It’s the beginning of spring and TOP is celebrating by highlighting some amazing resources by our friends at Louisiana Farm to School! The Farm to School Program strives to provide a resource for Louisiana students, parents, and teachers to find fun and educational materials related to agriculture and nutrition at both school and home. It enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food, and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools, after school programs, and summer camps.
Louisiana Farm to School calls their overarching program Seeds to Success, as they hope to “sow a brighter future” for our state’s youth. Seeds start small. But do you know what happens when they have sunshine, water, and care? They grow into big, beautiful fruits and vegetables. Like seeds, people need care to grow big and strong. They need education, support, and resources. And that is exactly what Seeds to Success, the Louisiana Farm to School Program, provides.
One of the great resources that Seeds to Success offers is Seeding LA where you can discover how to grow popular fruits and vegetables in Louisiana and learn great growing tips with corresponding classroom lessons and activities. You can even use their regional search tool to find people, places, and events that promote gardening, agriculture, local foods, and farm to school programs in your parish.
Harvest of the Month is another bountiful resource supporting Louisiana-grown food at school. The Louisiana Harvest of the Month program showcases locally grown foods in Louisiana schools, institutions, and communities. Each month, participating sites focus on promoting one locally grown item (e.g., strawberries). Activities could include serving local items in a meal or snack, offering taste tests, featuring posters around the school, or teaching food education to help students get to know the featured item. Louisiana Harvest of the Month is the perfect way to launch or grow a farm to school program. It provides an easy framework that stands alone or enhances the work you already do!
Louisiana Farm to School Communications Director, Jacey Wesley, shared with us some exciting new projects. “We are currently working with Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) to produce monthly 10- to 15-minute Louisiana Harvest of the Month Videos.” She went on, “The new digital series celebrates foods grown in Louisiana and the bounty of Louisiana’s farms and gardens.” Wesley told us to expect features on “catfish, tomatoes, summer and winter squash, peppers, eggplant, watermelon, and rice” in the coming months. We couldn’t agree with Wesley more when she says that Louisiana Farm to School’s “ready-to-go materials can help schools promote local food in the classroom, cafeteria, and community.”
If you are interested in jump-starting or boosting your farm to school program, join TOP in celebrating Louisiana Harvest of the Month by signing up HERE!
Participating sites receive a FREE complete set of posters, seasonality chart, and “I Tried It!” stickers!
For a full list of Louisiana Farm to School's resources, click the link below!