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

Garden Fresh in Sharon!

We are back in session and our gardens are in full bloom! During our First Day celebration students harvested veggies. Some of these veggies ended up on the salad bar that day! We are also busy processing our produce for later use in the cafeteria. Today we were treated to a Caprese salad. The tomatoes and basil were picked right outside our classrooms! – Keenan Haley, Teacher, Sharon Elementary School, Sharon, VT

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

The Dough was Flying in Woodstock! (UVFTS Mini-Grant Showcase Project)

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

Growing for the New School Year at Newton

The pizza-garden wheat and “sauce veggies” are thriving thanks to a perfect mix of sun and rain this summer. “Stone soup” veggies are well on their way, along with sunflowers and other flowers. One new idea is to have students collect flower seeds, make seed packets, and sell as a fundraiser. Happy growing, everyone! – Kate Reimanis, Farm to School Coordinator, Newton School, Strafford, VT

Grow It! Returns to White River Junction – September 17

Upper Valley Farm to School will host a Vermont Community Garden Network Grow it! workshop in White River Junction. Join community and school garden leaders from around your region for this unique training series. Learn strategies to boost your garden programs, share stories and ideas, and celebrate this growing movement! Presented by Vermont Community Garden Network in partnership with regional garden expert Charlie Nardozzi. Please visit to register.

VCGN larger

Sprouting Community in West Fairlee – (UVFTS Mini-Grant Showcase Project)

The Westshire Elementary School students were eagerly awaiting spring planting time. Last year’s gardens were just a big beautiful memory when we gathered together this spring. In June we built our raised beds and proved we could grow vegetables in them. This year we wanted to learn about starting and transplanting seeds so we decided to enlist a local farmer, Janet Taylor, from Crossroad Farm. Many of our students’ families buy produce and flowers there so the students already had a connection to Janet and what she does at the farm. With the help from our farm-to-school mini-grant, Janet came to a special assembly one afternoon in early April. She talked to us about what seeds need to grow and how to plant them. The kids loved looking at the seed samples she passed around. Some seeds were huge and some could barely be seen as they were so tiny. She showed us examples of plants that were just peeking up out of the trays and larger plants that she had planted several weeks before. She also demonstrated how to transplant seedlings into larger pots. Janet left us a whole tray of marigold seedlings which we transplanted into bigger pots and gave to our mothers for Mother’s Day and to the Kindergarten families who will be joining us next year. After we listened and asked great gardening questions, we all went to our classroom stations and planted trays of seeds in potting soil donated by Vermont Compost. We planted sunflowers, broccoli, cucumbers, oregano, parsley, and all types of yummy veggies. We look forward to our fall harvest thanks to support from our community, Crossroad Farm, and Vital Communities. We learn more from each other every year and this information helps to empower our students to be connected to their school and community! – Jen Shatney, Volunteer, Westshire Elementary School, West Fairlee, VT

Garden Day Brings Tunbridge Together – (UVFTS Mini-Grant Showcase Project)

The Tunbridge Central School held their second annual “Garden Day” on Thursday, May 28. Students and teachers celebrated and enjoyed TCS’s Farm to School program by getting their hands dirty and working together in the school gardens all afternoon. We appreciate support from Upper Valley Farm to School mini-grant program for funding a variety of garden supplies such as tools, plants, and mulch for this special event. To kick off Garden Day, students enjoyed a delicious lunch of local foods including pulled pork sandwiches and sloppy joes with local meats from Back Beyond Farm and Howvale Farm, caprese salad and salsa (made by grades 6 & 7) with tomatoes from Long Wind Farm, potato salad with potatoes from Chapelle’s Vermont Potatoes, yogurt from Stonyfield Organic, and a salad of mesclun greens from Tunbridge Hill Farm. After lunch, all students from grades K to 8 were divided into teams where they weeded, spread compost and planted in the gardens, made scarecrows, went for a hike, did trail work, pruned and mulched bushes and plants, and cleaned up tree limbs that blew over in the previous day’s storm. Teams of student photographers also recorded the day’s work with cameras in hand. A quick passing rainstorm sent everyone inside a little early, but many students were back out planting and pruning as soon as possible after the storm passed. Finally, each student potted and took home their own marigold, and all enjoyed popsicles at the end of the day. Thank you to all the teachers and volunteers who invested so much time and enthusiasm into creating a successful Garden Day for TCS students. There’s still a lot of work to do, but what a rewarding start to the gardening season! – Jen Thygesen, Farm to School Coordinator, Tunridge Elementary School, Tunbridge, VT

Planting for the Bees on Maple Avenue – (UVFTS Mini-Grant Showcase Project)

What is the buzz all about at Maple Avenue Elementary School in Claremont, NH? The pollinator garden! Students in Mrs. Tetu’s 4th grade class learned about various pollinators and the critical roll they fulfill. These junior gardeners researched the parts of the plant and the optimal plants for our  region. Beebalm, coneflower, phlox, and more were added to an existing garden by the students to form a pollen paradise. – Skylar Tetu, Teacher, Maple Avenue, School, Claremont, NH

1 2 3 4