Right before the Academy Awards I race around trying to see all the films that have been nominated. And right about now, with Farm to School Month about to come to a close, I’m feeling the same way about trying to absorb all the great information being shared this month.
As the USDA Farm to School Census shows, schools across the country are putting local foods on the school menu at breakfast, lunch and dinner; taking trips to the farm; integrating lessons about food and agriculture into the school’s curriculum; and sowing seeds in school gardens.
Lucky for me, and you, more and more school districts are documenting their good work through film. I took a break recently and got caught up. Here are just a few videos that I’d nominate for an Academy Award if there were a category for “Best Local Lunch Video.”
Bringing the Beef to School
Fifth generation ranchers visit student classrooms, and even bring their most cherished ranching tool: their horse. Honorable mention for taking advantage of the beautiful Montana countryside for an enthralling studio set. Saddle up for a beautiful ride here.
Changing Lives in DC
By providing a culinary job training program for unemployed, underemployed, previously incarcerated persons, and homeless adults, DC Central Kitchen is changing lives and changing school food at the same time here.
The Kale Chip Test
How do kids at Lemon Grove School District, CA, feel about kale chips? Students in a newly formed “farm to school club” surveyed their peers and found out. See the results here.
Oregon’s AM Northwest
A popular morning talk show in Oregon dishes up farm to school lessons every month. Learn about healthy changes in the cafeteria here and wake up and get energized from some young gardening gurus here.
Cooking with Love in Chester, PA
These chefs and bakers at Chester Upland School District are more like a family, cooking up over 30,000 meals per day, all with a smile. The secret ingredient in their kitchen? Love. Learn more about the culinary family here.
Ripe Watermelons in Fayetteville, AR
Students at Fayetteville Public Schools in Fayetteville, Arkansas, a USDA Farm to School Grantee, learn how to tell if a watermelon is ripe, and other farm to school facts here.
Editor’s Note: How do the schools in YOUR community bring the farm to school? Please make sure your district is counted by accessing the Census results online. USDA will be accepting additional submissions to the USDA Farm to School Census through November 30, 2013. To receive information and updates about USDA’s Farm to School Program, please sign up for our Farm to School E-letter.