All 50 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Territories are taking part in this concerted effort to get kids to make the connection between growing, farming, and their food. (Here’s a website that’ll keep you reading for hours: the National Farm to School Network.)

But let’s consider some things we could each do as individuals or small groups!

  • Volunteer to help your child’s teacher take the kids to a local farm for an hour or two to see what’s still growing and what that fruit or vegetable looks like when it isn’t in a grocery store aisle.
  • Since this is harvest month for the last of many fruits and vegetables, ask the kids, “What happens on a farm in the winter?” Contact local farmers to ask if someone can take time during the winter to email the kids in the classroom about what preparations for spring take place during winter in the fields, or planning the crops, or even choosing what to grow from seed catalogues and websites.
  • Have the class order free seed catalogues so everyone can get a good look at the ‘farmers’ wish books.’
  • Connect with the Tennessee National Farm to School partner, Elizabeth Goss, who was our guest speaker during last month’s Meet-uP and has access to an ample supply of resources.
  • Join this month’s Farm-to-Preschool Meet-uP Community Potluck on Tuesday, October 9th at 5:30 PM at Trinity Presbyterian Church on 145 Hannings Lane in Martin, TN. We will explore ideas, information and resources with guest speaker, Briana Jimenez from the Child Care Resource and Referral Network.
  • Create a class cookbook by asking the kids and their families to contribute a favorite recipe that uses a fresh food. This could even turn into a fundraiser if the cookbook could be printed inexpensively and the proceeds donated for – what else? Starting a school garden!
  • Don’t forget the farmers’ wives, who spent many years not only helping on the farm, but harvesting, cooking and often preserving the crops. Would a local farmer’s wife be willing to come and speak to the classroom for an hour or so? Contact an area farmer listed in the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Guide.

Food for thought.  ~

~Terri Jenkins-Brady
Team Blogger