Tag Archives: Farm to School

Congratulations to California’s 2018 USDA Farm to School Grantees!

USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems announced today that 73 communities in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Guam have been awarded farm to school grants to explore, expand, or scale up their farm to school activities. The 2018 awards total $5.2 million, and will impact 2.8 million students.

Congratulations to our California Grantees:

  • Bakersfield City School District, Bakersfield

Through partnership, collaboration, and engagement, Bakersfield City School District will create a comprehensive network that incorporates food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste recovery.

  • Colusa County Office of Education, Colusa

Colusa County Office of Education (CCOE) will actively partner with the Colusa Indian Community Hand In Hand Learning Center, Williams Unified School District, Colusa County Resource Conservation District, and the Center for Healthy Communities to develop a comprehensive plan to incorporate locally grown foods on student meal trays and at home. The CCOE garden site will include a greenhouse for seedlings, leafy greens and vegetables in raised beds, and a small orchard of nut and fruit trees. The garden sites will also include a laboratory pathway of native grasses, shrubs, and trees that may be used as a “science classroom” for programs working to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Future Farmers of America members from around the county will also be able to use the “science classroom” as a training site.

  • Humboldt County Office of Education, Eureka

Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) will develop a comprehensive farm to school program in after-school settings to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and improve food and agricultural literacy for low-income students. Currently, their after-school students participate in HCOE’s Harvest of the Month (HOTM) culinary activities that feature local fruits and vegetables. This project will build on the HOTM framework by integrating hands-on gardening, experiential field trip opportunities, and local procurement for supper meals.

  • Los Molinos Unified School District, Los Molinos

Los Molinos Unified School District will develop relationships with industry partners and programs to build a new greenhouse and utilize the Horticulture Pathway. The district will develop cross-curricular lessons in various career pathways while Los Molinos High School will plan which fruits and vegetables will be grown in the new greenhouse. Students will be involved in a work-based learning environment that consists of preparing the soil, growing seedlings, supporting vegetation, crop management, crop production, and food preparation. A soil center, shade house, and a grape orchard will be developed and include crops such as carrots, lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, celery, and grapes. The future intent is to provide these vegetables and fruits to all three schools within the Los Molinos Unified School District.

CFSN Webinar: Advancing Collective Buying for Regional Small and Mid-Size K-12 Districts in the Central Coast – Lessons Learned and Directions

Please register for Advancing Collective Buying for Regional Small and Mid-Size K-12 Districts in the Central Coast: Lessons Learned and Directions on Jun 8, 2017 11:00 AM PDT at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1736835129747132673

Over the last three years over ten school districts in Santa Cruz and Monterey County, in concert with farm to school organizational partners, have developed joint purchasing contracts on produce to build upon existing collaborative sourcing acros–s multiple districts. This webinar will highlight a 2014-2017 CDFA specialty crop block grant’s development of a produce RFP that prioritizes regional and California grown fruit and vegetables as well as complementary promotion and engagement efforts that have increased student healthy eating behavior. Through presentations from K-12 cooperative purchasing district leads and partners from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) participants will gain new resources to aid their district and regional sourcing and promotion efforts. In addition, this session will also create a facilitated discussion space to explore collective buying challenges and barriers in order to inform future K-12 efforts.

CFSN Finds a New Home: Transitioning the Network to CDFA

Written by: Nicole Sturzenberger, CDFA, Office of Farm to Fork

The California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork is excited to begin the transition of the California Farm to School Network to our office. As the new Network lead, we look forward to strengthening the already robust movement built by CAFF and all farm to school stakeholders throughout California. During and after this transition, we will continue partnerships with CAFF, leading procurement efforts, UEPI, leading early childhood education work, and Lifelab, leading school garden efforts. The Office was also selected as the 2017-2019 National Farm to School Network California Core Partner and looks forward to communicating national farm to school efforts. These new roles recognize the Office’s leadership in the farm to school efforts and will provide new opportunities for us to continue building capacity and support for farm to school and early childhood education (ECE) activities in California. Continue reading

Slow Food USA-Whole Kids Foundation Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit Webinar

The Garden to Cafeteria toolkit is a study on the most successful garden to cafeteria programs in the US and a toolkit for how to implement the same in your garden and cafeteria program.

Join this webinar to learn more about the toolkit and how your school district can apply to receive on-site training from the Slow Food USA National School Garden Program to implement it.

Register here

Building Garden Support through Sprout Scouts

Written By: Mariah Marten-Ray, FoodCorps Service Member with One Cool Earth

Cross-posted from FoodCorps.org’s Field Reports

Students had just returned from summer vacation, and I welcomed my Sprout Scouts—the after school garden club—into the garden at Virginia Peterson Elementary School in Paso Robles, CA.  It was a hot and arid day. With every foot step dust and dry grass poofed into the air, and I felt like a kindred soul to the wilty leaves of the tomatoes and squashes.  Kids began racing into the garden at full speed as if it was a waterpark, their faces mystified by how much change their ½ acre garden had gone through over the summer.  Where my eyes saw chaotic overgrowth, their eyes saw a jungle to explore and a school year of gardening projects.

Continue reading