6th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Join us August 2-5 in Burlington, Vermont for the 6th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Digging In!
The conference will bring together food service professionals, farmers, educators, policy makers, representatives from government agencies and nonprofits, entrepreneurs, students and others who are breaking down barriers and expanding the impact of Farm to Cafeteria. There will be skill building short courses, field trips, a diverse workshop program and plenty of opportunities to network with inspiring indivuduals from across the country. Early Bird Registration has been extended until June 15th!
For those attending from the northeast there will be a reception on the evening of August 2 that will feature local foods and music. On the morning of August 3 is a northeast networking session that includes breakfast. I hope you will consider attending both. Conference registration includes all meals except the northeast reception and Saturday night dinner. Single day registrations are also available. Registration closes on July 13.
Healthy School Fund Raising with:
is a New Hampshire based fundraising organization dedicated to using local and sustainable products from New Hampshire and New England to help schools raise money for educational programming, sustainability initiatives, technology upgrades or any other important cause. Youandicanhelp just completed its first fundraiser with the Dondero School in Portsmouth. Julie Lapham, the executive director, gave a presentation to the PTA about this fundraising opportunity last fall. Amy O'Neill, the PTA coordinator, then decided to try it out this spring. The PTA decided what products to offer so the fundraiser was
customized according to price point, variety, number of items etc.
This fundraiser included Stone Hearth
organic pizza from Massachusetts, Terra Cotta Pasta
from Dover, NH, Pineland Farm Cheese
from Maine, Northwood Naturals
from Northwood, NH, hand made tote bags from Seacoast Sewing Center
, as well as regionally made salsa, chips, dips and pasta sauce. Prizes were awarded to the students who sold the most and included free passes to Raider Laser Laser Tag in Newington and Rumble Tumble Gym in Portsmouth.
Amy O'Neill, right, with Principal Kate Callahan receiving check from youandicanhelp fundraiser.
The Dondero School plans to do this fundraiser again in the fall keeping the best sellers from this fundraiser and adding in other products. If your school is interested in learning more please contact Julie Lapham at:
Concord's St. Paul's School has its own farmer!
The St. Paul's School is on a beautiful campus not far from downtown Concord. This private school employs Maura Adams, the environmental stewardship manager, who was instrumental in bringing an organic farmer to the campus. As with many NH schools, the St. Pauls School sits on a large area of land that needs to be maintained but may not be utilized completely. The school decided to allow a farmer, Larry Pletcher of The Vegetable Ranch
, onto the land because they had land they were not using and the farmer needed more land to grow organic foods for his customers. The school worked out a land-use agreement where 8% of the farmers yield by weight goes to the school's dining hall. The school also does some wholesale purchasing from him as well.
The school also leases, for a nominal fee, land to Miles Smith Farm
for grazing their Scottish Highland cattle. The farm supplies the fencing and water tanks needed for the cattle and the school supplies water. Having the cattle grazing means the school doesn't have to mow that area and the cattle benefit from the healthy, fresh grasses , their normal diet.
If you are a school, institution or farmer interested in this kind of opportunity please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommendations and considerations:
Farmers will need liability insurance. Be sure contracts are long enough for the farmer to earn back any investment they made such as fencing and soil conditioning. Think about a land-for-food contract.
Gleaning: "to recover or gather produce from a farmer's field that has been left behind from commercial harvesting methods or not picked because it is not perfect."
The food is completely edible and usually left to rot or be put in the compost pile or used to feed the pigs. A better use would be to pick it and deliver it to those in need. The NH Farm to School program in collaboration with NOFA NH is working to organize several gleaning programs around New Hampshire, but we need your help. We need willing farmers to allow volunteers to post-harvest their fields. We need volunteers to help harvest, pack and transport the food. We need community groups, food pantries and schools who want the food and can take it on short notice. If you are interested in being a part of this effort as a farmer, volunteer, school or organization that would like the food please contact: email@example.com