From seed to tray in Oakland: the power of Garden to Cafeteria programs

Today’s guest blogger is Oakland-based FoodCorps service member Danielle Nahal. You’ll want to read this one all the way through.

FoodCorps service member and guest author Danielle Nahal at Stonehurst Elementary in East Oakland

FoodCorps service member and guest author Danielle Nahal at Stonehurst Elementary in East Oakland

There are few places more exciting to be as a FoodCorps service member than Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). The district has made incredible strides both in their school garden programs as well as their school lunch initiatives, where the California Thursdays program has begun serving entirely California sourced, scratch-cooked meals every week across more than 80 schools.

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Report cards aren’t just for students anymore…

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CAFF Farm to School Coordinator and guest author Zea Luce

Our guest author today is Zea Luce, who is the Farm to School Coordinator for the Santa Clara Valley office of Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). Zea has been working on an interesting evaluation tool that can help improve relationships between school district staff and administrators. Read on to learn more!

As a school district, one of the best ways to increase sourcing of local produce is to simply ask your distributor to both label local products on invoices and deliver from more local farmers. But what if that sourcing goes unnoticed?

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Tell us what you’d like to see from CFSN!

California_Farm_to_School_Network_ContentAs we continue to gather stories from friends and partners in Farm to School around the state, we would love to know more about what brings you to the California Farm to School Network. What information, connections, or otherwise would be helpful to you?

Let us know in the survey below. We’ll link to this in the next issue of our monthly newsletter as well. (If you missed our April newsletter, you can view it right here.)

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Did you miss our webinar on Oakland Unified? You’re in luck!

PD boot camp 2We had a great time last week presenting a webinar on how Oakland Unified School District put together its robust Farm to School program by dreaming big and following through on some important projects. Even better news is that if you missed the webinar, you can still view it!

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How one FoodCorps member is making school garden connections coast-to-coast

FoodCorps service member and guest author Liz Puris (Sonoma County)

Today’s guest blogger is another of our fantastic California FoodCorps service members, Liz Puris. Liz serves in the North Coast office of Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), where she works hard on making strong local sourcing a reality for many schools throughout Sonoma County.

Liz also supports school gardens in a few Sonoma County schools, and found an amazing (and very cute!) way to foster connections and learning in the garden using the FoodCorps network. Read on to see how it’s paid off!

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Seeking Farm to School inspiration? Register for our first webinar!

One of the major reasons we organized as a statewide network to share powerful and interesting stories, methods, and best practices that can inspire you to take your Farm to School work to new heights.

One of the ways we’ll do this sharing is through a series of engaging webinars that highlight the best of the best in Farm to School around the state–the “cream of the crop,” so to speak!

We are so pleased to offer our first of these webinars on April 1st, 2014, at 11am. We’ll be sharing the story of Oakland Unified School District and we know that you’ll learn a lot from this great case study.

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