Let’s Move! Blaine! unveils plans for local community farm shares

Published on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 by Jeremy Schwartz

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The Let’s Move! Blaine! coalition is teaming up with a farm in Ferndale to make fresh fruits and vegetables available to Blaine Elementary School students.

The coalition has reached out to WakeRobin Farm in Ferndale to provide Blaine students with community farm shares at the Blaine Farmers Market this spring. Dan Persse, the Blaine elementary physical education teacher spearheading the Let’s Move! Blaine! program, said the local farmers market is the perfect way to make produce available to children in the Blaine community.

“It’s something that can be integrated in our community and kids and adults will have wider access to a variety fruits and vegetables they wouldn’t otherwise have,” Persse said.

The push for healthier eating is one of the four core goals of the Let’s Move! Blaine! campaign, which is the local outpost of a national movement promoted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The goal of the Let’s Move! campaign is to reduce the number of overweight children nationwide.

“The whole reason you have a Let’s Move! city is to reduce childhood obesity,” Persse said.

WakeRobin Farm, through its community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, sells trial farm shares for $100, which pays for one basket of fresh produce per month through the major growing season. A full farm share costs $425 and pays for a basket per week for 18 weeks.

Brigget LeClair, the owner of WakeRobin Farm, said Persse contacted her before this year’s growing season because her farm was the closest CSA to the Blaine school district. She said Blaine elementary is the first school she has been directly affiliated with, despite being across the street from three Ferndale schools.

“I hope this will catch on,” LeClair said. “I like the idea of being a part of the community; the closer I can get the better I feel.”

In addition to the farm shares available at the Blaine Farmers Market, LeClair encourages Blaine students to visit her farm and pick up the shares that way. She said she enjoys showing kids around her farm so they can see where real food comes from.

“It’s a fun visit, something out of the ordinary for them,” she said. “I think it’s important to see real food being grown and for young girls to see a female farmer.”

Persse said the farm share program is the latest tangible result of the work the Let’s Move! Blaine! coalition has done since Blaine was declared a Let’s Move! city last October. The coalition’s next goals are organizing a “Passport to Fun” program for the summer, which will reward elementary students for visiting Blaine and Birch Bay establishments that promote physical activity, and improving the coalition’s website.

“We’re hoping that for anyone who wants to do something in Blaine, the Let’s Move! website will be the one catchall for all those links,” Persse said.

For more information about the Let’s Move! Blaine! campaign, visit www.letsmoveblaine.org.

For more information on the community farm shares, contact LeClair at 360/815-1190 or at wakerobinfarm@gmail.com. WakeRobin Farm is located at 2660 Thornton Road in Ferndale.