June 30, 2013
Fauquier Hospital's Bistro on the Hill was particularly lively Wednesday morning, as 40 middle schoolers from Fauquier Communitiy Child Care’s Teen Camp visited to learn about healthy eating. The students toured the Culinary Healing Garden, made their own homemade salsa and created natural vitamin water, using fruits and herbs. Tony DeWalt, the Bistro’s executive chef, offered a cooking demonstration using foods from the Wednesday Farmers Market. All of the students loved Tony’s presentation, asking lots of questions and eagerly gobbling up his dish of fresh sausage and Swiss chard. Gabriella Biasillo, 11, said as she ate, “I love it! It’s amazing how it goes from the garden right to this,” pointing to her plate. Rachel Blalock, 11, was an enthusiastic fan as well. She called out to Tony as she finished up her portion, “You make great food, sir!”
The children also spent time at the Wednesday Warrenton Farmers Market, where they learned about locally sourced food and used coupons to make their own purchases. Argia Caporuscio, one of the market’s weekly vendors, gave Logan Hensley a lesson in herbs; he touched and smelled each in turn, and listened seriously as she explained uses for each. Robin Rider told the children about her Rider’s Backfield Farm, where she produces grass-fed beef. One girl bought a rib-eye for her dad. “I’m sort of in trouble with him right now, and I know he really likes this,” she said.
The field trip was part of the Let’s Get Movin’ campaign, which sponsors healthy lifestyle programs for the children who attend Fauquier Community Child Care’s summer camps. Piedmont Pediatrics and Old Town Athletic Club have been hands-on supporters of the program since its inception last summer; they provided ideas and staff support, in addition to funding.
The Warrenton Garden Club provided funding and program development for the creation of the Healing Garden, and financial support of educational programs to teach children about the connections between farming, gardening, food and health. That grant was the impetus for the field trip.
The vouchers that the kids used to make their purchases at the Farmers Market were underwritten by grants from the Lazar Foundation and from the Kortlandt Fund at the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation. The vouchers are part of the “GreenBacks” program developed by the Fauquier Health Foundation. Unidine, which provides food services for Fauquier Health, supplied goods and services for Wednesday’s field trip, most notably staff time, food and teaching materials.