April 27, 2021
My child is snacking on kale? This is one of the surprising outcomes of our Farm to School program.
We have learned that when our students are part of the process of growing and preparing their food, they are more willing to try it. Often those picky eaters find out they actually like it! Surprisingly to most parents, Maggie often catches students sneaking bites of kale from the garden!
Now that spring has sprung in the Northshire our preschool students are actively planning and preparing the school garden for the upcoming season. Recently during the Week of the Young Child, the preschool pod planted early season carrot seeds. Carrots happen to
be one of the student’s favorite vegetables we grow
and eat! Over the next few weeks we will continue planting various vegetables and herbs. The NDS
garden will provide an experiential learning environment, from gardening, to harvesting, preparing, cooking, and tasting new foods.
While the garden grows, our team is working on creating a fun new tasting program! The students will be tasting new foods coming from local farms, as well as our own garden. We can’t wait to hear what our students think of the new flavors their tastebuds will encounter.
Recently, the Maple Classroom worked together to install a compost bin, generously donated by a parent, in the garden. This will allow us to compost food scraps from our kitchen. Not only will this feed our garden, it will be a unique way to teach our students about the environment as they learn how food waste is converted into plant food. Over the next year, we will explore how our food will break down into compost and the benefits of keeping it out of the landfill.
These are just a few examples of the Farm to School activities NDS students are participating in. Farm to School supports kids by giving access to fresh local food in schools. It also creates knowledge of where their food comes from, what it does for their bodies, what it does for their communities, the local economy, and local farms. The program’s hands on learning, cooking, and gardening components get kids excited about trying new foods. Schools with Farm to School programs report twice the national average in vegetable consumption. The Farm to Early Childhood part of the initiative is especially important, as 90% of the brain development happens between 0-5. The Farm to School program sets the stage for life long healthy habits as kids learn about their environment, community and growing food.
To learn more, take a moment to listen to Vermont Viewpoints Podcast, Farm to School, featuring Maggie Rubick,
The Farm to School committee is currently running a book drive to obtain books for all of the classrooms that will connect the children with the themes of farms, food, gardening and fun. To support, please visit https://www.northshiredayschool.org/farm-to-school-book-drive/
The Farm to School project was created by VT FEED. To learn more, https://vtfeed.org/