Tag Archives: Mass Farm to School Project

Great learning opportunities! From Mass Farm to School Project

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From Mass Farm to School:

Greenfield Community College Offers Summer Courses in Sustainable Agriculture for Students and Teachers 

Greenfield Community College is offering summer courses for high school students and teachers in Organic Gardening, Intro. to Sustainable Farming Skills, and Developing Curriculum in Sustainable Food Production.

To learn more about the program for teachers, CLICK HERE! 

Raised Bed Workshop at Gore Place

May 21

In this workshop, long-time farmer Scott Clarke will demonstrate techniques for planting flowers and vegetables in a raised bed.

Learn how to lay out a square-foot garden, choose plants that are good companions, make use of vertical space, and plant directly into a bale of hay.

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Explore ways to develop the soil without the use of synthetic fertilizers so that your soil can feed the plants and vice versa.

Attendees will receive a coupon for the annual Spring Plant Sale on May 27-29.  $25 per person, $20 for Members.

CLICK HERE to buy tickets!

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Healthy Food Fuels Hungry Minds: A Stakeholder’s Conference for School Food

June 1

Harvard University, Cambridge

In this second stakeholders annual conference, join parents, providers, policy makers and advocates as we work together to understand the current climate of school food and develop collaborative ways to to champion and support change.

CLICK HERE for registration & Full Conference Agenda.

Join us at Farm to School Day at the State House

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Join us!

Wednesday, May 6

Farm to School Day at the State House in Boston!

Talk with your elected officials about why farm to school is important to you, your school, and your community!

Farm to school advocates from around the state will spend the day meeting with legislators to raise the visibility of farm to school programs and to encourage support for state level policies to expand food education, local food in school meals, and school gardens in Massachusetts.

Come share your stories!

We will gather to meet one another at noon in the Members’ Lounge, attend a legislative briefing together and then fan out to attend meetings you have pre-scheduled with local elected officials.

Please call your Representatives and Senators’ offices to schedule meetings with the legislators and/or their staff any time before noon or after 1 pm.

Farm to School Day Agenda

12 pm: Meet in the Members’ Lounge on the 2nd floor

12:30 pm: Attend a legislative briefing with legislators and their staff to learn more about Farm to School and current Farm to School legislation

1 pm:  Fan out to meet with your elected officials to discuss farm to school efforts happening in your region and across the Commonwealth

Let us know you’re coming!

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Simca Horwitz or Lisa Damon at info@massfarmtoschool.org or call 413-253-3844.

We hope to see you on May 6!

Massachusetts Farm to School
34 Main St., Suite 10
Amherst, MA 01002

Mass Farm to School news

Farm to Institution Summit Coming to Massachusetts

Are you working to increase the amount of local and regional food used by schools, colleges, and healthcare facilities in the Northeast? You’re invited to the 2015 Farm to Institution Summit at UMass Amherst on April 7-9!

This first-year conference will feature 50+ sessions, inspiring speakers, local tours, good food, live music, and exhibitor fair and more.

Please join us–along with hundred of other farm to institution advocates–for three exciting days of learning, sharing and connecting.

Register by March 2 to save $20 per day: www.farmtoinstitution.org/summit

Do you have a great idea for farm to school success? If so, be sure to submit your Recipe for Success by March 2 for a chance to win $500 in cash prizes, free registrations to the Northeast Farm to Institution Summit, and a chance to present and share your great work.

Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show

Farm to Institution New England is excited to be hosting a farm to institution track with five workshops at the 2015 Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show, one of New England’s largest agricultural marketing conference, on February 25-26 at the Sturbridge Host Hotel in Sturbridge.

Mass. Farm to School staff will be panelists for two workshops, one entitled “Farm to Institution Nuts and Bolts–Shop Talk with Sector Leaders” and the other “Farm Visits and What You Need to Know.” We’ll also have a resource table in the exhibitor hall. Stop by and say hello!

Show Your Support for Establishing a Mass. Farm to School Month

State Representative Steve Madden (Falmouth/Martha’s Vineyard/Nantucket) has introduced HD63, which would officially designate October Massachusetts Farm to School Month and encourage three state agencies (Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education, Public Health, and Agricultural Resources) to work together on a joint task force to further farm to school efforts across the state.

Contact your legislator to encourage them to vote in favor of this bill. Contact us if you’re interested in getting more involved with this advocacy effort.

Resources and Opportunities

Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom Winter Conference – March 7

Attend the 14th Annual Winter “Growing Minds Through Massachusetts Agriculture” Conference on Saturday, March 7 at the Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School in Palmer.

There will be four workshop sessions, with six to seven concurrent workshops in each session related to the many different aspects of agriculture in the classroom. Each will be taught by a teacher or farm educator.

Farm to School Policy Webinar, March 10, 1pm EST

Making change: How you can support farm to school policy this spring
Although the Child Nutrition Act (known as CNR) isn’t set to expire until September 30, the action in D.C. is happening now, and we need your help.

Join the National Farm to School Network to learn how farm to school legislation is progressing as part of CNR and what you can do to help make sure farm to school gets the support it needs from Congress!

The 20-minute presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

Office Depot Foundation Grants for Children and Communities – Deadline: Rolling

The Office Depot Foundation’s funding focus aligns with its Strategic Priorities. The Office Depot Foundation prefers to fund projects and programs in the areas of Giving Children Tools For Success, Building Capacity to Serve Communities and Disaster Preparedness, Relief, Recovery, and Rebuilding.

Grants of $50 to $3,000 will be awarded to select applicants.

Nonprofit organizations, schools, and libraries are eligible to apply. 

Fruit Tree Orchard Grants – Deadline: Ongoing

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (FTPF) is an award-winning international nonprofit charity dedicated to planting fruitful trees and plants to alleviate world hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities, and improve the surrounding air, soil, and water.

FTPF programs strategically donate orchards where the harvest will best serve communities for generations, at places such as community gardens, public schools, stat/city parks, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, international hunger relief sites, and animal sanctuaries.

CLICK HERE to learn more! 

Worcester Public Schools kindergartners and Mass Farm to School! (with a little help from REC and CHP!)

Reviewing the past year …

The 2013 – 2014 school year was filled with farms, food, and healthy fun for the students of the Worcester Kindergarten Initiative (KI).

The KI, a holistic food education program of Mass. Farm to School, has Worcester’s young students exploring the goodness of fresh fruits and vegetables through in-class cooking projects and taste-tests, taking a multidisciplinary approach to understanding basic plant growth through the lens of science, language arts, and math lessons, and getting their hands dirty in school gardens and at local farms.

Here is a glance at what we, our students, and their families accomplished:

In August, we welcomed four new schools to the program, thereby increasing our reach to 675 students in 29 classrooms in nine of Worcester’s public schools

In September and October, six schools visited one of the Regional Environmental Council’s YouthGROW campuses where they learned about the urban agriculture that takes place right in the heart of Worcester.

In September and October, all nine schools were visited by the Regional Environmental Council’s Mobile Farmers Market.

The [REC mobile farmers] market, which travels to 15 different locations across Worcester every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday brought students their first take-home produce package of the year – local apples, pears, and peaches, along with recipes to share with their parents and caregivers.

In November, Community Harvest Project’s educators shared a new activity with the KI, visiting classrooms to teach students about the parts of the body that different fruits and vegetables benefit in an interactive, hands-on lesson.

In the winter and spring, students and families from eight schools learned how to make carrot pancakes during our series of family cooking demonstrations. 175 parents and caregivers attended these demos, representing a more than 10% increase over last year’s participation.

During the spring, the KI collaborated with two interns from Framingham State’s John Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition, who stepped up to teach KI lessons in four schools.

In May and June, all 675 students visited Community Harvest Project in Grafton for their spring farm trip, with 74 of their parents and caregivers in tow. Students planted their very own cherry tomato plants to take home.

In June, we thanked students and families for a great year and wished them a happy summer with gift certificates to the Regional Environmental Council’s Community Farmers Markets.

In July, we said good-bye to Lauren Wetherbee who has coordinated the KI since 2011. Thanks to her hard work, the program has doubled in size, deepened connections to local community organizations, and maintained a strong focus on making healthy eating accessible, delicious, and affordable for Worcester students and families alike. Isabel Burgess, who has worked on the program with Lauren since January 2013, has stepped into the role of KI Coordinator and is looking forward to continuing to expand Mass. Farm to School’s education programming
What a great year! We’d like to extend a big thank you to our generous funders, community partners, and Worcester Public School teachers, administrators, and food service team!

Go, Mass Farm to School!  Go, REC! Go, Community Harvest Project!

In South Worcester: Bringing fresh produce, whole grain goodness to our public schools

January 13

The 3rd Massachusetts Farm to Cafeteria Conference

…at Holy Cross college

CLICK HERE to register!

This conferences will bring together more than 300 diverse stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster innovative food and agriculture learning opportunities in our state.

The conference is just over one month away.

Register and reserve your spot today!

Learn and Connect

We are finalizing the conference program and are very excited by the diverse group of leaders in the farm to cafeteria field who will be sharing their expertise with conference attendees.

Here’s a sampling from the more than 20 workshops:

Funding Farm to School

Farm to School with Locally Frozen Vegetables

Farm to Preschool Initiatives

Cooking Demonstrations for K-12 and College Food Services

Using Policy Advocacy to Increase Farm to School in Massachusetts

Getting Started in the School Garden

Farm Based Education – Urban and Rural Farm Field Trips

And so much more…

We are also very excited to announce the first ever Farm to Cafeteria Regional Networking Sessions to take place during the conference. Connect with others in your community who are involved in farm to cafeteria activities. Learn from their best practices, share your own tips, and move forward together!

We will be holding a concurrent Buyer Tradeshow and Networking Session for Farmers and Distributors.

This will be a great opportunity to make direct connections with farmers from your region and discuss local sourcing with distributors.

Registration

Registration is filling up quickly and we have a limit of 350 attendees. Register online today (ABOVE) to secure your spot. Discounts are available for students and conference presenters.

Please contact us for more information:

Massachusetts Farm to School

34 Main Street, Suite 10

Amherst, MA 01002

Pollinate at Holy Cross college!

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Eating healthy foods! So important for kids! The Massachusetts Farm To School Project works to get great, local produce in our city school cafeterias! This young girl is helping out at this summer’s REC MOBILE FARMERS MARKET VAN.

The Massachusetts Farm to Cafeteria conference!

Jan. 13, 2015

Holy Cross College – Hogan Center

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This conference brings together farm to cafeteria advocates – farmers, food service professionals, educators, policy makers, public health advocates, community organizers, youth leaders and more – for a daylong event with workshops and panel discussions addressing a wide variety of farm to school topics including:

  • local foods procurement and promotion
  • experiential food and nutrition education
  • food, farm, and nutrition policy
  • growing for the institutional market
  • state, regional, and local networking …
  • To read more and register, CLICK HERE