Cooking with Local Foods
Thanks to funding through the Farm to Institution New England Initiative (FINE) and the John Merck Fund, the NH Farm to School program is offering Cooking with Local Foods workshops
to school food service workers this spring. The intent of these workshops is to educate cafeteria workers about what is available from NH farms that can be used to meet the new school lunch requirements. The focus is on dark leafy greens and orange and red vegetables. Recipes include using kale, swiss chard, romaine, spinach, sweet potato, carrots, butternut squash and beets, all of which can be purchased from NH farms.
The feedback from attendees has been positive. They liked learning new recipes and having a chance to connect with cooks from other schools, and many would like to attend more workshops in the future. There are still three opportunities in May if you haven't already signed up:
Kearsarge High School on May 8
Nashua North High School on May 15
Concord High School on May 29
All who attend receive a NH Harvest Calendar, a vegetable peeler, 3 hours of SNA CEU's, recipes, a cook's glossary, and a guaranteed good time!
NH Farm to School is getting ready to roll out a gleaning program for New Hampshire!
With funding through the NH Charitable Foundation, gleaning coordinators will be starting their seasonal positions in late spring. On April 3, NH Farm to School hosted a workshop with presenters from Salvation Farms
and the Vermont Food Bank
in Vermont and from Boston Area Gleaners
in Massachusetts. These programs in our neighboring states kindly shared their stories, experience and information with us so we have the tools to be successful here. Also in attendance was the Veggie Volunteer program
of UNH Carroll County Cooperative Extension. The purpose of gleaning is to harvest produce that would either be left in a farmer's field or unsold because of imperfections and to provide that food to soup kitchens, food pantries and schools.
Gleaning turnips at Wake Robin Farm in Stratham
The coordinators will each work under a host organization in several regions of the state. Gleaning coordinators will be responsible for finding willing farms to glean from, developing a list of volunteers, and communicating with the recipient organizations. Each coordinator will also maintain records of what was gleaned from where and whom received the fresh produce. If you are interested in being a gleaning volunteer, please contact:
S.N.A.C Program in Newmarket
Linda Hopey, the food service director in Newmarket, says "students are your best advocates!"
Before she became director, she would work the register at lunch and chat with the students because she was interested in what the students had to say. She would have lunch with the more curious ones. When she became director, she formed a committee with 9 students from the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades and called it S.N.A.C
- Student Nutrition Advisory Committee. The committee meets once a week at lunch time. Each student on this committee gets to plan a lunch menu of his or her own every month to be served to the school. Linda uses this opportunity to educate them about using different colored foods, using foods that are in season, and suggesting new foods to try. They also get educated about the cost of foods and how to build a balanced meal. Students bring ideas to the meetings, and Linda tells them why the ideas can or can't work. Before the end of this school year students will have spaghetti squash with tomato sauce because they requested it. Linda plans to continue S.N.A.C. next school year.
Farm Day Fund Raiser
Save the date! Sunday, June 2 from 12:00-4:00 pm at Dimond Hill Farm in Concord, rain or shine!
Come on out to the farm for an afternoon filled with educational opportunities, music, food, ice cream and fun! The day will feature:
Merrimack Valley Bee Club
Conservation District Soil Booth
Ask a Master Gardener
NH Llama Association
Carding and Dyeing Llama fiber
Hike with a Llama
NH Ag in the Class
Chickens and Turkeys
Music by Don Watson
Food by The Soup Guy
Locally made Ice Cream
This is a fund raising event for the NH Farm to School program and will support work in several regions of the state. In case of rain, all activities will be in the barn.
Monadnock Food Hub by Marcia Passos Duffy
What were once the biggest obstacles to getting local farm products into local institutions -- ordering and delivery -- now have a streamlined solution in the Monadnock Region. Monadnock Menus, a program of the Cheshire County Conservation District, has teamed up with Harvest to Market to launch an aggregation and delivery service to link local farms to institutional buyers. One of its first customers was the Monadnock Regional School District.
Tom Walsh receiving local pumpkins through Monadnock Menus
The Harvest to Market website allows institutional buyers to buy items from many farms but get only one invoice and get all products at the same time on a set delivery date. '"All the barriers to buying local farm products that we have been hearing from institutions are eliminated," says Amanda Littleton, director of the Conservation District. "It streamlines the entire process." The hope is that it will catch on, helping many local farms and expanding market opportunities to all areas of the Monadnock Region.