Written by: Kim Oldham, FoodCorps Service Member with UCCE Central Sierra 

I have asked children on many occasions what they want to do in the garden and almost every time it leads to the same thing - they want to dig in the dirt. I question my maturity daily because if you were to ask me that same question you would get the same response. One of my best memories with the kids is their first encounter with a Black Soldier Fly Larvae. You can just imagine the screams of disgust as they called me over. I calmly picked it up and had a discussion about it and then simply placed it in the little girls hand and said ”Here you go you can put it back in the compost so it can do its job.” Without hesitation she skipped off and put it back. At that moment besides the internal giggling I realized how much I influence my students.  Since my service I have tried to create as many ways to give these kids the opportunity to get dirty. So lets talk compost! ...continue reading Friendly Red Wigglers Amend School Garden Soil

Written by: Ben Feldman, FoodCorps Service Member with North Coast Opportunities

When my elementary school students see me on campus, they eagerly yell at me, sometimes all the way across playgrounds and long hallways, “Hi, Mr. Ben!” But when my students see me running errands at the hardware store or pharmacy, they usually seem a bit shy and confused (I suspect many of them think Mr. Ben lives in the school garden and never leaves).  ...continue reading Harvest of the Month in Konocti Unified School District

Written by: Lydia Yamaguchi, FoodCorps Service Member with Oakland Unified School District 

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 5.32.51 PMThis piece is an overview of FoodCorps service in one of the largest school districts in California (i.e. Oakland Unified School District). Lydia takes us a on walk through of a "typical day of service" and how Oakland Unified is promoting farm to school through direct education and weekly farmers' market stands. ...continue reading A Day in the Life: rainbows and worm tea and produce, oh my!

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Written by: Colin Cureton, Director at CHIP Food Systems 

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 1.56.22 PMOn a rare rainy day in early May, over 50 farm-to-school partners in San Diego County found their way to a Chula Vista Elementary School District production kitchen just 5 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border for the most recent convening of the San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce and this year’s CFSN Regional Gathering. In contrast to the old adage, having too many cooks in this kitchen turned out to be a wonderful thing! ...continue reading San Diego County Farm to School Taskforce Hosts 2nd Regional Gathering

Written by: Hayley Baumgartner, FoodCorps Service Member with Center for Healthy Communities 

FullSizeRender“Hey!, Hey!!, HEEEYYYY!!! What do you guys have today??” a pair of fourth grade girls call to me through the chain link fence as I am setting up a farm stand booth in the hot valley sun. “We have strawberries today,” I call back and they squeal “YESSSS!” in excitement as they jump up and down. “We brought money today” they tell me enthusiastically.  ...continue reading Farm Stands and Schools: How to Successfully Sell Produce to Elementary Students

Here, at the California Farm to School Network, we are so excited to announce the first California Golden Seed Awards! Over the past two years, we have been increasingly impressed and inspired by the growing interest and implementation of Farm to School programs around the state. From student learning that they love lettuce after a taste test, to the $167,644,000 CA school districts spent on local produce, as reported in the USDA Farm to School Census, each impact is significant.

The Golden Seed Awards are meant not only to recognize Farm to School champions, but also to foster recognition of schools or districts that are just starting to grow their Farm to School programs. Whether you started your first school garden this year or have an established a student run-farm – we want to hear from you! Applicants will be evaluated by their contributions to the three pillars of Farm to School – procurement, education, and school gardens. With three different awards categories, anyone can win!golden seed final

Sow, Grow and Harvest awards will be granted to applicants participating in at least one, two or three of the pillars (respectively). Awards will be chosen by a committee established by CFSN and will be announced in mid-August. Prizes include passes to the 2017 California Farm to School Conference, passes to pre-conference field trips, technical assistance for beginning programs and lots of media attention!

Above all, your application helps CFSN keep a pulse on Farm to School around the state, identifying our strengths and opportunities to grow. We know that Farm to School efforts aren’t always acknowledged in the fast-paced world of education, so we thank you. We are excited to hear from you and honor the great work happening all around the state.

To apply, please visit www.cafarmtoschool.org/about/goldenseed.

For any questions, please contact farmtoschool@caff.org.

This project is supported by Whole Foods Market Northern California and Reno as well as  the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program of the California Department of Food and Agriculture.