Newbury Elementary School hosted the Third Annual FarmRaiser on the Newbury Common in October. Many local farmers were present selling their wares, everything from cheese to vegetables to baked goods and prepared foods and household goods. This fundraiser benefits our local farmers and supports farm to school initiatives in the school. The community embraced the chance to wander through the market making purchases, visit together, take a hay ride, listen to music provided by elementary and high school students and staff, press cider, make butter, and taste homemade soup and bread! Our FarmRaiser is such a hub of positive, healthy community spirit and we thank our Friends of Newbury Elementary School (FoNES) group for doing the immense work it takes to host such an event. November finds us putting raised beds and gardens to bed, making plans for spring plantings, and creating warm and comforting foods for taste tests within the school with our farm to school cooking and baking kits. Happy November! Now let’s all hunker down for the long winter!- Kim Goody, Farm to School Coordinator, Newbury Elementary, Newbury, VT
The Marion Cross Elementary School community enjoyed the fruits of the school garden harvest at the Open House event in October. Students harvested and prepped many pounds of vegetables – squash, tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, corn, beans, and onions. Parent volunteers cooked it all up. King Arthur Flour generously donated many loaves of bread for our meal. Much of the harvest came from a Three Sister’s planting done by third graders last spring who had been studying Native American culture and history. This fall, the “Earth Stewardship” elective crew dove into the harvest season and helped prepare a feast which was enjoyed by all the families of the Marion Cross community. – Lindsay Putnam, LEEEP Coordinator, Marion Cross School, Norwich, VT
Second graders at Hanover Street School in Lebanon, NH are currently collecting change to buy a goat through Heifer International. In honor of World Hunger Day on October 16, all second graders read ‘Beatrice’s Goat’ by Page McBrier with their Art teacher, Mrs. Cardillo. A student from Mrs. Hayes’ class even created what she calls ‘Goat Math’ as the students regularly account for money they have raised. As part their World Hunger day celebration, students will also be harvesting potatoes from the school garden and working together with our Cafe’ Service Director, Dennis Samuel, to prepare a potato soup to share. – Marjie Bish, Teacher, Hanover Street School, Lebanon, NH
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
USDA Procurement Regulations and Farm to School Practices
The School Meals-Food Access-Farm to School Connection
Presented by Anore Horton, Hunger Free Vermont, Nutrition Initiatives Director
Do you know about all of the different federally funded meal programs available to schools and community organizations? In this customized workshop, you will learn which child nutrition programs your school or organization is eligible for and which ones your school is using. You will also learn about which types of students are participating and which ones are not. You will learn how you can help ensure that families have enough food at home. Most importantly, you will leave with specific actions you can take to strengthen your school’s meal program finances, and at the same time reach more students with nutritious and local food. This program is appropriate for food service staff, farm-to-school coordinators, school administrators and anyone interested in finding creative ways to feed our children.
Anore leads the Nutrition Initiatives Team at Hunger Free Vermont, which works with schools, community organizations, food service providers, state and federal policymakers, and agency partners to develop and expand federally funded school lunch and breakfast programs, after-school and summer meal programs, and childcare meal programs.
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
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
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
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
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