Sweat and Air Conditioning | Week 11 in Region 1

It has been a busy but less hectic week up here in northwest Iowa. I started out the week at the O’Brien County Fair in Primghar and ended the week getting some work done.

Salsa Scavenger Hunt

This week was salsa week at PoP Club! The kids first tried Salsa Fresca (you can find the recipe on ISU Extension’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart.). After trying the salsa, the kids had to go on a scavenger hunt around the farmers’ market to find the ingredients they thought were in the salsa. I put up pictures around the market of the ingredients since not all of the ingredients were in season yet. There were 5 ingredients that the kids needed to find. Most of the kids were able to find the first 3 ingredients, which were tomatoes, peppers, and onions. The last two were a little trickier. The kids struggled to identify the limes and garlic in the salsa.

Most of the kids enjoyed the salsa. I only had one child tell me that they didn’t like the salsa. I did have many kids say that they would have enjoyed the salsa better if it was blended. The Salsa Fresca was a chunky salsa and did not require any blending. I even had a child come up to my booth in Orange City and tell me that he didn’t like tomatoes. I asked if he wanted to try the salsa, and he said sure. I then proceeded to watch him eat a giant piece of tomato. He then told me that he liked the salsa! I found it a little humorous that he claimed to not like tomatoes, but he ended up liking them anyway. (I didn’t tell him that he just ate a tomato though, I think that may have made him change his mind).

I also had many new kids join PoP Club this week. After I explained to one of the new families what PoP Club is, the parent told me that their child did not eat vegetables. I offered my salsa to the child, he ate it, and he liked it. The parent first told me that they didn’t think he would eat it, but they were stunned when the child ate the salsa and liked it.

Fair Finale

I was at the O’Brien County Fair this week, which is the last fair in my region. On Monday, I set up the StoryWalk for families to do. On Tuesday, I did my last Dairy Detectives camp. Dairy Detectives was a free camp that kids of all ages could attend at the fair. The kids got to investigate the dairy industry and discover milk products.

The ice cream really hit the spot this week. It was a hot one at the fair. On Tuesday, it was in the upper 90s. It was so hot! I got so sweaty. We had to roll the ice cream balls a little bit longer since it was warmer, and the ice cream didn’t want to harden up. Once the ice cream was made, it didn’t take long to melt and return to the ice cream mixture.

After Dairy Detectives, I helped Kate Stewart, the O’Brien County K-12 Program Coordinator, set up her StoryWalk and weed her garden. Kate created a StoryWalk to lead the kids to the garden, where she has one of her summer camps. The kids can have a hands-on experience gardening and learn about gardening practices. It had just recently rained, and Kate and her campers have been unable to weed the garden. So naturally, there were a lot of weeds that needed to be pulled. I had some flashbacks to last summer when I would sit in the Rock Rapids Demonstration Garden and weed for hours under the scorching summer sun. But, it was over very soon, and I was able to return to my car’s air conditioning to take Bessie back to LeMars, IA, for the Plymouth County Fair.

Editing and Captioning

After spending two days at the O’Brien County Fair, I returned to the comforts of modern-day air conditioning to finished some projects. Does anyone remember the extension specialist videos that I recorded and were editing? Well, it was time to return to those. For a quick recap, I interviewed various extension specialists about their job, the resources they provide, and, in general, what they do. These videos will be used to inform the public about all of the resources that Extension provides and hopefully increase the number of people who use Extension resources.

So, I finally had some time after a long fair season to get back to this project.

Fun at Camp

Lastly, I had the opportunity to help one of the regional summer educators at 2 of her camps. Up here in northwest Iowa, we hire 3 people to run summer camps in 5 counties. I was able to help at the Paper Picasso camp, where kids got to make origami fish and dogs, as well as homemade cards and bookmarks.

The other camp I got to help at was Sew Fun! At this camp, kids learned how to thread a needle, a basic hand-sewing stitch, and they got to make 2 projects. This was a fun camp to help out at because I love sewing. Sewing is one of my hobbies and something I got very good at in 4-H. Fun fact, I almost double-majored in Ag Ed and Apparel Design. So, it was a lot of fun to teach something that I enjoy doing to a new generation and encourage them to, hopefully, continue sewing.

It has been a great week, and I can’t believe that next week will be my last week as a Rising Star Intern! Projects are starting to reach completion, and my car is slowly returning to normal (since the fair season started, my car has been full of Dairy Detectives, StoryWalk, and PoP Club supplies).

Until next week,

-Alex

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