Food & Garden
Pg 9 - The Sunshine Express
2012 November
Farm To School Help Available
school district person-
nel from across the
USDA's Farm to School site rich with resources
country and learn
The term `farm to school' is generally understood
about best practices
to include efforts that connect schools with local
in play in different
or regional producers in order to serve local or
regionally produced foods in school cafeterias.
PSU holds five classes
Bringing more locally sourced, fresh fruits and
each summer and is
vegetables into school cafeterias is a seminal activ-
currently accepting
ity of many farm to school efforts; procuring local-
nominations. Please
ly sourced, minimally processed main meal items
contact your state
so that the entire school meal is representative of
agency for more infor-
regional options is also a focus of many farm to
mation on attending.
school programs. Thus, USDA considers farm to
If you aren't a school
school to be inclusive of many types of producers,
food service worker
such as farmers, ranchers, and fishermen, as well
or aren't able to attend
as many types of food businesses, including food
PSU, you can still
processors, manufacturers, distributors and other
access many of the
value-added operations.
resources provided
In addition to procurement activities, food, agri-
during the course,
culture and nutrition-based educational efforts
including fact sheets,
that span a host of hands-on experiential activi-
presentations, talking points, and videos, on the
Communities. Slow Food is an idea, a way of liv-
ties, such as school gardens, field trips to local
National Food Service Management Institute's
ing and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots
farms, and cooking classes, are also included in
movement with thousands of members around
the concept of farm to school. Standards-based
the world that links the pleasure of food with a
curriculum centered on food, agriculture, and/or
commitment to community and the environment.
nutrition often integrates as well.
In 1986, the founding father of the Slow Food
With our school systems' diverse operations and
Movement, Carlo Petrini recognized that the
demographics, farm to school activities can differ
industrialization of food was standardizing taste
greatly across communities. Whether your school
and leading to the annihilation of thousands of
is in the beginning stages of farm to school activi-
food varieties and flavors. He wanted to reach out
ties or you are looking for information and tools
to consumers and demonstrate to them that they
to enhance your current farm to school efforts,
have choices over fast food and supermarket ho-
this site will be of assistance:
mogenization. He rallied his friends and his com-
munity, and began to speak out at every available
Produce Safety University
opportunity about the effects of a fast culture.
Soon after, Petrini realized that in order to keep
Produce Safety University Makes Safety Easy
those alternative food choices alive, it was impera-
Are you confused by food safety acronyms like
tive to be an eco-gastronomic movement, one
GAP, GHP, and HACCP? Do you wonder how
that is ecologically minded and concerned with
best to store fresh produce, and how to handle it
Roaring Fork Kids Eat Good
sustainability and sees the connection between the
during food preparation and service?
plate and the planet. With the preservation of
Produce Safety University (PSU), a one-week
Roaring Fork School District turns to local Beef
taste at the
training course designed to help school foodser-
Michelle Hammond, the food service director
vice staff identify and manage food safety risks
of the Roaring Fork School District RE-1, has a
he sought
associated with fresh produce, has you covered.
passion for healthy food in her schools. Thirty
to support
PSU teaches state agencies and school food
percent of the district's salad bar ingredients
and protect
service directors the ins and outs of purchasing,
comes from their growing dome and garden. And
small growers
storing, and handling fresh produce. Whether you
now, thanks to some creative collective thinking
and artisanal
are working to bring in more regionally grown
and the passion to make it happen, all of the beef
products or just trying to get more bang for your
this year comes from a local rancher, Crystal River
ers, support
buck, PSU will teach you how to write specifica-
Meats, which is 100 percent natural, USDA Certi-
and protect
tions, assess on-farm food safety plans, and keep
fied grass-fed and finished meat. How did Mi-
the physical
fruits and vegetables clean in the kitchen and on
chelle afford such high quality meat on her slim
the serving line.
school budget? By striking a deal that includes
and promote
Produce Safety University is a joint initiative of
the local Whole Foods buying the high end cuts,
the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and
Crystal River Meats was able to offer ground beef
(source: www.
the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). FNS covers
to the district at a very affordable price.
contracting, writing specifications, and safe han-
Tales From The Farm
dling; AMS addresses the importance of grading,
Tasty Reads Book Club - Nov 15
storing, and working with farmers. To date, over
The body becomes what the foods
The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and
375 school nutrition professionals have attended
Love, by Kristen Kimball.
PSU, representing all 50 states, the District of
are, as the spirit becomes what the
Essex Farm is a 500 acre draft horse-powered farm
Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin
thoughts are. ~Kemetic Saying
that produces a full diet for 200 people. The Dirty
Islands. The class offers an opportunity to meet
Life is Kristin's memoir about the farm's startup
"The Dirty Life is a wonderfully told tale of one of
the most interesting farms in the country. If you
want to understand the heart and soul of the new/
old movement towards local food, this is the book
you need. It's the voice of what comes next in
this land, of the generation unleashed by Wendell
Berry to do something really grand." - Bill McKib-
ben, author Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New
The meeting will be at Maria Hodkin's house, and
she will prepare a Soup Supper. The meeting will
start at 6PM.
Contact to get
directions to Maria's house.
Slow Food USA is a non-profit educational orga-
nization dedicated to supporting and celebrating
the food traditions of North America through pro-
grams and activities dedicated to Taste Education,
Defending Biodiversity and Building Food