Girls Inc. members make pizza dough from wheat they harvested

On the Thursday before the Jackson County Fair, the fifth- and sixth-grade girls known as the Butterflies were busy with their own projects.

This was an opportunity for the Girls Inc. of Jackson County members to experience agriculture in their garden.

Last fall, some of the girls in this group planted wheat. The crop was sparse due to the excessive rain this spring and summer.

The girls harvested the wheat. The girls separated the wheat grain heads from the wheat straw. The next station was for separating the chaff from the wheat grain. The girls had two stations for wheat grinding. One was with historic grinding stones, and the other was with an electric grinder.

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The girls returned on a recent Friday to make pizza dough from stone/electric ground wheat. The girls worked in groups of two or three to make pizzas to share or individual pizzas. The girls made pizzas that were large round, personal round and heart-shaped and breadsticks from the dough.

While the pizzas were cooking, we did some tasting of the individual ingredients: Tomatoes, parsley plants, thyme plants and the other spices and ingredients individually.

When the pizzas were done, the girls were very polite. Some really liked the deep-dish pizza that resulted, others ate only the tops off their pizza and others liked the bread part the best while stating that it tasted like biscuits.

The garden will continue to be tended with the goal of more Agriculture in the Classroom activities that will lead to eating the produce.

Nutrition comes from growing and eating healthy foods. Food always tastes better when you are involved in its production.

Marcia Monroe is president of Jackson County Farm Bureau. For the past two summers, she has volunteered her time at Girls Inc. of Jackson County to give the girls hands-on experience with growing, harvesting and cooking their own food in a garden setting. Send comments to [email protected].

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Stir and Roll Pizza from a 1960s Betty Crocker Cookbook

2 cups all-purpose flour (we used whole wheat flour); if using self-rising flour, omit baking powder and salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

⅔ cup milk

¼ cup salad oil

Pizza toppings: The girls used tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

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"The girls love the gardening projects. We appreciated Marcia volunteering her time with the girls. They are learning valuable lessons while having a lot of fun."

Girls Inc. of Jackson County Executive Director Ginger Schneck


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