Schools throughout northwest Lower Michigan are cooking up locally grown food for lunch this October and celebrating the second annual National Farm to School Month. Kids are enjoying recipes for school lunches with produce from nearby farms, and farmers are showing up in classrooms to let kids know how their food is grown.
Congress designated this special month in 2010 to demonstrate the growing importance and role of Farm to School programs as a way to improve child nutrition, support local economies, and educate children about the origins of food.
“National Farm to School Month is providing schools in the region with a perfect opportunity to showcase their efforts to purchase and feature locally grown foods in school meals and activities,” said Diane Conners, who directs farm to school programming for the nonprofit Michigan Land Use Institute.
FoodCorps School Partnerships
Event information: Daniel Marbury, Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org, 770-653-3805
Friday, Oct. 12 at Platte River Elementary:
11:15–11:45 a.m.: School garden hoop house planting with fourth graders
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.: Lunchroom taste test of roasted delicata squash from farmer Jim Bardenhagen
2:30–3:00 p.m.: “Rock to Squash” activity connecting food to soil with fifth graders
3–3:50 p.m.: School garden hoop house planting with second and third graders
Wednesday, Oct. 17 at Interlochen Community School:
12–1 p.m.: Lunchroom feature of roasted squash from farmer Jim Bardenhagen
12:15–1 p.m. and 3–3:45 p.m.: Three sisters Native American legend and a recipe with fourth and fifth graders
Thursday, Oct. 18 at Central Lake Elementary School:
8:20 a.m.–2:30 p.m.: Central Lake fourth-grade class Farm Field Trip day (departing from Central Lake Elementary School to visit Duerksen Turkey Farm, Shetler’s Dairy, Providence Farm and Rocky Top Farm)
Friday, Oct. 19 at Central Lake Elementary School:
2:10 p.m.–3 p.m.: Third, fourth and fifth grade farm to school assembly with King Orchards, Conant Maplehurst Elk Farm, Shetler’s Family Dairy, Shooks Farm, Friske Orchards, Evergreen Club, Rocky Top Farms, Providence Farm, Duerksen Turkey Farm, Arnott’s Pure Honey, Glacier Springs Trout Farm, and the Wagbo Farm & Education Center
Friday, Oct. 19 at Traverse Heights Elementary School:
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.: Lunch featuring “Rainbow Salad” of local vegetables including greens from farmer Nic Welty.
Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Northport Public School:
“From Rock to Squash” food systems lesson and activity with first graders
Worm Bin Adoption & introduction to vermicomposting, “Dirt You Made My Lunch,” with second graders
Deconstructing A Cheeseburger, “Dirt You Made My Lunch,” with third graders
Lunch featuring roasted butternut squash, grown locally in Northport at Bare Knuckle Farm by Jess Piskor.
Thursday, Oct. 25 at Suttons Bay Elementary:
10–11 a.m.: Classroom presentation by farmer Jim Bardenhagen to fourth- and fifth-grade classes, and first- and second-grade classes
11:15 a.m.–1 p.m.: Lunchroom tasting of Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Salad
Friday, Oct. 26 at Platte River Elementary:
9:15 a.m.–12 p.m.: Garlic planting in school garden with sixth graders
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.: School Garden recess tours with grades K-5
Wednesday, Oct 31 at Interlochen Elementary:
Farmer Nic Welty to visit the school for a plant parts lesson and 9 Bean Rows salad greens
They do that by placing motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service. Working under the direction of local partner organizations, the program implements a three-ingredient recipe for healthy kids. Service members:
► Teach kids about what healthy food is and where it comes from
► Build and tend school gardens
► Bring high-quality local food into public school cafeterias