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Cotton Wood Creek Farms
Cotton Wood Creek Farms
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822 W 400 S, Hurricane, Utah, US
Climate zone:
Semi Arid

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Cotton Wood Creek Farms

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Hurricane, US

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Andy Monks Coralie Tate Elizabeth Goodman Kelli Bellon Lisa Atkin Susanna Allahwerde

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Our Student Leaders Head off to FFA Nationals

Project: Cotton Wood Creek Farms

Posted by Dee G. Atkin over 9 years ago

Cotton Wood Creek Farms partners with the Hurricane High School FFA to promote clean, nutrient dense, sustainable agriculture.


Dee and Lisa created a Community Outreach concept to share our knowledge learned through our training as NTCs at the Nutritional Therapy Association and through our PDC training. We are deeply concerned with the current state of our food and the related health problems in our culture. To that end we began a community garden and learning center to start right where we live and begin to make a difference. Since we own and operate the School & Community Garden, we teamed up with community and student leaders to create the program. Our desire was to “train the trainer” by giving our team some expanded knowledge of how and why growing this amazing garden is so important and why their participation and knowledge of properly grown and prepared nutrient dense foods will, in fact be part of changing and saving the world, one little body at a time!

We organized the project into several parts/events:

TEACH THE CHILDREN (100+ participants with children, students and adults)

A Day in the Garden:  We held a 5th grade day in the garden where 75 local 5th graders came to the garden during school and were taught gardening and nutritional concepts. The field trip lasted a couple of hours and we had several stations where students rotated and learned about soils, cuttings, nutrition, composting and recycling. We served the children homemade ice cream made with raw cow’s milk, cream and all organic ingredients. We topped this treat with our own garden grown strawberries. The kids LOVED it! Everyone loved it! Lisa and a few of the high school students taught the nutrition section and played a couple of games with the kids. One was: “Is it Whole Food, Lightly Processed or a Highly Processed Food-Like Substance?” It was a great hit. And they were fascinated to know that they could not tell on some of the foods unless they read the label. We then played the “Can you Read that Label?” game where we had some hideous processed foods (that they all eat! Lol) and some whole foods. We started a timer for 6 seconds to see who could read the label before the timer went off. They honestly could have played that all day! But the importance struck home and gave an awareness that we need to know what is in our foods and it should be food. The highlight was one little boy that looked up at me so full of honesty and openness and said: “so we really are what we eat”. The whole day was just a great experience for everyone and the FFA and the 4H came and helped to sponsor it. Each child was given a plant and a community garden t-shirt to take home and a flyer called “Eat Healthy and Be Well” that listed some ideas for mini goals we had talked about in the class for improving nutrition and food choices.

Pre-School Children:   We invited the local preschools to participate in the garden. Some came for field trip days and another actually rented a garden bed. Every Friday they came to the garden to plant and care for their bed. The student leaders met them and taught them simple garden principles. One preschool wanted to participate in the nutrition awareness program and the students will be meeting with them on October 9th to teach a more simple class on nutrition like we did for the 5th graders. There were a total of about 30 children in all.

TEACH THE PARENTS AND FAMILIES (40 participants with adults, students, & families)

Eat Smart and Be Well: This was an extension of our 5th grade day to include and influence the whole family. Garden team leaders (students and adults) asked families to participate in the healthy eating awareness project. We got some families that had a 5th grade child at the Garden Day, and other families of the high school students participated as well. They were invited to attend one of the regular monthly garden classes where Dee and Lisa gave a nutritional overview and the students described their work in the garden, what it has taught them and why becoming more aware of what we eat, where and how it is grown is so important. They each had a part to talk about and they each made a properly prepared, nutrient dense treat to share with the group. (Almond butter and celery, grapes and watermelon, seed crackers and humus, etc.) Each student had to prepare it using all organic ingredients and explain how and why they chose it and how it is possible to transition from processed food to good, tasty whole food recipes.

Each participant filled out an initial questionnaire to see their starting nutritional understanding and interest. Questions were mostly taken from the Foundations of Health and NTA information on the Nutritional Pioneers. They then set mini goals for their family to transition to healthier eating. We stressed awareness and progress, not perfection or judgment, and emphasized bio individuality. Every month families were sent some new nutritional information to read and questions to answer on their experience.

FINAL EVENTS FOR PROJECT COMPLETION (These will take place in October as follows)

  1. Students will present the garden project and community outreach program to the local City Council on October 2nd at 6pm at the Hurricane City Council Chambers.
  2. Students will properly prepare and serve a nutrient dense special dinner for all participants as a thank you and teaching tool, where we will practice what we have learned about proper digestion principles during the meal on October 23rd at 6:30pm
  3. Student Garden Team (6 students) will present the findings of their garden and Community Outreach Project in a Focus Group at the FFA nationals on October 29th in Louisville, Kentucky.


Student presentation City hall presenters2 Young gardeners Down on the farm Cottonwood creek farms garden project Cottonwood creek farms poster child Garden plenty Onion harvest

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