Farm to School Professional Development Course Offered in Partnership with Vermont FEED

Pic for webJoin Upper Valley Farm to School and Vermont FEED for a Level I Professional Learning Course: Cultivating Farm to School. This learning opportunity is designed for school educators, staff, administrators, and community members to explore and expand their personal and professional knowledge and experience related to Farm to School education while building and strengthening school community connections. Participants will be encouraged to build and develop shared learning experiences for their students while building and developing the vital relationships necessary to make Farm to School education a real and lasting part of their community, classroom and cafeteria.

Interactive class sessions will include a balance of hands-on cooking, individual work time, networking, guest presentations, dialogue, small group activities and practical experiences that will serve to deepen participant understanding of the various elements and promising practices of farm-to-school programs.

The class will take place at Mascoma Regional High School 4:00-7:00pm

3/21/17
4/4/17
4/25/17
5/9/17
5/23/17
6/6/17

We are very fortunate to be able to provide free tuition to all New Hampshire participants. New Hampshire participants will also be eligible to apply for a mini-grant to support a farm to school project in their school. Funding for this opportunity is from the Wellborn Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

To learn more about the course and to register please visit http://bit.ly/2kQvAyY or contact Beth Roy, Farm to School Coordinator at 802.291.9100 or Beth@VitalCommunities.org

Growing and Planning in Sharon!

SignWe’ve planted our garden beds on the south facing walls. We’ve put in radishes, lettuce and carrots. It’s an early start, but with the warm weather and the sun that hits this area, we already see evidence of growth! We also are experimenting with planting some garlic. Since we are having some cooler weather now, we went out before the frost and put a few rows of garlic in. We are hoping the frost tricks it into growing! Finally, plans for our annual, Farm and Field Day, are being finalized. This year’s event will take place on May 26th! – Keenan Haley, Teacher, Sharon Elementary School, Sharon, VT

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Garden Cleanup in White River

The White River School Community Garden got a face lift before Thanksgiving break.  About ten people joined in an effort to revive the garden after summer construction prevented us from growing over the summer. We had to let the garden re-wild, which isn’t such a bad thing since the growth will help to build soil. This is the 4th year of what we call the “1/4 Acre Farm” that includes apple trees, gooseberries, medicinal herbs, perennials and raised beds.  On behalf of the Creative Lives After School Program (CLASP), we thank everyone who came out and for all the support!
www.creativelives.org – Karen Ganey Restorative Ecology Curriculum Specialist, CLASP, White River Junction, VT

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Soups on in Sharon!

The soups keep coming! Using our garden harvest we have just tasted our third soup. This time the 5th grade made a borscht. They named it Bernie’s Borscht after a certain Presidential candidate! We have also harvested what may be our last round of lettuce from our south facing garden beds that are along our school wall. But, with this warm weather we’ve been having, you never know what could sprout up. Back to readying the gardens for next year! Oh, and some garlic planting. Keenan Haley, Teacher, Sharon Elementary School, Sharon, VT

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Farm to School Educational Forum – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Making it Happen At School

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Making it Happen At School

Being mindful of waste is good for the planet, is educational, saves you money, and adds strength to the social fabric of communities. Learn about the critical ingredients for success in managing recycling and reducing waste at schools, what the options are, and what compliance with Act 148 (Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law) looks like. We’ll help you identify the challenges and opportunities in your school community, demystify the process of source separation and on-site composting, and leave you inspired to get started in your school with a plan in hand.

When – Tuesday, March 22 – 4-6:30 pm

Where – Windsor Schools – 127 State Street, Windsor, VT

Registration – http://bit.ly/1PMZk7s


 

Presenters

Cat Buxton runs Grow More, Waste Less – Food Systems Consulting, in Sharon, VT. She has the practical know-how necessary to integrate complex systems around food, ecology, community and learning. She is an effective and enthusiastic teacher, presenter, community organizer, and an advocate for healthy food systems and the policies to support them. She works with three Upper Valley schools, is a life long gardener, a certified compost operator and a Vermont Master Composter.

Ham Gillett is the Act 148 Recycling/Composting Outreach Coordinator for the S. Windsor/Windham Counties and the Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste Management Districts. He has twelve years of experience in the solid waste/recycling industry. Ham was instrumental in the start-up of a small solid waste/recycling company in Vermont and was responsible for educating several communities when municipal recycling was first mandated. For four years he collected field data and engaged in research for an internationally recognized solid waste consulting firm, DSM Environmental Services. He has spoken to numerous schools, businesses, and civic organizations about solid waste, recycling and composting issues. He recently completed class work for the  UVM Extension Service Master Composter course.

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Digging in with Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union

Most of the districts around the supervisory union were able to plant garlic for the first time last month.  November was amazing for getting students outside to the gardens and they had a terrific time preparing the soil and cloves to plant! We also completed the third planting of perennial fruit-bearing bushes with Upper Valley Apple Corps. Next spring we hope to collaborate with UVAC again at our fourth school. The Vermont HOM taste test of kale was another success, and we are proud of our students who love to taste new seasonal foods! As the next season progresses we will turn attention to indoor growing projects. – Amy Richardson, WSESU FEAST Program Coordinator

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Raising Funds at the Farm Stand in Thetford

An end of year highlight at TES was the First Grade farm stand. Every day after school the week before Thanksgiving the students sold mini ‘glitter gourds’, popcorn, roasted pumpkin seeds, and mini pumpkin-oat muffins, all from the garden. The students earned over $100 in pennies and nickels and completely sold out of everything! Many thanks to all of the students, teachers, and parents who contribute to our beautiful gardens. – Cat Buxton, Garden Manager, Thetford Elementary School, Thetford, VT

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A Busy Holiday Season at Newton

Strafford’s Newton School students are creating a variety of farm and food based gifts to sell at the town craft fair to raise money to support their farm to school program including herbs, harvested from the school garden and dried in the classroom, and popcorn grown at Hurricane Flats. Third graders have a new batch of seeds growing in the science lab and sixth graders have planted the garlic and mulched all of the garden beds for a winter slumber. – Cat Buxton, Garden Manager, Newton Elementary, Strafford, VT

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Farm to School Professional Development Course Offered in Partnership with Vermont FEED

Join Upper Valley Farm to School and Vermont FEED for Integrating Farm to School into the Classroom with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. This professional development  course is designed for classroom teachers who are looking to deepen or expand their curriculum and project-based learning opportunities related to Farm to School including: nutrition, food systems, classroom cooking, and garden-based education.  Based on the feedback from past classes, this course has been developed with the needs of teachers in mind.  Designed to be dynamic and democratic, this emergent course will offer teachers the time and space to focus on projects of their choice, while also providing opportunities to learn from colleagues and others leaders in the field of Farm to School.  Interactive class sessions will feature a blend of individual work time, connections to standards, peer to peer feedback, resource sharing, hands-on food preparation, and large and small group discussions.

We are very fortunate to be able to provide free tuition to all New Hampshire teachers. New Hampshire teachers will also be eligible to apply for a mini-grant to support a farm to school project in their school. Funding for this opportunity is from the Wellborn Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

To learn more about the course and to register please visit http://bit.ly/1Mhi9Od or contact Beth Roy, Farm to School Coordinator at 802.291.9100 or Beth@VitalCommunities.org

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Soup for all in Sharon!

What a growing season! Most of our gardens have been put to bed, but we are still harvesting some herbs, kale, potatoes, leeks and HUGE guilfeather turnips. The Third Graders just made a wonderful potato/leek soup for the whole school. Next up, the fourth graders will make a Wild Apple/ Banana Squash soup. In fact, every class will be making a soup in the coming weeks for the school to eat. And the best part is, almost all the ingredients are right from our school yard! – Keenan Haley, Teacher, Sharon Elementary School, Sharon, VT

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