The Weakley County Farm to School Project in collaboration with the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network and Weakley Arts Can organized a Harvest of the Month (HOTM) poster challenge during the spring 2021 to create a 2021-2022 school-year calendar. The Harvest of the Month program’s goal is to encourage healthy food choices by increasing Northwest Tennessee residents’ exposure to seasonal foods while also supporting local farmers and building excitement about home cooked meals.
“This project is well-rounded in that it combines awareness of the seasonality of food, art, and connection with our local food system,” commented Samantha Goyret, Executive Director of the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network. “The entries showed great artistic skill and knowledge as to how the selected locally grown item was depicted.”
14 winners were selected from a total of 55 entries from Weakley County School students. The winning artwork is featured in a 12-month school year calendar starting in September 2021. The Calendar has been designed by Weakley Arts Can Member Katie Mantooth.
“Weakley County Schools is very fortunate to have such great supporters of both ag and the arts in our area,” said Randy Frazier, director of Weakley County Schools. “Our rich farming heritage deserves to be celebrated and we are grateful to the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network and Weakley Arts Can for highlighting our students’ talent and producing such a practical tool for us.”
The calendar will be distributed throughout the Weakley County School System and featured in each school cafeteria.
The following student artists won the poster challenge (grade levels are from the previous school year 2020-2021):
- The cover winner with a colored pencil drawing of an apple tree: Scarlett Lovell – 1st grade.
- September apple collage: Kimberly Mendenhall – Kindergarten
- October pumpkin drawing in marker and crayon: Annslee Weatherly – 3rd grade
- November sweet potato drawing in colored pencil: Annabelle Lovell – 6th grade
- December turnip greens drawing in colored pencil: Cara Webb – 2nd grade
- January greens drawing in marker and crayon: Kiya Davis – 4th grade
- February: Honey drawing in marker and crayon: Maci Jo Buckley – 3rd grade
- March herbs drawing in colored pencil and marker: Ellie Dodson – 10th grade
- April asparagus drawing in colored pencil and marker: Annabelle Lovell – 6th grade
- May strawberries caricature drawing: Lilly Beth Nevil – 8th grade
- June berry drawing in colored pencil: Madison Brewer – 7th grade
- July tomatoes in colored pencil: Tegan Stout – Kindergarten
- August cucumber drawings in colored pencil – Maci Jo Buckley – 2nd, and AhLee Mae Burton – 2nd grade
Students received local food and produce prizes from the following farms: Barefoot Gardens, Blackberry Pond Farm, Dixie Chile Ranch, Parham Family Farm, Purrfectly Homemade, and Turnbow Family Farm.
The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network’s mission is to catalyze actions that are increasing access to locally grown and produced foods.
This program’s material is based upon work that is supported by the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Weakley County School District and Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network.
For more information about the Harvest of the Month program, recipes, how to purchase a calendar and/or download informational posters, visit the Local Food Network’s website at: nwtnlfn.org/taste-of-tennessee.
~ Karen Campbell
Weakley County Schools