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Fourth-grader wins ag essay contest

Visitation Schools Athena VanDyke writes about Oregon blueberries


Visitation Catholic School fourth-grader Athena VanDyke is the winner of Oregon Ag Fest’s fifth annual “What We’re Made Of” essay contest.

She and her class will travel — expenses paid — to Salem on Thursday to “What We’re Made of Day” at the state fairgrounds.

Activities include 13 educational activities centered around helping students better understand where their food, fiber and flora come from. Students will spin wool, create living necklaces, race in mini-pedal tractors, and get to pet a variety of farm animals.

Students wrote essays about a variety of products that showcase Oregon’s diverse agricultural bounty, including peppermint, dairy, Christmas trees, blackberries, wheat and wool. The 26th annual Oregon Ag Fest will be open to the public April 27 and 28 at the state fairgrounds.

Oregon Ag Fest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the importance of agriculture. For more information visit oragfest.com. 

Below is a copy of the essay VanDyke wrote:

Oregon Blueberries

by Athena VanDyke,

Visitation Catholic School

Hello everybody my name is Athena VanDyke. I have come to tell you about Oregon blueberries. I will talk about how blueberries are healthy for you, what they are used for, and some types of blueberries. I will also include some fun facts about blueberries. Now read on to find out about Oregon blueberries.

Oregon blueberries are very nutritious with vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, fiber, zinc, and phytochemicals which help fight off disease and help you grow stronger. However, I wouldn’t recommended eating too many or else you just might get a stomach ache.

Now that you know that blueberries are healthy, I will tell you what people use them for. People use blueberries to make pies, cakes, toppings, fillings, cereals, muffins, pastries, milkshakes, waffles, trail mix, bread dough, cookie dough, jam and for eating just by themselves. You can see that blueberries are very useful in our lives.

You may think that there is only one type of blueberry plant; well if you do you are wrong. Some types of blueberries are the Berkeley, Bluetta, Bluejay, Bluecrop, Duke, Powder Blue, and the Rubel blueberry. That’s a lot of types of blueberries but there are even more! Besides the names, blueberries also taste different, like the Berkeley has a mild pleasing flavor while the Duke is firm and tart. There are many other differences such as width and height of the bush, but to tell you all the differences would take all day.

Now for some interesting facts! Blueberries are native to North America and they grow on shrubs. Blueberries don’t need anything to hold them up. People most of the time use machines to harvest blueberries but you can always hand-pick them with your family. Since blueberries like acid pH soils farmers put sawdust at the base of each plant. Blueberries do not need to be replanted every year. A field of blueberries can last more than 20 years.

Thank you for reading my report on Oregon’s tasty, sweet, nutritious and yummy blueberries. I hope you learned a lot by reading my Oregon Blueberries report. To end my report I will finish with one more fact. Scientists have found that people like blueberries just as they are and frankly I agree.




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