Procurement enthusiasts, this one’s for you!
Kristy Lyn Levings is the Project Director of Farm to School Yolo housed at the Yolo County Department of Agriculture. She is also part of the farming team at Chowdown Farm raising livestock and retailing at local farmers markets. She is the CAFF Regional Lead for the Sacramento Valley. Please visit their website: www.HarvestHubYolo.com for more information about Yolo County, its products, and its people.
In our last blog post, we explored the nuts and bolts of putting together our ‘Farms & Schools Marketplace Exchange’ and why. This large event brought farmers and school food service together in a ‘speed-dating’ type format where they exchanged profiles and started purchasing relationships. We did extensive follow-up in the weeks afterward to see how those budding relationships may or may not have translated into sales.
Today’s blogpost is another great one from Kristy Levings, Project Director with Harvest Hub Yolo (our Sacramento Valley regional lead!). Read on to learn about their recent Marketplace Exchange event, another example of the matching/”dating” model that’s so effective at bringing buyers and sellers of local food together. Here, it’s applied to Farm to School – Enjoy!
In our Farm to School world, we inevitably hear from school food service that they don’t know where to find farmers. While at the same time we also hear from farmers that they don’t know how to connect with School Food Service buyers. Oy Vey! What are we to do with two groups who seem to want to find each other but can’t?
To us, that sounds like the perfect setup – a setup for a “date!”
Who said Farm to School couldn’t be fun?
Today’s guest author is Erin Derden-Little: sharp-witted Humboldt County native, farm to cafeteria MVP, and Regional Food Systems Coordinator in CAFF’s Redwood Coast Office. Read on to learn how she turned a stroke of luck into a wildly successful Farm to School event for her region!
Have you ever heard an offer that was almost too good to be true?
Imagine our surprise when local rancher Clint Victorine made the following proposal – “I want to donate beef to every school in Humboldt County.” And not just any beef: top-quality, grass-fed, Eel River Organic Beef from Hydesville in the beautiful, lush Eel River Valley.
When it comes to really improving the lives of children in cafeterias and classrooms alike, Kevin and Autumn Hesser are emerging superstars up in Calaveras County and the surrounding Mother Lode region of the California Farm to School Network. (For a view of the Mother Lode and the rest of our current regions and regional leads, see this map!)
The Hessers, along with UC Master Gardener Odile Morrison, are the heart and soul of Gardens to Grow In, a newly-minted non-profit organization that began under the umbrella of Calaveras Unified School District Educational Foundation. Gardens to Grow In has acted as an incredibly strong community builder through its work to help school gardens get up and running, provide engaging nutrition and cooking education to youth, and support a number of other projects to enhance school food environments, such as on-campus farmers markets and sending families home with tools and skills to grow more food at home.