tomatoes are peeled, cored and placed in the cooking pot for a hot pack

Tomatoes are peeled, cored and placed in the cooking pot for a hot pack

During the hands-on portion held at Holy Family Catholic Church’s community center kitchen, participants canned using a hot pack and a cold pack method with both a pressure canner and boiling water bath equipment. Groups prepared jars, cleaned and prepared produce, followed recipes, filled jars, tightened lids and safely processed the food they prepared. The two groups cleaned, peeled and hot packed tomatoes. Green beans were cold packed and pressure canned by the first group. Jam recipes for blackberries and zinfandel grapes was demonstrated and participants processed the jars. Group two cold packed garden vegetable pickles. Jars of food prepared the day before were cleaned and checked for a proper seal. Information discussed in during the workshop were reinforced and everyone left feeling confident enough to can their own jars of treasure from the garden.

There is interest in a course that focuses on fall canning of fruits and fall garden produce, with potential dates in October. I would like to teach a canning class next summer in your part of the county. We need access to a commercial kitchen with 10-20 paid participants. Classes can be modified to what the group wants to learn. If you are interested in attending a future canning course or can assist in facilitating one, email, call or come by the Lyon County Cooperative Extension Office.

IMG_5039 (960x1280) IMG_4939 (960x1280) IMG_5031 (1280x1133) IMG_5019 (960x1280) IMG_4983 (960x1280)

By Judy Halterman and Joy Paterson

Veggies for Kids partnered with The Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley to provide healthy eating educational activities to local youth

Judy teaches kids who enthusiastically join her activities

Judy teaches kids who enthusiastically join her activities

during a week long summer institute. Youngsters from 5 years old to 8th grade participated in the activities. Each day, of the 4 day institute, they were taught a different lesson on “Food from Plants” to help them understand where food comes from and about healthy eating choices. A total of 180 youth participated throughout the week.

The first lesson’s question was, “What parts of plants does food come from?” An interactive game had youth running to different stations that identified which parts of the plants that a particular fruit or vegetable came from. For example, Judy would yell “Pineapple” and the kids would select their answer by running to a station labeled “seed, root, stem, leaf, flower or fruit”. The kids would then learn the correct answer and why that pineapple was a fruit and that fruits are formed from the ovary part of a flower. After learning about plant parts, they went outside on a scavenger hunt looking for various parts of plants. The kids loved moving around and exploring familiar plants in new ways.

Day two focused on what plant parts are in common foods. “Do donuts come from plants?” All the kids originally said “NO”, but they learned  flour and sugar comes from plants. They tasted crackers, jelly, pickles, raisins, ketchup and pickles and learned what plants these foods came from and the course the food would take to make it to their plate in the form they were tasting. Do you know what the 4 most eaten foods in the world are? Youth learned they are: wheat, rice, corn and soybean. Discussions included how these foods are used in our everyday eating.

VeggieForKidsSummerIns2015_3

Youth show the bunnies hiding in the grass, before eating their art

A boy arranges a peach on his plate to create his fruit and veggie masterpiece

A boy arranges a peach on his plate to create his fruit and veggie masterpiece

Cooking or combine things from plants into tasty dishes was the focus of the third day. They were given items from plants and allowed to create their own style of humus from scratch. They added their own spices, mashed the chickpeas and tasted on crackers to see if they liked what they made. While some were fine, most of them added too much salt or pepper. Fortunately, Judy had some tasty humus for the kids to eat.

Example garden map where youth could plan what they wanted to grow in their ideal garden

Example garden map where youth could plan what they wanted to grow in their ideal garden

The final day children designed their perfect garden. They studied what vegetables could be grown together and what vegetables should be grown apart. Youth created a garden map with different aspects of a garden with different sun exposure, soil fertility and other real-life challenges that gardeners face. The kids had a great time learning where plants would grow best. Art and science met in an hands-on activity creating food art. Food art activities engage the creativity of kids using fruits and vegetables to make a a bunny hiding in the grass. Is anything better than art you can eat?

Youth plants seeds into the window box they created

Youth plants seeds into the window box they created

Over the course of the summer institute, vegetable and herb window gardens were created by the kids using milk carton boxes, soil and  four different types of seeds. Youth learned about what plants need to be able to grow and designed the outside to with information about each plant. These were made out of 4 milk cartons taped together with white duct tape. They then designed the boxes using magic markers and crayons. The kids then planted spinach, mache (lettuce), and several types of herbs. They learned how to take care of their boxes once they were taken home. Visits to the school garden at Yerington Elementary School served as a real garden where participants picked green beans, tasted fresh-off-the-vine cherry tomatoes, and pulled weeds. Learning how the garden grows and where food we eat everyday comes from. The hoop house became a regular learning experience, with the club helping throughout the summer to collect produce, tend plants and pull weeds. Vegetables were then eaten fresh by the kids or cooked into delicious food at the club for all to try.

Veggies for Kids will continue to educate youth about fruits and vegetables throughout the school year. Special thanks to the Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley and Darci Beaton for facilitating all weeks activity and help with the hoop house garden over the summer. For more information about the Veggies for Kids program, contact Judy Halterman.

 

20150821_140232 (863x1280)

Judy with her class motto “Eat Smart, Play Hard, Drink Water…Not Soda”

By Judy Halterman and Joy Paterson

“Eat Smart, Play Hard, Drink Water, Not Soda” is a motto that most K and 1st graders who attended Yerington Elementary School or 2nd and 3rd graders at Smith Valley Elementary School last year know by heart. Veggies for Kids is a funded State of Nevada SNAP-ed program designed to teach kids about proper nutrition and exercise. Judy Halterman has been working with Yerington and Smith Valley youth teaching them how to grow and eat veggies and fruit using demonstration gardens, twelve weeks of in-school instruction and hosts a healthy lifestyle summer institute. Kids learn through direct instruction (lecture), food tastings, worksheets, games, problem solving, questioning techniques, and vegetable growing experiences.

20150707_083241 (720x1280)

Judy picks her golden beets from the hoop house

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Veggies for Kids program was created and piloted by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in 2005 by Mineral County Cooperative Extension, and has been implemented at Hawthorne Elementary School and Schurz Elementary School in Mineral County, Natchez Elementary School in Washoe County, and Owyhee Elementary School in Elko County. Last year the program was expanded to include Smith Valley Elementary School and Yerington Elementary School in Lyon County.

Last years classes increased their ability to identify and name the five food groups and six vegetables. Kids learned the importance of playing hard for at least 60 minutes everyday to increase physical well-being. Drinking water to stay hydrated was emphasized with lessons comparing water to sugary drinks. Eating fun new fruits and vegetables was an exciting part, with kids declaring “What are we going to have for snack today Mrs. Halterman?” This led to an increased

Judy's garden favorite, red noodle beans

Judy’s garden favorite, red noodle beans

willingness to try and consume more fruits and vegetables. Vick Williams assisted Judy in educating the youth about Native American culture including food, building materials and clothing while using story-telling to engage them. The students were also able to sample buck berries, pine nuts, and asparagus.  Hispanic foods lesson was also incorporated with tasting of corn tortillas, beans and cheese. The program is anticipated to continue in the 2015-2016 school year for Yerington and Smith Valley Elementary Schools.