Taste of Tunbridge a Huge Success!

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

Farm to School Professional Development Course Offered in Partnership with Vermont FEED

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

Soup for all in Sharon!

What a growing season! Most of our gardens have been put to bed, but we are still harvesting some herbs, kale, potatoes, leeks and HUGE guilfeather turnips. The Third Graders just made a wonderful potato/leek soup for the whole school. Next up, the fourth graders will make a Wild Apple/ Banana Squash soup. In fact, every class will be making a soup in the coming weeks for the school to eat. And the best part is, almost all the ingredients are right from our school yard! – Keenan Haley, Teacher, Sharon Elementary School, Sharon, VT

Raising Funds and Spirits in Newbury

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

Enjoying the Fruits of Their Labor in Norwich

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

Goat Math at Hanover Street School

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

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

Two Amazing Farm-to-School Learning Opportunities in the Upper Valley!

NH FTS logo 2USDA Procurement Regulations and Farm to School Practices

Presented by Stacey Purslow, NH Farm to School program coordinator


USDA Procurement regulations regarding school food purchases will be enforced starting on July 1, 2016. Purchases made for any federally funded meal program will have to comply. Documentation of your procurements will become part of the audits that the Bureau of Nutrition Programs and Services does. This workshop is appropriate for food service staff, farm to school coordinators, and farmers interested in selling to schools and provides an overview of the requirements with a focus on farm to school and how to use the process to make local food purchases. 
New Hampshire Farm to School is a program of the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire. Stacey Purslow, DTR,  has been the program coordinator since 2009. Stacey has a background in food service and nutrition and also coordinates the New Hampshire School and Youth Garden Network as well as New Hampshire Gleans.

When: Thursday, December 10
Where: Co-op Food Store, Lebanon, NH (Culinary Learning Center)
Time: 3:30-5 pm
Cost: FREE! (but please register, space is limited)
Registration: http://bit.ly/1iD5JJ5

Hunger free logo

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.

When: Wednesday, January 6
WhereSamuel Morey Elementary School
Time: 3-5:30 pm
Cost: FREE (but please register, space is limited)
Registration: http://bit.ly/1liJpq0


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

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