Farm to School2021-09-17T16:35:36+00:00

FARM TO SCHOOL

Connecting children and families to local food in the cafeteria, classroom, and community

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Schools Benefit

Farm to School changes food purchasing and education practices at schools, early care providers, and other education settings. Students, teachers, and staff gain access to healthy, local foods as well as enrichment opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons, and farm field trips. Kids who garden are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and students who eat high-quality meals are ready to learn and grow!

Families Benefit

 Farm to School teaches students about where their food comes from and encourages curiosity and open-mindedness. Parents report that their children ask for more produce at home! Kids are more likely to help out in the kitchen and garden and share what they are learning with their family!

Farmers Benefit

Farm to School creates demand for local produce, assisting school food service programs in purchasing fruits and vegetables from local farmers and encouraging students to be conscientious consumers.

Concrete Farm to School
Sedro-Woolley Farm to School
Harvest of the Month

Cooking
with Kids

School
Gardens
Recipes and Cooking Videos

The mission of Concrete Farm to School is to build resilient students and families by providing access to healthy local foods, nutrition and culinary education, and hands-on gardening activities. We don’t expect that every student will become a farmer or a cook, but Farm to School helps young people, and their community, reach their potential.

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Most Recent Blog Post

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Learn More!

Contact: Rachel Muia

Contact: Becky Moore

Follow Concrete Farm to School on social media

See all Concrete Farm to School blog posts

Sedro-Woolley Farm to School

Our growing Farm to School program in the Sedro Woolley School District (SWSD) focuses on two main areas: increased scratch cooking in school kitchens and the integration of hands-on education in school gardens.

In the kitchen, we work with SWSD Food Service staff to support the procurement and processing of local products by building relationships with local farms and offering practical trainings. Our Harvest of the Month program complements these efforts by offering students taste tests of local fruits and vegetables and education on how and where they were produced. We also support a growing number of school gardens in the SWSD with integrated outdoor learning, trainings on best practices, and technical assistance. We believe that garden-based education has the life-changing potential to get students outdoors and make real-life connections to classroom content!”

volunteer

Find out more!

Contact: Adele Eslinger

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School Gardens in Sedro-Woolley

  • Cascade Middle School
    905 McGarigle Rd, Sedro-Woolley

  • Central Elementary
    601 Talcott St., Sedro-Woolley
  • Clear Lake Elementary
    23631 Lake St., Clear Lake

  • Evergreen Elementary 1007 McGarigle Rd., Sedro-Woolley

  • Samish Elementary
    23953 Prairie Rd, Sedro-Woolley

  • Sedro-Woolley High School
    1235 3rd St., Sedro-Woolley

Harvest of the Month is a SNAP-Ed funded program that connects local farmers to local school districts. Harvest of the Month is a great way to support local farmers, allow students to try new foods, and encourage healthy eating in and out of the school setting. 

  • Local produce is purchased from a farmer each month 
  • We partner with food service staff to serve produce to every elementary school in the Sedro-Woolley and Concrete school districts! 
  • Students taste-test the fruit or vegetable in their classroom with their teachers
  • We interview local farmers and share the videos in the classroom
  • Produce is served in school cafeteria salad bars later in the month 

September: Cherry Tomatoes

See how we grow cherry tomatoes!

Get the recipe

Obtén la receta

Harvest of the Month is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Este material se desarrollo con fondos proporcionados por el Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP.
Esta institucion es un proveedor de igualdad de oportunidades.

School Gardens

Why school gardens? School gardens promote healthy eating and healthy lifestyles, provide experiential education that is built into the school day, and promote healthy development of students, teachers, and their communities!

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Resources for Educators

Download Garden Lessons

Cooking with Kids

Cooking with kids is a gift that can be accomplished perhaps easier than you may think in the classroom. All you need is a skillet, a few tools, vegetables, and a clear system! Cooking with kids teaches them lifelong skills, connects them to healthy food, and increases their confidence, teamwork, problem solving, and independence.

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Resources for Parents

Books
  • Honest Pretzels: And 64 Other Recipes for Ages 8 & Up by Mollie Katzen

  • Salad People and More Real Recipes: A New Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up by Mollie Katzen

  • Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers and Up By Mollie Katzen

  • The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids

  • Kitchen Explorers! 60+ Recipes, Experiments, and Games for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids

Websites

Recipes and Cooking Videos

Apple Crisp

Blueberry Pancakes

Borscht (Beet Soup)

Braised Red Cabbage and Apples

Broccoli Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Carrot Chia Muffins

Garden Salad with Flatbread

Greens Over Grains

Muffins with Variations

Pumpkin Soup

Ramen Reinvented

Rhubarb Apple Crisp

Roasted Garlic Mashed Kohlrabi

Strawberry Shortcake

Stuffed Squash

FAQs

How do I get Farm to School in my area?2020-10-16T18:05:35+00:00

Maybe it’s already there! Check in with your food service director, school principal, or parent-teacher organization to find out what efforts are already being made to connect students to food and gardening. The National Farm to School Network is a good place to learn more. 

How are your programs funded?2020-10-16T18:05:25+00:00

Our programs are funded through a variety of community, foundational, and federal grants and donations from organizations and individuals. Please see our Partners and Funders for more information.

How do you decide what recipes to make?2020-10-16T18:05:15+00:00

We choose recipes that feature fruits and vegetables as main ingredients, have lots of jobs to involve many students, and can be prepared in a 60-minute class session (including set up, eating, and clean up!). Many of our favorites have been adapted from the Edible Schoolyard, but we’ve also developed our own recipes over the years that coordinate with our garden’s harvest, academic standards, and teacher and student interests. We also cook almost exclusively vegetarian in our classroom.

How do I get involved with your vocational training (high schoolers)?2021-05-03T16:10:12+00:00

Our vocational program is currently only available to high school students (sophomores or juniors at the time of application) in the Concrete School District. If this is you, please contact the Concrete Farm to School program coordinator for more information. Positions are advertised in the spring at UnitedGeneral.org/Join-Our-Team.

I’m a farmer. How can I sell my produce to a local school?2020-10-16T18:04:58+00:00

A good place to start is by reaching out to your school district’s Food Service Director. Keep in mind that this is usually a very busy person, responsible for hundreds or perhaps thousands of meals a day and that they are already doing a good job! School food budgets are also extremely tight, so be aware that they will likely not be able to meet your price point. Nonetheless, working with school meal programs is incredibly rewarding! Concrete students know the day our local farmer runs out of carrots and food service has to go back to buying them from our local distributor because they are less sweet! If you are interested in working with the Concrete or Sedro-Woolley school districts, please contact our program coordinators for more information.

How do you choose what fruit or veggie to feature in Harvest of the Month?2020-10-16T18:04:49+00:00

We choose the Harvest of the Month based on seasonality of produce (what’s growing in that particular month!), availability at local farms, and ease of preparation. As we’ve developed relationships with our local farms, it’s been easier to predict which month will have which vegetable!

How can I get Farm to School recipes?2020-10-16T18:04:40+00:00

All of our Farm to School recipes and cooking videos can be found here.

Why is Farm to School important?2020-10-16T18:04:30+00:00

Farm to School is important for many reasons. It connects kids and communities to where their food comes from, and through growing and cooking their own food, healthier habits are formed. It allows space for experiential, hands-on education outside that is built into the school day. It also creates spaces for teamwork, exploration, collaboration, and inquiry, all of which are essential to the healthy development of children and adolescents.

What volunteer opportunities are there?2020-10-16T18:04:20+00:00

There are multiple volunteer opportunities for Farm to School. You can volunteer to help take care of the school garden care and maintenance, which is especially helpful over weekends and during the summer, when students are not present. You can help out in garden or cooking classes during the school day as an extra adult to help lessons go smoothly. Other opportunities come up throughout the year as well with events or specific needs; contact your Farm to School program coordinator or fill out our volunteer form and we will be in touch!

Where do donations go, and how are they used?2020-10-16T18:04:12+00:00

Donations to Farm to School are mainly used to help fund running our garden and cooking classes throughout the school year. This includes buying food, kitchen supplies and utensils, seeds and starts for the gardens, and tools for use in the gardens, among many other things. Donations also help fund summer programming and help pay student interns as well as purchase much needed supplies for garden upkeep and school grounds maintenance. Please make an online donation today!

What ages/grade level participate in farm to school?2021-05-03T17:43:15+00:00

Any grade can participate in Farm to School! It depends on the school district, the nature of the program, and the relationship the program has with the school and the teachers. In Concrete, we have garden and cooking classes for grades K-8 throughout the school year, and also facilitate hands-on tasks with high school food science and culinary arts classes. In the summers, we run a high school work internship as well as help with summer camps for kids entering grades K-8 in a partnership with Concrete Boys and Girls Club.

What are tips for cooking with kids?2020-10-16T18:03:52+00:00

Cooking with kids is a complex yet highly rewarding process. The most essential tip we have is to establish clear systems with classes so that kids know exactly what to expect and what to do when it is time to cook. Safety procedures need to be a part of this system, especially when cooking with heat and/or when using any type of sharp utensils. Split the class into groups and have an adult present at each group, especially with younger grades. Make expectations and steps of the process very clear. For younger grades, prepare the recipe step by step with the students, having them take turns to do each step. For older grades, encourage them to split the tasks among themselves so that they are working as a team. Emphasize cleaning up as a group and setting the tables, if possible. Having everyone eat the meal they have made together is a heartwarming finish. It may feel chaotic at first, but once your systems are down and the students know what to expect, it is among the most rewarding and laughter-filled activities one can do with kids. Many of our initial resources came from Edible Schoolyard; adapt to your scenario as you see fit. https://edibleschoolyard.org/curriculum

What are the long-term benefits of a farm to school program?2020-10-16T18:03:38+00:00

If a Farm to School program has been present for a long period of time, there are significant long-term benefits associated for that school and that community. An established program has rapport among the school district, the teachers, and the students. It is fully integrated into the school day and an expected and anticipated part of the curriculum of each grade. This means every grade has guaranteed experiential, inquiry-based education as part of their school experience. Students understand how to grow and cook their own food, and know exactly where their food comes from. This encourages healthy eating and a more active lifestyle over time, as these students pass this knowledge to their parents, and to their own children as well. The repercussions are ripples of learning and health that extend outward, creating an overall healthier community over time. 

Partners & Funding

USDA Community Food Projects Grant Program

USDA Farm to School Grant Program

Washington State SNAP Education

Cascadian Home Farm

Northwest Farm Credit Services

Skagit Community Foundation

Leadership Skagit

Andeavor Foundation

Skagit Valley Food Co-op

Sedro-Woolley Soroptimist

Concrete Lions Club

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