Students at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy are exploring healthier lifestyles by adding fresh, locally grown options to their center cafeteria. They are also getting involved with a group that raises awareness of the importance of buying locally.
These healthy initiatives were driven from an event students and staff members attended this past summer called Locavore Kids. Cassadaga Job Corps Academy Culinary Arts students attended the event at Barlow's Mill, a locally owned organic farm, where they learned about buying local produce and received organic gardening tips for their on-center garden. The Culinary students provided a cooking demonstration using vegetables grown in their center's garden and worked at a booth providing samples of locally grown organic vegetables.
“Our community partners have been key in teaching our students the importance of healthy eating and organic gardening. I'm pleased to see so many students expressing an interest in gardening, and I hope it will teach them to lead healthier lives when they leave Job Corps,” said Janet Forbes, the Business and Community Liaison at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy.
Students and staff began enjoying the benefits of eating fresh produce from their organic garden last summer. Students have enjoyed maintaining the garden, which includes tomatoes, squash, green peppers, and cilantro.
Construction students are also helping to expand the garden through the use of cold frames, which will extend the garden's growing season by protecting plants from cold weather. A local master gardener recently visited the center and showed the students how to build the frames.
When the weather finally warms up this spring, you'll know where to find the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy students: in the garden!