|Sow, Reap, Prepare, Eat! a NH Farm to School Conference
The first NH Farm to School Conference is taking place on November 19 at Lebanon High School. Click on the above link to find registration information. Tony Geraci, the former food service director in the Con- Val school district and now superstar in the farm to school world will be giving the keynote as well as screening his documentary film CafeteriaMan. The rest of the day will feature workshops about school gardens, composting, farm to school based curriculum,farm to cafeteria and organizing and sustaining farm to school programs. Presenters include Kin Schilling of the Cornucopia Project in Hancock, Abbie Nelson of VT FEED, NH Ag in the Class, Cedar Circle Farm in Vermont and other teachers, farmers and school food service persons. Local foods lunch and snacks are included.
Grinnell Elementary School in Derry Getting Local Vegetables for the FFVP Program
Susan Boroskas, the food service director for the
Derry Cooperative School District has known farmer
Robin Ilsley of Allen Acres/Ilsley Farm in Weare, NH for
many years. Susan was a chef instructor at SNHU and
Robin was one of her students. Susan says she always
buys eggs, syrup and veggies from Robin for her home
so why not for school? The Ilsley Farm started in the
1940's as a dairy and egg farm and has since expanded
to include maple syrup, flowers and vegetables. Robin
applied for and received a grant to build a hoop house
so she could extend her growing season starting earlier
in the spring and go later into the fall.
Currently she grows tomatoes, potatoes, corn, cucumbers
and peppers. She plans to grow other items for the FFVP program this fall like radishes, baby carrots and salad greens. In the spring she will try spinach and snap peas.
Cutting Ilsley Farm peppers for the FFVP program
Because Susan has known Robin a long time she
has found it easy to purchase vegetables for the school
otherwise she thinks she might not have the time to
establish a new relationship with a farm. Susan also says
the smaller farms are best to deal with because they can
be very willing to try new things or grow items just for
the school. The students are excited about the FFVP
program as it it new to them this year. They look forward
to what new things they get to try. The teachers and
administrators have also commented very positively about
the program. I'm trying to keep it as local as I can,
Allen Acres/Ilsley Farm grape tomatoes
NH Farm Fresh Delivers to Schools
in Carroll and Coos Counties
NH Farm Fresh aka The NH Institute of Ag and Forestry based in North Conway, NH has started a local foods delivery service to schools and businesses in Carroll and Coos counties. Each week NH Farm Fresh e-mails a list of whats available from participating farms to its customers. The customers choose what they would like via e-mail or by phone for the following weeks delivery. Schools from Pittsburg to Wolfeboro are encouraged to take advantage of the service. Rich Girouard of the Gorham-Milan School district has been ordering on a regular basis items like fingerling potatoes, green and red peppers, green beans, grape tomatoes, carrots and apples.The potatoes were served roasted and mashed, the pepppers were used in salads and veggie sandwiches, tomatoes and cucumbers also for salads and sandwiches and carrots were served with a lo-cal dip. Sarah Clemmmitt, a teacher, said " I am so glad to hear that we are supporting local business and health!"
Antrim Schools benefit from Antrim Farm
By Kathy Chapman UNH/TSAS student
Tenney Farm in Antrim has been in operation since 1775.
It began as a dairy farm and remained one until the late 1960's
when vegetables were introduced. The first farm stand opened in
1970. By the 1980's all the cattle were taken to market and the
focus of the farm turned to fruits and vegetables. The Tenney
family farm offers strawberries and raspberries, herbs, vegetables,
cider, eggs and an assortment of NH Made products. Antrim
Elementary and Great Brook Middle School as well as the Pierce
School in Bennigton all participate in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program. Donna Reynolds, the food service director for the
Con-Val schools, will call Crista Tenney Salamy to find out what
the farm has in season in a quantity to feed 500 students. The
fruit or vegetable is then picked up by one of the school kitchen
staff. Tenney Farm has provided cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes,
mixed peppers, cucumbers and melons for the Fresh Fruit and
Vegetable program as well as apples, peaches, nectarines and plums
that they obtained from other local farms. The fruits are more
popular with the kids than the vegetables but overall the response
from students seems to be one of enthusiasm, and that is encouraging.
Tenney Farm Stand is open for the season until Thanksgiving and eggs are available throughout the year. The stand is located at 1 Main Street, Antrim.