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Food, Fun, and Farming
Food, Fun, and Farming
Posted on 07/02/2019
Three girls smile while holding salad greens.Photos courtesy of Meghan Baker and Holly Jordan of the Buncombe County Cooperative Extension.

By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

The BCS Migrant Education Program (MEP) teamed up with the Buncombe Cooperative Extension to promote local food appreciation and foster cross-cultural exchange!

The Local Foods Camp, which ran June 18-21, combined third- to fifth-grade MEP students and members of a local 4-H club. Together, they toured a local vegetable and herb farm, Round Mountain Creamery (a goat dairy farm), the Biltmore Estate Farm, and the WNC Farmer’s Market. They learned how to source all the ingredients for an Italian dinner, make pasta, and cook the dishes to perfection.

“The overall purpose was to expose kids to agriculture that’s going on right in their backyard,” said Small Farms Extension Agent Meghan Baker. “It’s a way to connect people to where their food comes from, and to the ecological role that farms play.”

The students saw farm animals, made pasta, harvested produce, cooked in a commercial kitchen, and got to know each other.

“It was a team effort and a holistic partnership,” Baker said. “It was also really cool, and the food was delicious. They did a great job.”

For MEP children there are additional benefits, said MEP Coordinator Ina Gonzalez Jones.

“It’s a bridge between cultures,” she said. “This camp gives them language exposure and helps them make friends.”

MEP serves youth ages 3-21 who have not completed high school and whose families have moved to Buncombe County within the last three years in search of work in agriculture. The program makes it easier for newcomers to integrate into the local community. MEP staff provides instructional and supportive services for families with goal of keeping children on track to graduate.

Coverage of last year's camps.

    Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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