Third and fourth grade students from Strafford’s Newton School grew seven types of soil sprouts in the classroom. Students each planted a tray with a one variety of seed. After four days in a dark, warm place they were moved to the sunny grow lab. It’s fun to watch them turn green so quickly! Within about ten days from planting the sprouts are ready to harvest, wash, and taste! Students will vote on which varieties to keep growing.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
The 3rd grade class at Upper Valley Waldorf School has had many gardening and farming experiences so far this School year. We began the year with a school garden that was wildly bountiful in beans, kale and tomatoes. We had a special meal where we set our table and served fresh homemade tomato sauce, green beans, and kale salad.
We have also had several trips to farms this fall. We visited Spring Brook farm where we learned about cows and making award winning cheese. Also this year, our class has the wonderful opportunity to visit Cedar Mountain Farm throughout the entire school year. So far this fall we have focused on harvesting for their CSA and market. Over the winter we will work with the animals and in the spring we will focus on preparation of the land and planting. We will finish the year with an overnight trip to a farm where we will get to experience what it is like to live and work on a farm for a couple of nights. – Daniel Masi, Teacher, Upper Valley Waldorf School, Quechee, VT
I am so excited to announce the 2016 mini-grant program at Upper Valley Farm to School! We have funding focused on both Vermont and New Hampshire schools. Start dreaming up your farm-to-school projects – we want to support you!
Mini-grants are designed to help your school, afterschool program, or school-related wellness program launch projects related to farms, our agricultural heritage, farm products, food production, or local food consumption at the school itself.
A broad range of projects has received funding in recent years including field trips to local farms, food from a local farm, materials for gardens and garden activities, and stipends for farmers, teachers, or FTS coordinators. Funds could also be used in the cafeteria, to pay for training, supplies, or equipment.
For additional information on eligibility, the application process, and possible projects, please download an application or contact me.
The Upper Valley Farm to School mini-grant program is made possible thanks to the Couch Family Foundation, the National Park Service, and the Wellborn Ecology Fund.
The third annual Taste of Tunbridge community dinner was a huge success. We had a fantastic crowd of more than 100 people in attendance, plus a successful take-a-chance table and Thanksgiving turkey raffle to help raise funds for our Farm to School program. This potluck dinner had one requirement, each dish shared must include at least one local ingredient. Each TCS grade and TA had a hand in preparing part of the meal, and created delicious dishes such as applesauce, carrot soup, Swedish apple bake, kale chips, baked wheat crackers, homemade rolls, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and more. We hope to replicate the event next harvest season! – Jen Thygesen, Farm to School Coordinator, Tunbridge Central School, Tunbridge, VT