- What are your proud accomplishments? Think about your students’ learning, the relationships you’ve formed, or local food you’ve enjoyed together.
We’ve enjoyed an improved partnership between the school, community and garden team. We have had the students and parents meet us in the garden on a regular basis to help us plan, design, plant, harvest and preserve what we grow. Some of the foods we have grown are used not only in our school lunch program but also the community lunch. The students get to help us know what to plant by what they like to eat, and their involvement creates pride in what they are eating as well as enthusiasm.
- What challenges are you facing? Revitalizing our local food systems and changing our school food culture can be hard work. We know there are challenges. Let’s share and learn from them.
Weather! We had our greenhouse destroyed by the winter storms and we are still trying to rebuild this. It is hard to get the parents involved when they don’t know how to cook what is being grown and from this we are creating community cooking classes and cookbooks. Also just learning what grows well in community has been a learning curve.
- How is Farm to School making a difference in your school and/or community?
It has made a huge difference in that we don’t need to purchase as much food as we would have to otherwise. Stores are 1.5 hours away so it is not sustainable to have to drive so far to shop. The students are more engaged in their community and their food and like getting dirty with the garden team.
- We’d love to hear about how many students are involved, examples of student leadership, what partners are you working with (i.e. community organizations, local business, farmers, health authority, others), and how much local food are you purchasing and/or growing.
We have 9 students in our elementary school and 12 in our Early Years program, all have been involved with their teachers and their families. Being far and remote the only viable partner is the school district school itself and we are partners on many levels. We also partner with different departments in the band in that we are able to get locally harvested meats for the lunch program such as salmon and elk.