On their day off, the Eagles spent the afternoon with Greener Partners and Northern Children's Services at Guild House Farm ...
The sun was shining brightly on Monday at Guild Farm House in Philadelphia, making it the perfect setting for an afternoon of harvesting sweet potatoes. Joined by members of Eagles Care partnersNorthern Children's Services and Greener Partners, Connor Barwin and Bennie Logan were ready to start the fun and learn more about the importance of nutrition.
The day began by digging up sweet potatoes from the garden. Everyone used their hands to pull the vegetables from the soil, where they had been growing since planted in June. Barwin and Logan had plenty of help from the kids who attended the Community Monday event, and in no time, the group filled two large containers with crops.
"(The kids) were really good ... a little worried about the worms at first," Barwin laughed. "The people who planted the potatoes back in June did a good job because there was at least 60 to 80 pounds of sweet potatoes that we pulled out of the ground in 20 minutes."
Next on the agenda was making the sweet potatoes into something delicious - a dip containing cinnamon, vanilla and even maple syrup. To save time, the group used potatoes that were picked the day before at another Greener Partners location. Throughout the process, the organization's staff worked to educate everyone about the ingredients listed in the recipe.
After explaining, each item was placed into a blender. However, this one was not an ordinary kitchen blender. Attached to a stationary bike located in the grass next to the patches of soil, the blender was powered by peddling which meant everyone would get a turn to mix all the food together.
Being an avid biker, Barwin was more than excited to get his turn.
"That was funny. I liked the blender bike. That's real and clean energy there, so that was great," the linebacker said. "It worked well too. I didn't know how it would work, but it worked great."
Once the dip was completed, the group sampled their work, eating it with fresh apple slices. Adults and kids alike enjoyed the treat, and Barwin was glad to be part of this great learning experience for the children.
"I think it's just great to show kids where the food that they eat actually comes from," Barwin said. "It's easy to understand when they're putting their hands in the dirt and taking it out of the ground, bringing it over to the table, blending it up and then eating it. It's very easy to understand that and you can enjoy that as well. It was a lot of fun to see how excited the kids were once we actually started pulling the sweet potatoes out of the ground."
The event really showcased the mission of Greener Partners, which is to connect "communities through food, farms and education by increasing and strengthening public access to fresh, seasonal and local food." After the activities were finished and the food was enjoyed, it was clear the kids better understood the importance of clean eating.
For Barwin and Logan, the experience was one they both enjoyed and they are proud to be partnered with the organization for the 2015 season.
"I think it's great that the Eagles are teaming up with Greener Partners because they obviously do a great job of showing the kids how you take it from the dirt to the table and what you have to do to the vegetables," Barwin explained. "Obviously they have a wealth of knowledge doing it. It's great to see that they're going all around Philly teaching kids about that farm to table concept."