“Do you have a recipe for this? It’s actually good!”
That was the feedback from one fifth grader at last week’s Farm to School Cabbage Day, at which Chesnut’s students were truly celebrating locally grown cabbage — especially the Kindergarteners and 2nd graders. Because of complications with preparing the fresh food in previous months, these classes had not been served the Georgia grown food of the month since Granny Smith Apple Day back in October. Chesnut Changer Kindergarteners Megan McCloskey and Sophia Hernandez were so happy that their class could once again participate in the hand-stamp promotion that they awarded every cabbage eater at Ms. Hobgood’s table double hand stamps! The Kindergarteners’ enthusiasm was reflected in the turnout – 100% of the Kindergartenerss who bought lunch tasted their cabbage.
As Chesnut Changers reported on their classes’ tasting statistics throughout the lunch period, the numbers coming in showed that our program is having an impact. You might guess that apples would be more popular than cabbage, but comparing the marketing reports from Apple Day and Cabbage Day, we see that last week 9 classes had an 89% or better cabbage tasting rate among kids who bought lunch (6 of the 9 classes had 100% tasting rates). Four months earlier, the highest tasting rate for Granny Smith apples was 73%.
And it wasn’t just about taking a symbolic taste and throwing the rest away. Many students ate their entire serving of cabbage, one commenting, “Once my mom made this in soup and it tasted so delicious. I think I’m going to eat all of mine.”
We know too that the promotion is a contributing factor to the local food’s popularity, as several students, seeing their classmates getting hand-stamped, ran back through the lunchline to select some cabbage. Five Chesnut Changer registration forms (with optional involvement in the after-school meetings) were quickly given away to students requesting to join the program. Next lunch we will be sure to bring a larger supply of these.