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Farm to School: Having Fun in Woodstock, Vermont

By Abbey Keller

Harvesting carrots, cooking local food, and working hard at local farms are only some of the fun and educational activities that the Woodstock Farm to School group is doing.

Woodstock Farm to School group at Fable Farms in Barnard with their carrot harvest.Farm to School is a national program that strives to educate students (K-12) about nutrition, cooking with fresh produce, and to connect schools and students with local farms and food.

The Farm to School program at Woodstock Union High School/ Middle School meets every week, to join in gardening, cooking, creating, and more after school for any students interested. The goals of the Farm to School program are “to increase local food options being served in the cafeteria, to facilitate a working school garden, and to build relationships between the school and the greater community” said Kat Robbins, who along with, Melissa Fellows, and Katrina Jimerson, lead the WUHS/MS Farm to School program with the support of teachers, staff, and community members.

Woodstock Farm to School student Abbey Keller loves those carrots!

Woodstock Farm to School student Abbey Keller loves those carrots!

Recently, the club made a visit to Fable Farms and neighboring Kiss the Cow Farm, in Barnard, Vermont. At Fable Farms everyone helped harvest carrots, while also learning and experiencing the gardening techniques that the farm practices. An interesting tip that we learned was to plant clover in the aisles of gardens to prevent the soil from drying and to implant nutrients in the ground. The students enjoyed sampling the carrots they pulled from the ground themselves. After working in the carrot patch, the crew made their way to Kiss the Cow farm, a small business producing raw milk, organic eggs, meat, and more. During the tour at Kiss the Cow Farm, the students had the chance to milk a cow — the first time for many of them. “I really felt in touch with how much hard work and joy comes from picking organic, local food!” exclaimed Claudia Mills, a seventh grader at Woodstock Middle School, “I experienced how sweet, delicious freshly picked carrots taste! I also discovered the strange sensation of milking a cow… at Kiss the Cow Farm!”

Lately, the Farm to School crew put on a fundraising dinner, serving homemade meals that were made with local ingredients. The dinner was a great success, not only raising funds for the program, but serving food to students, staff, and faculty at the school and community members. The local food made by the students, with direction of the enthusiastic cafeteria cooks, taught the kids how local foods can be incorporated in one’s everyday diet. Everyone is having fun in the Woodstock Union HS/MS Farm to School program, being involved in healthy delectable cooking, local and enjoyable field trips, and much more to come.

Abbey Keller is a 7th grade student at Woodstock Union School and enjoys the Farm to School program.

Editor’s Note: More information about Farm to School at: www.farmtoschool.org. GET would like to share how your programs are teaching young folks about sustainable living.  Submit your articles to georgek@greenenergytimes.org.

 

 

 

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