Fresh Bites Fall Edition 2021

County doesn’t have as many active farms today, they recognized the need to teach basic life skills to future generations and bridge the gap between producers (farmers) and consumers. So in the fall of 2017, 5 acres of vacant school property was transformed into productive crop land and raised beds were built. The technology classes built a pavilion and picnic tables in 2018 and 15 dwarf apple trees were planted. In 2019, they added solar power and a well to the garden and formed Tioga Central FFA. The latest project has been construction of a 24x48’ hoop house to extend the growing season and diversify crops. The biggest win for their Agriculture program this past year was the addition of a second Ag teacher, teaching Ag in grades K-12. The school garden, Tiger Farm, has created a strong foundation for Ag programming at Tioga Central. Windsor’s Future Ready Knights program allows students to followcareer-focused pathways throughout high school. In 2018, an Agriculture pathway (including courses such as Intro to Agriculture, Agribusiness, and Agricultural Math and Careers) was developed. This coursework is the perfect complement to the established Ag in the Classroom programming (provided by CCE) that take place in grades K-8. In the High School Agriculture Pathway, students engage in authentic agricultural learning opportunities around food production, using resources including the high school’s large greenhouse, aquaculture lab, aeroponic tower garden, chicken coop, and a 6.7-acre land lab. The land lab was purchased in 2018 in collaboration with the Broome County Land Bank Corporation. To assist in strategically utilizing all of Windsor’s agricultural assets, the District was fortunate to receive two NYS Farm-to-School Grants that included coaching and monetary support. These grants, along with the recently received National Farm to School grant, are pushing the district to achieve their vision of “being a world-class community school.” It is the goal of the Agricultural program to provide quality learning opportunities for students while supplying both the school cafeteria and local community (53% economically disadvantaged) with nutritious locally grown food.

COMMITTEES Farm to School

Farm to School Feature


The art teacher is the champion for creating the Skoi-Yase Elementary school garden in Waterloo, NY. She assembled a team of teachers, and along with CCE and parents, raised

School gardens are an excellent way to incorporate hands on learning into food that can be served in the cafeteria. A school garden can range in size from a single raised bed outside the cafeteria or classroom to acres of production, including greenhouses and aquaculture and can be started and maintained by a variety of school partners. Here are some examples: The Seneca Falls School district’s food service director, Stephanie Lawrence, wanted a kitchen garden to supply fresh veggies for summer feeding and for the salad bar in the fall. With the help of school maintenance, two large raised beds where built outside the cafeteria, a local farm donated composted soil, and a science teacher had her class start seedlings and help plant them into the garden. She recruits students and teachers to help maintain and harvest the garden. School Gardens BY MO TIDBALL FARMTO SCHOOL COORDINATOR SENECA COUNTY CORNELL COOPERATIVE EXTENSION

garden beds were built in the school courtyard. Students start seeds in their classroom in early spring and transplant them into the garden in late May. Things like butternut squash, watermelon, and carrots are planted because they required little maintenance over the summer and can be harvested by students in

the fall. Many of the art projects are based on what is growing in the school garden and students are served a special meal from the garden harvest. The South Seneca School district has garden beds that are part of the Ovid Community Garden which is a very short walk from the school. The community


garden donated the space for the school to use and students built the raised beds as part of a tech class. An English teacher has incorporated gardening into her class, created an afterschool gardening club, and helps to maintain the garden space.

Whether large or small , school gardens create an excellent opportunity for student engagement in food production and fresh produce for the cafeteria!

Check out these great F2S Training Videos for Food Service Staff!

Learn how to make a locally sourced kale and apple salad recipe and “smashed potatoes” that can be served as part of Farm to School and the 30% Initiative. Cafeteria staff are encouraged to watch these videos as a training tool, learning the basic skills on how to prepare the recipe and about where and how the agricultural products are produced. CEU credits are available*. These videos can also be shared as a classroom education tool and through social media to raise awareness of Farm to School programming with families and the wider community. The videos were produced by Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES with grant funding from USDA and NYSDAM.

The idea to start Tiger Farm, part of Tioga Central School district, came from a past Superintendent, Scot Taylor, with much support from the community, the school board and local farms. Many students and their families had active farms just one generation ago, and although Tioga





FALL 2021


FALL 2021

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