A Blog Like Mine

Hi again everyone!!!

For class, I had to find another student’s blog that relates to the topic that I am doing, which is Farm to School Convention, buying locally, and building school gardens.  I found student, Emily Cormack’s blog on Sustainable Living for All, which focuses on gardening, buying locally, and composting.  Emily’s blog is geared towards everyone but focuses on the important things that my blog focuses on.  Like my podcast on school gardens, Emily posted about gardening tips and tricks, which help the environment and helps you create a better garden!  One thing I have not covered yet on my blog but Emily did, is composting.  Composting is becoming the new trend and many people that have gardens or school gardens have turned to composting.  Composting helps the soil, therefore creating a longer lasting garden.

Schools now have assembly lines in their cafeterias and when the students are done with their trays and lunches they have specific places that the food, cartons, and trays go because the leftovers are used for composting.  This subject about composting has become very important to a lot of schools that are trying to teach the students about the environment and also to start bringing back how farmers used to get their soil so fresh and their garden so green.  Composting is a great school project and students can learn a lot from composting and how good it is for the environment.  This would go great with a garden or even by itself, because there is much to learn from composting and many projects can be included with it.

Emily’s blog is great and everyone should check it out!  It has a lot to offer and between hers and mine, we have a lot of ideas that can be used for either a school setting or your own garden.

Take care for now everyone!! Talk to you soon!

School Gardening Podcast

How’s everyone doing today?!  Today is kind of a dreary day out, but perfect if you have already planted your seeds and things for your garden!!  Today, I have my podcast on school gardening, as school gardening is on the rise and is very important.  School gardening is great because it gets the students involved and allows them to learn about the environment and where their food comes from.  It also allows them to try new things and be able to be interactive with a garden.  You should see the smiles light up on the student’s faces when they know they have been a part of a garden and are proud to show everyone what they have grown!  I developed a podcast script and I hope you all enjoy my podcast!! It is time to start getting your school active and get the students started on a school garden!! There are links that I talk about in my podcast that I have blogged about earlier this week and you can find the links on that blog post!  Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Saving the Environment through Schools!

Hello everyone!!

What a beautiful day out again!! It is a great day to get some yard work done and start getting your garden ready!!

Today, I want to talk about going green in the schools, because it is really important to start advocating to students about the importance of recycling and the environment.  It is time to start teaching children to have a connection with the environment and involve them in hands-on projects.  There are many projects that can be done school-wide like building a school garden, recycling program, or composting programs.  People are starting to care about the environment again and it is on the rise, especially in the school systems, where a lot of schools now are building their own gardens, composting sites, and recycling programs.  This not only is good for the environment but good for the students as well, because it gets them involved and interested in the environment.  There are many teacher tips to knowing what activities to do or things to teach about that make it helpful.  Use resources and other tips that teachers have used to create your own fun and activities for the students.

In December 2011, New York officials created a competition for 30 schools in a pilot program to run in conjunction with Solar One, a nonprofit environmental education organization.  The schools that reduced their energy use the most won money.  This created not only motivation, but a way for students to learn and teachers to come up with ideas to help the students learn.  These are the kinds of ideas that can come about from students and teachers wanting to change their school for the better and if you get enough people involved, you could be in a contest like this one, too.

Do  not give up on educating the students on the environment, because it is their generation that will be dealing with the environment next, and if we can teach them now about it and make it fun and interesting, they will know in the future what we were trying to do for them.  It is important no matter what age the students are to learn about the environment and what changes they can make.  It will make them a part of something big, and they know they will have contributed to it!

Do not delay on trying an activity or program with the students or school because it will help, just one step at a time.

Talk to you all soon!!

Colleges Buying Locally!

Hi everyone!!

So I have an update from my last blog and I actually heard from one of the representatives of the Mass Farm to School Program who gave me some great information.  She informed me as well that this website is actually a better place to get up to date information for the Mass Farm to School Program so here it is: http://www.mass.gov/agr/markets/Farm_to_school/.  This website has a lot to offer so take full advantage of it and thanks to the Mass Farm to School Program!

 

Throughout the past year or so, when I eat in the cafeteria at Framingham State, I have been seeing signs up next to foods that say “Locally grown (name of place).”  It made me wonder when this started from Framingham State and why now?  I looked into it and found that in Framingham’s 2011 Climate Control Plan, there was a section for the dining services and that from 2009-2011 the dining services was going green and trying to save money by doing that.  They have also since 2011 have started by products and food from local growers and will continue to do that for a long time.  It is great to know that people are starting to make an impact about going green and also buying locally.  Knowing that it’s not only giving farmer’s sustainability, but it’s giving the students locally grown food without the pesticides and commercial foods.  Framingham decided to put in an entire section for vegan foods, that are animal free and also most of the meals they serve for the vegan section is from local growers.  They want students to have a variety of foods and meals to eat and want to make it an option to eat green and know that they are getting their food from local growers.  Here is the article on that if anyone is interested! http://www.framinghamdining.com/documents/gatepost/eatinggreen.pdf

 

I also found out from one of my teachers that in the next coming weeks, Framingham State is actually putting in their own garden and going to start growing their own fruits, vegetables, and produce.  Students will maintain it over the summer and the cafeteria benefits from it because it will get the foods to put into meals made for the students!  This is a great idea because more and more schools are putting their own gardens in and letting the students learn and have fun with it, and it lets them try new things that they probably would never try before, plus it able to be used in the meals made for them too!  Through the Mass Farm to School website I was able to find a list of how many colleges and universities were involved in buying locally and found that a lot of public and private are turning to buying locally and the numbers continue to grow every year!  There are currently 48 public colleges and universities and 33 private colleges and universities that are involved buying locally for the dining services.  Here is the complete list if you would like to know what schools are involved:  http://www.mass.gov/agr/markets/Farm_to_school/docs/colleges-purchasing-local-foods.pdf. Keep motivating teachers, staff, and children to grow their own garden or buy locally to make it a more nutritious, healthy, fun lunch for everyone!

Talk to you all soon! 🙂

Cookbook for Farm to School!

Hi everyone!  Hope you all had a nice weekend!

Here is some more interesting things about the Farm to School Program!  The program now offers a cookbook, put together from many recipes that are use foods from the farms!  The recipes tell you the ingredients needed, how to make them, and the nutrition information needed.  If there is help needed for knowing how to cut or slice a vegetable or food item, the cookbook offers a variety of vegetables and foods that tell you how to cut them, which is pretty cool because I know that I don’t know how to cut every vegetable the right way!  It gives you tips for using fresh farm ingredients and is a fun, interactive way to allow the chef and cafeteria workers to get creative with their fresh farm foods.  Amy Cotler is the author of the cookbook and she is from the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources, which is great to know because you then know it is a legit cookbook, with the right ingredients and nutrient information.  There are recipes listed by vegetable, these vegetables are: broccoli and cauliflower, butternut squash, carrots and more, green beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes, tomatoes and corn, and salads.  The cookbook also gives recipes listed by seasonal availability!  This is a great way to know what you are doing when you receive the fresh farm products and will give you the satisfaction that you are feeding the students a healthy, nutritious meal! Here is the link for the cookbook!

http://www.farmtoschool.org/files/publications_134.pdf

Enjoy everyone and be back soon! 🙂

Farm to School Program

Hi everyone!

This is my first blog post and I wanted it to be about what I am interested in with my Food and Nutrition background.  I recently went to the Farm to School Convention held in Old Sturbridge Village and I was fascinated with how many people were involved in farm to schooling.  I learned so much throughout the convention and I received so much information that it increased my knowledge and love for food and nutrition.  The Farm to School Program in Massachusetts has been matching schools and farms since 2004 and is trying to increase sustainability in the farmers and purchasing relationships.  There have been 217 public school districts, 33 other K-12 schools, and dozens of colleges so far since the program started that uses/partnerships with local farms.  The website that I post with this is the actual website for the Mass Farm to School Program and gives the profile of how Massachusetts is doing.  It gives the existing programs, where to contact, and resources that can be found.  Have fun and enjoy because I did and it is well worth taking a look at!

http://www.farmtoschool.org/MA/

Talk to you all soon!