Presentation on theme: "The ABC’s of Farm to School School Garden Style Successes in McLeod and Sibley Counties."— Presentation transcript:
The ABC’s of Farm to School School Garden Style Successes in McLeod and Sibley Counties
Meeker-McLeod-Sibley SHIP (MMS) The goal of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) is to help Minnesotans live longer, healthier, better lives by preventing risk factors that lead to chronic disease. SHIP is an integral component of an overall health care reform initiative passed during the 2008 Legislative session. MMS have been funded for SHIP 1 and SHIP 2. We have worked on Healthy Eating in the Community, Schools, Childcare settings and Worksites. www.mmshealthycommunities.org www.mmshealthycommunities.org
Meeting with Staff at GSL Met with new Ag teacher/FFA Advisor, GSL Superintendent, and Chartwell Food Service Director in August of 2012. Ms. Haddad decided this garden would be initiated by 7/8 grade FFA members to make it more sustainable but all members would be involved. 7/8th grade Committees included: Scheduling, Kitchen/Processing, Plotting, and Seed Planning. Great video on leadership and establishing the GSL FFA School Garden as they partnered with SHIP. http://www1.extension.umn.edu/community/leadership/ video/ http://www1.extension.umn.edu/community/leadership/ video/
Funding Process for GSL After being approached in August, securing additional funding was a top priority. They applied for just about every grant they could. Some funding that was received and put them on pretty solid footing: MN FFA Foundation (adding computer technology), National FFA’s Food For All Grant, and the SHIP grant. GSL also applied for some larger grants, MDA and USDA, to extend their growing season, but were not awarded in those areas. GSL also worked on publicizing and bolstering support and have received generous seed and plant donations from TangleTown gardens.
Working the Garden & Harvesting While GSL garden has met its fair share of challenges from Mother Nature this year (flooding, drought), they do have about ¾ of an acre that have survived. The summer plan has been to have at least one family sign up for a week of the summer. Overall, this has worked out pretty well. The biggest problem they ran into with this was it being so wet at the beginning of the summer that kids weren’t able to get into the garden to weed, so July kids had a little more of a fight.
Farmer’s Market During the summer, GSL harvested on Thursdays, about two hours before the local farmer’s market opens. From there, GSL FFA utilized their Facebook page to promote the farmer’s market. They have learned a lot about pricing and business as well!!
Food Shelf When GSL had leftovers over the summer or weren’t able to get to the farmer’s market, the produce goes to the local food shelf. They donated approximately 150 lbs of food to the food shelf.
During the School Year Starting this fall, the GSL 7/8 grade morning ag classes will be learning about the harvesting process, and picking produce 2-3 times a week to be incorporated into school lunches. The GSL philosophy this first year is to get as much on the kid’s plates as they can have them try. They will evaluate what grows well, what goes over well, and how GSL can incorporate items on a broader scale in the coming year.
Types of Produce Harvested 9/11/2013: Over 75 pounds of beets, radishes, summer squash, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and lettuces going into the cafeteria today! 9/23/2013: By spending the first two hours of our day harvesting in the garden, of course! Radishes, chard, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, dill, basil, cilantro and more are coming to a school menu near you! 9/24/2013: Radishes, beans, lettuces, and turnips are coming in from the garden today!!
Time of students, staff and families Working on their output report for the GSL FFA Garden. Would it surprise you to find out that they have put over 1,000 hours into the garden? And if they paid youth and adult volunteers the volunteer rate determined by the Independent Sector they would have spent over $15,000 propagating, planting, tilling, pulling weeds, training, working at the Farmer's Market and harvesting? WOW!
Long Term thoughts for the GSL FFA School Garden While this is great and has been an awesome learning experience for GSL, they are now focusing their attention of being able to provide a steady source of fresh produce year round. While they do not expect this to be a goal recognized immediately, they are looking at options for temporary greenhouse space, hoop houses, and the use of hydroponic systems.
St. Peter’s Lutheran School ( Rural school in Sibley County)
Where do we start??? Problem= in most small schools, produce bought in bulk wasted before eaten and too expensive when bought in small quantities Principal contacted in February, 2013. First was response was “no”, due to lack of staff and possible amount of work involved. SHIP Staff emailed by elementary teacher to meet in March…the ball was rolling!
Plan for sustainability School staff (of 2 ) met with school board to gain approval. Congregation members became involved and donated time to plow and make plot ready, build fence. Seeds started in science classes in April. Each class received a vegetable/fruit to take care of as their own…i.e. 1 st grade responsible for carrots. Elementary teacher donated time to come Monday and Thursday mornings all summer and teach a science lesson and help kids harvest. All families invited.
What did they harvest? Freezer: 20 quarts of zucchini sliced or grated 18 quarts of summer squash sliced or grated 25 quarts of green beans sliced 3 quarts beets sliced 3 quarts broccoli 1 pint of peas 3 quarts of carrots but most are still in the ground waiting to be harvested 8 (10 cup) containers of chopped tomatoes Canned: 2 ice cream pails of refrigerator pickles 20 quarts spaghetti sauce 5 pints pizza sauce 12 quarts salsa 6 quarts chili sauce Drying strawberry popcorn in the basement. Will still harvest green beans, carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. The kids have already enjoyed 8 cantaloupes and 3 watermelon. We also have at least 10 foot Indian Corn and many gourds for fall decorations. Also gave away many zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes to church family.
What next? 2013 a learning year! School cook brought in to help integrate produce into lunchroom. Plan to use evaluation of student favorites to prepare seeds for next year.