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Welcome reception to the first, and hopefully biennial, California Farm to School Conference.

From May 4 – 6, 2015, nearly 300 farmers, school food service, advocates, vendors, and more gathered in Pacific Grove, CA, for the first California Farm to School Conference. Held in Julia Morgan designed buildings at the beautiful Asilomar Conference Grounds on the Monterey Bay coast, conference attendees had the opportunity to experience a variety of activities from field trips to engaging presentations. ...continue reading

Shannon_McDowell After receiving a B.S. in Dietetics from her home state university, University of Vermont, FoodCorps Service Member Shannon McDowell moved west to serve a year with the  Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) -- formerly, Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP) -- in Chico, CA. Dedicated to providing youth and community members with nutrition education, Shannon is supporting her service site through its Harvest of the Month program by sourcing and preparing an upwards of 5,000 tastings per month. Read on to learn about how Shannon has helped support and spearhead Harvest of the Month in the North Valley region. 

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Emily_MetzgerPrior to joining FoodCorps and serving her home county in Calaveras, Emily Metzger received a BA in Elementary Education at Westmont College and then spent a 2 year stint traveling across the nation working on organic farms. Now as a FoodCorps service member, Emily is teaching classes at elementary schools in Calaveras and supporting FFA at the local high school while also simultaneously supporting her family farm. Read on to learn how Emily is making the connection from her family farm to the school cafeteria and classroom. 

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Michelle_PinterPetrilloAfter serving with AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) and working with various non-profits, Michelle Pinter-Petrillo decided to serve another year with FoodCorps California and Oakland Unified School District. As a garden educator, Michelle manages two high school youth while simultaneously leading lessons in school gardens at East Oakland Pride (EOP) and Martin Luther King, Jr. elementary schools. Continue reading to learn how Michelle is empowering youth from these Oakland communities.

Watching a 2nd grader’s first bite of lettuce straight from the garden is a rewarding experience, but watching Oakland high school students develop and lead a lettuce tasting activity for Oakland elementary students was a service defining ‘a-ha’ moment for me.

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DSC_5761The California Farm to School Network's newly-formed Steering Committee has been busy these past few months. After some discussion and collaboration, we've put together a strong Values Statement and a list of Farm to School Principles that we hope define our vision for CFSN over the coming years. Take our survey below, after the jump.

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Chris_Massa-2After FoodCorps Service Member, Chris Massa, served 1.5 years with Ventura Unified School District in southern California. After starting a student farm with the district, Chris has moved on from his service and is now the Farm to School Operations Specialist with Ventura Unified. Read on to see Chris's findings and the importance of student-based farms.

“Is this seed really going to grow?”

This is a persistent question I encounter while learning in the garden with students from Ventura Unified School District. “If we provide it with all the necessary elements, air, sun, water, and soil, it surely will,” I reply.

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