Small Steps are Huge Wins: Two Months of Service Told in Haikus

Written By: Amy Garfinkel, FoodCorps Service Member with San Diego Unified School District

Healthy school meal options in San Diego Unified include: savory tortilla soup, scratch-cooked ribs, whole grain buns, fat-free milk, and a plethora of fresh fruits and veggies from the salad bar.

Healthy school meal options in San Diego Unified include: savory tortilla soup, scratch-cooked ribs, whole grain buns, fat-free milk, and a plethora of fresh fruits and veggies from the salad bar.

It’s September 1st
I’m thrilled to start my service
It’s a dream come true.

Continue reading

Serving Food and Serving Communities

Written by: Brianna Egan, FoodCorps Service Member with Pajaro Valley Unified School District

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

Students from the Jóvenes SANOS youth group voiced their perspectives on the lunchrooms at Watsonville High and E.A. Hall Middle School as part of a design-thinking activity I facilitated with them. The current cafeterias are “old school” and “institutionalized”. They’d love to see more Mexican food, a salad bar, and even a fresh juice bar.

The fall season brings with it a time of reflection—a time to gather the final harvests of summer and to lay down plans, like cover crops, for the coming year. This fall, in my second month of service through FoodCorps at Pajaro Valley Unified School District, I am reflecting on my whirlwind introduction to school food and laying down plans on how I will work to connect kids with healthy food this year.

Every morning on my commute to the school district’s offices in Watsonville, California I pass by acres and acres of farmland. I turn my head to make out the fruits on the rows and I see farmworkers, bent over, tending to the fields. Raspberries, strawberries, lettuce greens, hoodies, denim…they blur into shades of deep green and dust brown. I cannot wrest away the thought that the growing of our food is intimately connected to people, to families, and to communities.

Continue reading

Farm to School Matters

Thanks to everyone who participated in National Farm to School Month! Whether you crunched, planted a garden or participated in another activity, your impact is immeasurable. watering canWell actually….while we can’t measure the way a child’s face lights up when they bite into a persimmon for the first time, we used the data that we received from the Golden Seed Awards applications and the USDA Farm to School Census to measure the broader impact of farm to school statewide. We compiled the data in an infographic that we’re calling “Farm to School Matters.” View the infographic here.

CA Farm to School & Garden Conference: Call for Proposals

The California Farm to School Network (CFSN) invites you to submit a proposal for the 2017 California Farm to School and Garden Conference: Connecting the Garden, Cafeteria and the Classroom. The 2nd biannual CFSN conference will cover a variety of topics designed to support and inspire farm to school and school garden practitioners all around the state! This is your opportunity to share your expertise and innovative ideas to help grow the farm to school and school garden movement in California. Please visit the conference page to view examples from the 2015 CFSN Conference.

CFSN Conf Plenary 2015For more information, download the informational pdf. When you are ready to submit a proposal, use this link. Proposals are due by December 2nd.

Introducing Your Golden Seed Awards Winners

Kicking off National Farm to School Month with a bang, we were so excited to announce the winners of the Golden Seed Awards in our newsletter earlier this week! The awards highlight farm to school efforts throughout California. 

watermelon-radish-at-manteca-school-district

A student at Manteca Unified shows off their harvest

With a number of competitive applicants, we honored winners across 11 regions and three award categories, including Sow, Grow and Harvest. In addition, nearly 20 schools and districts were recognized with honorable mentions.

The Golden Seed Awards were created to recognize farm to school champions and foster recognition of California schools and districts that are beginning to grow their farm to school programs. Applicants were evaluated on their unique and innovative programs as well as their contributions to the three pillars of farm to school: procurement, education and gardens.