New Beginnings

While the end of any school year brings a lot of changes, this definitely has been a memorable one to say the least. First we would like to say congratulations to all of the 6th graders. While, we were sad that we could not enjoy your presence in the gardens as much this spring, we are sure that you can carry your enthusiasm and hard work in the gardens to your classrooms in the 7th grade!

We would also like to thank Francie Wesorick for her passion and dedication to the Dexter Farm to School Program for the last two years. As the Kitchen Classroom Flex teacher, she infused the classroom with joy and creativity. We will all miss her dearly!


This summer is also a new experience for myself as the Dexter Farm to School’s summer intern! My name is Tiffany Lee. I am an graduate student at the University of Michigan School of Public Health where I am pursuing a dual degree in Health Behavior Health Education and Epidemiology.

I am passionate about learning to listen and work with people and communities to achieve healthier lives. I think the Dexter Farm to School is an amazing program where students can learn about where their food comes from; how to organically grow their own fruits and vegetables to preparing them in the kitchen.

I have a passion for home-cooking, animals, and hope to one day own a farm! This summer, I am excited to share with you some tasty but easy, nutritious recipes in our weekly newsletters!

Garden Updates

In the last two weeks, we have done an amazing amount of weeding. In no time, we were able to get those seedlings in soil and ready for the growing season!

In the Sullivan Memorial Garden, we planted cherry tomatoes, larger beefsteak tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, basil, sunflowers, kale, collard greens, eggplants, zucchini, cucumber and pole beans.

Returning to the gardens, we were amazed to find that the strawberries had practically exploded! What started out as 8 seedlings last summer turned into a whole bed that overflowed into the walkways. Last week alone, we were able to pick just over 2 pounds of sweet strawberries from these bushes.

Freshly picked, juicy, red strawberies
The strawberry patch! Look at how it’s grown!

Unfortunately, this year, we are not going to hold the weekly farm market at the Dexter Wellness Center. While we are exploring other alternatives on distribution, we cannot be certain of plans for the next few weeks, but we will be sure to keep in touch!

Weekly Recipe
Low Sugar Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Imagine a world where you can say to your kids, “we are having chocolate pudding for breakfast!” This quick recipe tastes surprisingly similar to the real thing but with tons more fiber, more protein and way less sugar!

Make it a parfait and top it off with your favorite fruits, granola, nuts or seeds. I personally love the classic banana with chocolate pairing. But maybe add a tablespoon of peanut butter and granola for some crunch!

Ingredients (serves 4)
Time: 5-7 minutes + overnight

3/4 cup of chia seeds
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cup of whole milk (or milk substitute of your choice)
4 tbsp of maple syrup (add more for more sweetness)
pinch of sea salt
fruits and toppings of your choice!

– In a bowl whisk in chia seeds, unsweetened cocoa powder, milk, maple syrup and sea salt until combined
– Cover the bowl and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
– If you like the chunkier texture, top it off with your choice of fruits or granola then enjoy!
– If you like the smoother texture option, transfer the mixture to the blender and blend until smooth.

These pudding cups will last for 5-7 days in the refrigerator as long as it’s in an airtight container.

Did you know?
Chia seeds are amazing sources for fiber, iron, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids, which lowers “bad” HDL cholesterol. 2 tablespoons of chia seeds will fulfill 40% of your daily fiber needs!

What can I do with the remaining chia seeds?
Chia seeds can be pricey, so you may want to know other uses for chia seeds! Here are some suggestions to add a daily boost of fiber to your diet:

  • Add a couple of tablespoons when you are cooking oatmeal
  • Add them into your smoothies as a topping or blended in
  • For vegans, chia seeds apparently are a good egg-substitute.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

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