October is National Farm to School Month!
A time to celebrate the connections happening between NH schools and local food!
In 2010, Congress approved a resolution to officially designate October as National Farm to School Month. Farm to school programs improve child nutrition, support local economies and educate children about the origins of food. The National Farm to School Network offers ideas on how to celebrate and NH Farm to School has created a list of suggested activities that highlight New Hampshire grown foods. Any farm to school month activity can be shared nationally using this form and will be included as part of a national survey of farm to school month celebrations. You can also submit your farm to school month activity to the NH Farm to School Program to have it featured in an upcoming newsletter or on the NH Farm to School website. Please contact Stacey.Purslow@unh.edu for assistance.
Calendar and Events
Monadnock Farm and Community Coalition: September 30 5:00-7:45 pm Stonewall Farm, Keene. Policy 201: Advocating for and Implementing Policy Supportive of Agriculture. More info and registration is available here.
NH Food Strategy Meetings: Help shape a state-wide food strategy to better our food system. Registration information and dates of upcoming meetings can be found here.
HEAL NH Conference: Accelerating Progress Towards Healthy People & Healthy Places. October 14 Meredith, NH More info and registration is available here.
Keep Growing: Sowing our Local Food Movement in NH's North Country Events calendar
NESAWG: It Takes a Region Conference Saratoga Springs, NY November 11 & 12. Info and registration is here.
NH Food Bank: September is Hunger Action Month: events and how you can help
New England Farmers Union Convention: Navigating Change in New England Agriculture December 12 & 13 Portland, Maine. More info here.
NOFA NH: Events calendar
Upper Valley's Vital Communities' Valley Food and Farm: Fostering the relationships that make agriculture a vital part of daily community life. Food, Farm and School News and Events.
NH Healthy Recipe Cooking Challenge 2014
Calling all school lunch chefs, culinary and family and consumer science students and CACFP food service!
The third Annual NH Healthy Recipe Cooking Challenge is this fall. This culinary cook off features creative recipes that meet current nutrition guidelines for USDA meal programs, includes New Hampshire grown foods in the recipes and are easy and affordable to prepare. For this years competition each recipe will need to include dark leafy greens
such as spinach, kale, romaine, collard greens or Swiss chard. Finished dishes will be judged on appearance, taste, adherence to nutrition guidelines and use of local ingredients. Prizes will be awarded to the top three recipes in each category: High school, CACFP and NSLP food service.The date for this event has not been set but will happen in late November or Early December 2014. For more information and to register your team click here.
To view recipes from previous competitions click here.
To see photos from previous competitions click here.
New Resource from the National Farm to School Network
Evaluation for Transformation: A Cross Sectoral Evaluation Framework for Farm to School.
Evaluation for Transformation defines the potential outcomes for farm to school and it offers common language and metrics to understand those outcomes for the first time. The framework is organized around four key sectors: public health, community economic development, education, and environmental quality. To learn more and download the guide click here.
USDA Procurement and Farm to School
Did you know there are procurement regulations governing the school meals programs?
The USDA has developed a guide
to procuring local foods that explains how to go about buying local using correct procurement methods. Most farm to school purchases in New Hampshire will follow the informal procurement method because they fall below the Federal threshold of $150,000. Using the informal method to target NH grown food means writing up specifications on what you want-is it a NH apple or grass fed beef? Do you want a specific variety of something that only a NH farm would have? A quick reference guide on farm to school procurement can be found here.
Watch for regional farm to school procurement trainings this school year.
Fish to School on the Seacoast
In June 2014, NH Farm to School and North Hampton School hosted a fish to school workshop for seacoast schools interested in getting local fish on the menu. The event featured tasting several varieties of fish including dogfish, pollock, and hake. All of these species are locally caught by NH fishermen and are abundant in New England waters. With help from NH Sea Grant, fresh fish will end up on school lunch menus this fall. For more information about the fish to school event read here.
Also check out these fish to school resources.
Salad Bars 2 Schools
Would you like a free salad bar in your school? Schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program are eligible to apply and need to be serving 100 or more reimbursable meals a day. It is a fairly easy application process that you need to do this fall to receive your free salad bar or bars next year. A number of NH schools have already received their salad bar-what are you waiting for? For more information and to apply click here.
NH School and Youth Garden Network
NH Farm to School, UNH Cooperative Extension and NOFA NH are working together to establish a state wide network for school and youth garden practitioners. We envision a website full of useful resources, peer to peer learning opportunities and workshops and conferences dedicated to the support and sustainability of school and youth teaching gardens. To sign up for the newsletter and to see current events please click here.