Building Community in Newbury

Things are humming at Newbury Elementary! Our raised beds and gardens yielded some delicious crops for our kitchen: potatoes, squash, onions, carrots, and tomatoes, to name a few. Chef Paul, our food service magician, is ordering a wonderful new food processor with farm to school grant money. His efforts in the kitchen will be so much more efficient with this invaluable tool. Two early primary classes have used our Farm to School cooking/baking kits to share some home-made goodness with a local elderly community. The elders and our young first and second grade students shared reading and conversation, fueled by the healthy goodies. This great idea was spawned by two brand new teachers at NES who are excited about Farm to School and connecting with community. On October 6th, our beloved parent group FoNES, will host the 3rd annual FarmRaiser on the Newbury Common. Numerous local farmers gather to sell their goods all the while fundraising for the school. Music, hayrides, cider pressing and other demonstrations will be featured. Come and join in the healthy fun! It’s exciting to be a part of Newbury’s growing Farm to School program! – Kim Goody, Farm to School Coordinator, Newbury Elementary, Newbury, VT

Starting a Great Farm to School Year in Woodstock

Woodstock Union Middle High School started off the year with potato harvesting, seed saving, pesto and pickle making and more! Seventh grade science students are using the organisms in the garden to explore ‘what makes something alive?’. Students in the Locally Grown class have planted their first round of salad greens for the cafeteria, learned about the pros and cons of food processing, and are tackling the big issue of food waste. This year is off to a great start! – Kate Robbins, Place-based Education Coordinator, Woodstock Union Middle High School, Woodstock, VT

It’s Fair Time in Tunbridge!

A highlight for TCS students in September is, of course, visiting the Tunbridge World’s Fair. On Thursday, Sept 17, the entire school enjoyed a field trip to the fair to visit the animal barns, check out the vegetable entries and largest pumpkins, plus have a hands-on history lesson on Antique Hill. TCS grades 5 & 6 are also participating in “Community Week” from Sept. 28 – Oct. 2. Each day they venture out into the community for various trips and projects, including a field trip to two local farms. At Tunbridge Hill Farm they will help harvest fall vegetables, and at Seize the Day Farm they will learn about dairy farming. As a culmination project at the end of their week, with the help of many local community volunteers, they will be constructing raised beds in one of the school gardens. The entire school is also beginning to prepare for the third annual Taste of Tunbridge community dinner on Friday, October 9th. – Jen Thygeson, Farm to School Coordinator, Tunbridge Elementary School, Tunbridge, VT

Gardens to the Lunchroom in Sharon

We continue to harvest from our gardens! Our lunch has featured roasted root veggies, kale chips and fresh salad fixings all from our school yard. Classes are beginning to harvest their own gardens in preparation for different food experiences. Our upcoming Jr. Iron Chef event will feature the Sharon team using produce from the garden in their recipes. They are whipping up some yummy dishes! Keenan Haley, Teacher, Sharon Elementary, Sharon, VT

The Different Harvests at Marion Cross

Marion Cross Elementary students in Norwich have been harvesting the school garden during “elective” time on Wednesdays. Every year our garden has given us a different version of Harvest, and this year is no exception. Last year we had an abundance of potatoes, carrots, and onions, while this year (due to the tree that had fallen on the potato and onion patch for most of the growing season) we had almost none of those vegetables. This year we are overflowing with birdhouse gourds, which we will make into gourd percussion instruments. There is also a great supply of zucchini and beans. Today we cooked delicious Korean zucchini pancakes and shelled beans for a soup. We will also be participating in a school wide harvest collection for Willing Hands during the month of October, sharing harvest from our home gardens as well as the school garden. Lindsay Putnam, LEEEP Coordinator, Marion Cross School, Norwich, VT

One Busy Supervisory Union!

Around WSESU the gardens are in various stages of use and bloom! In Windsor the new raised beds are full of flowers and beans. Winter squash is ripening and the basil is huge! Hartland Elementary has brassicas and tomatoes growing. All four districts are working on developing pollinator gardens for educational opportunities starting right away! Over the summer each school installed a new photo display depicting local farmers and producers that work with the school communities. This is an ongoing project and we look forward to adding more pictures this year. – Amy Richardson, Farm-to-School Coordinator, Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union, VT

Bountiful Beds in Thetford

The Thetford Elementary School gardens are simply stunning this year. The apple and pear trees, the fall raspberries, and the cranberries are loaded with fruit. The raised Theme Garden beds are bursting with colors and textures and the School Lunch beds are providing a steady supplement of fresh produce for the cafeteria. This year we are really excited about our healthiest ever sweet potato crop. We hope their yield is as bountiful as their lush vines are! – Cat Buxton, Garden Manager, Thetford Elementary School, Thetford, VT

Pizza is on the Menu at Newton

This week Newton Elementary School in Strafford will begin harvesting their awesome Pizza Garden. The Grade 3-5 students will clip off the wheat seed heads this week and will finish drying the grain in the classroom in brown paper bags. Later this month the students will thresh, winnow, and grind the wheat and make it into pizza dough. The tomatoes, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs from their garden will combine into a tasty pizza sauce. We’re excited to have our own school-grown and student crafted pizza to celebrate an amazing harvest season! – Cat Buxton, Garden Manager, Newton Elementary, Strafford, VT

Unity is Starting the Year with Farm to School

Unity Elementary’s salad bar features tomatoes and cucumbers from our small but growing garden! We are looking forward to starting some food-based lessons in our classrooms this fall and will apply for the King Arthur Flour’s Bake for Good program. Our 8th graders baked goodies for a summer farmers market held at the school to raise money for their class trip in May. We’re off to a great start! – Jennifer Thompson, Teacher, Unity Elementary School, Unity, NH

Summer School in the Garden at Thetford Elementary

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

1 2 3