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
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
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
Our seven school lunch beds, six theme beds, raspberries, blueberries, and fruit trees are all doing spectacularly well this year. TES summer school students adopted garden beds as a part of their summer curriculum. They learned how to take care of a garden: weeding, thinning, watering, deadheading, and picking bugs – and they learned a lot about science and math along the way! They kept their compost through the session to learn from it before adding it to the on-site compost system. On the last day of class the students had a harvest party with fresh salad and veggies, nasturtium pesto, and homemade ice cream with fresh blueberries. – Cat Buxton, School Garden Manager, Thetford Elementary School, Thetford, VT
For the 7th year in a row, the Woodstock Union Middle and High School Farm to School groups served up delicious wood-fired pizza from the Nordic Hut at Trek to Taste. We’ve established a wonderful partnership with NOFA-VT in the use of their mobile pizza oven and head baker. This year, we had more volunteers than ever, which was great because we went through half of our dough in the first hour of the event! We served more than 140 pizzas to almost 500 trekkers! Our bakers got really creative with topping combinations to make specialty pies. Some included spinach, arugula, and basil grown by students in the greenhouses at school and from Fable Farm in Barnard, bacon from Green Mountain Smokehouse, sauce from Pizza Chef, apples from Champlain Orchards, maple syrup from the student-run operation at the King Farm, and wonderful cheddar from Plymouth Cheese. A great time was had by all! – Kat Robbins, Place-Based Education Coordinator, Woodstock Union Middle and High School, Woodstock, VT