Harvest of the Month Poster Winners Announced

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network (LFN) hosted the Taste of Tennessee Harvest of the Month (HOTM) poster contest during Farm to School month in October 2023.  All K-12 students in the Northwest Tennessee Region were eligible to enter the contest. The Harvest of the Month program’s goal is to encourage healthy and local food choices by increasing Northwest Tennessee residents’ exposure to seasonally available foods. 

“This project provides awareness of the locally grown foods, artistic expression, and the important connection with our local food system,” commented Samantha Goyret, Executive Director of the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network. “The entries showed how students, when given a chance, have an incredible ability to showcase their creative skills and agricultural knowledge.”

The 12 student winners were chosen from 58 entries from South Carroll County Special School District and Weakley County School District. The winners are (drumroll please….):

January – Beef: Candice Bowlin, Grade 9, Clarksburg School

February – Pork, Jayden Garcia, Grade 8, Clarksburg School

March – Hydroponic Lettuce, Basil Parsaca, Grade 9, Dresden High School

April – Radish, Bayleigh Laws, Grade 4, Clarksburg School

May  – Strawberries, Vivian Flippin, Grade 3, Clarksburg School

June – Broccoli, Mattie Burnett, Grade 12, Dresden High School

July – Corn, Klover Santiago, Grade 5, Clarksburg School

August – Melons, Becky Melton, Grade 5, Clarksburg School

September – Apples, Lily Lucas, Kindergarten, Clarksburg School

October – Gourds, Tegan Stout, Grade 3, Dresden Elementary School

November – Sweet Potatoes, Annaka Townsend, Grade 6, Clarksburg School

December – Turnips, Alexa Vu, Grade 6, Martin Middle School

“We celebrate the Clarksburg Rockets Farm to School program in partnership with the NWTNLFN that is guiding us as we develop a robust Farm to School culture in all grade-levels in our school,” stated Dr. Lisa Norris, Director of Schools, South Carroll Special School District. “The Harvest of the Month program is a great example of how to tie in art, agriculture, nutrition and local food education all in one project. ”

The winning artwork will be featured in Harvest of the Month Promotional materials in the Northwest Tennessee region. The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL in Northwest Tennessee.

Clarksburg School Taste of Tennessee Harvest of the Month Poster Winners 2024
(From left to right): Caroline Ideus – NWTNLFN, Annaka Townsend, Klover Santiago, Candice Bowlin, Bayleigh Laws, Vivian Flippin,  Lily Lucas, Clarksburg Art Teacher LeAnne Edwards, Samantha Goyret, NWTNLFN
(Winners not present: Becky Melton & Jayden Garcia)

Weakley County Schools Taste of Tennessee Harvest of the Month Poster Winners 2024  (From top to bottom): Tegan Stout – Grade 3, Dresden Elementary School, Alexa Vu – Grade 6, Martin Middle School, Mattie Burnett – Grade 12, Dresden High School
(Winner not present: Hydroponic Greens, Basil Parsaca – Grade 9, Dresden High School)

Local Foods for Local Schools – online procurement discussion

On December 4, 2023 the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network hosted a FREE virtual Meet-Up for Farmers and NWTN School Nutrition Directors to:

1. Discuss procurement trends and issues

2. Cultivate relationships with NWTN School Nutrition Directors

3. Create pathways for collaboration to innovative local food procurement

4. Share Market and Funding Opportunities with Farmers & Schools

Share, network and learn from a panelist of experts including Dan Spatz from Healthy Flavors Arkansas/Tennessee, Brenda Williams from Communities Unlimited, Jiwon Jun from EAT Real.org, Mike Brown from the TN Dept. of Agriculture, hear news from the new Appalachian Regional Food Business Center, and Caroline Ideus & Samantha Goyret from the Northwest TN Local Food Network. We will be planning for the 2024 school year by connecting NWTN School Nutrition Directors to Farmers. We hope for a fruitful discussion as we plan for 2024!

Watch the recorded video below:

Watch the recorded meeting he
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Additional Resources Shared:

Local Food Procurement Resources:

Opportunities for engagement

  • Spring 2024 Local Foods for Local Schools funding must be spent by August 2024.
  • NIFA Food and Agriculture Service Learning Project: SAE Internships with Farmers 2024/2025 – To be determined upon funding to the NWTN Local Food Network in May 2024

TN Farm to School Institutes

GAP Certification Overview

~ NOTES FROM THE MEETING ~

Procurement Trends and Issues –  Dan Spatz, Healthy Flavors AK/TN

  1. Dan is transitioning his family farm from commodity crops to specialty vegetable crops and sourcing his locally grown foods into schools.
  2. Many are aware that the types of foods children & anybody in your community consumes are important to one’s overall health.
  3. Create opportunities to sit-down with people, face-to-face, and cultivate relationships with institutions – it’s a win-win on both sides. 
  4. We need more farmers willing to take managed risk. It might not be intuitive as the easiest way of selling food, but the childhood nutrition program in our schools is the largest restaurant in Tennessee.
  5. What we have coming off the farm is not packaged the way the school nutrition facilities are used to receiving it.  
  6. How do we get the food off the farm and have it ready for use in Childhood nutrition programs?
  7. You have to have a mind-set of customer service.
  8. The pricing directly from farms is not inline with school nutrition budget / allocations.  Commodities are much more affordable than direct farmer sales; however recent funding has allowed for more local food purchases
  9. Farmers – Don’t think, as a farmer, that you’re doing this on your own.  There are many resources available for farmers through grants and other incentives.   

NWTN School Nutrition Directors (and contact info!) who have receive Farm to School, Local Foods for Schools or Healthy Incentives Funding – 

Meeting Notes

What is the funding that you have now?  – NWTN School Nutrition Directors

  1. Trista Snider (Weakley Co.) – received funds through a grant (Local Foods for Schools (LFS) & Healthy Meals Incentive Grant, looking to source anything that is available.  The grants have allowed us to hire a school nutrition consultant / chef to train staff to improve techniques and recipes for scratch cooking.
    1. Particularly looking for meat products.  
    2. Barriers – costs and deliveries from the farmers.  
    3.  Weakley County School Nutrition Facebook page
  1. Lisa Seiber-Garland (Trenton SSD)- Received money through grant (Local Foods for Schools -LFS & Healthy Meals Incentive Grant) buys as much as possible and is able to buy local products at market rate.  The grants have helped us buy equipment & to hire extra staff to help prepare local foods, fresher foods, more scratch cooking.
    1. Sourcing from Stockyard Market (Stockyard Burger every friday), starting to get pork from them,  purchases produce from area farmers, Blackberry Pond Farm
    2. Vision – ALL of our students want to eat in the cafeteria, it’s their cafe. The food is always good. Every child has at least two good meals every day and they are enjoyable and students tell people about their school food. When we have a happy child, with their tummies full, they can study and learn better.

The good thing about being a school nutrition director is that we all work together, share resources and gather ideas. It is a tough profession to be in, but we have a lot of support from one another.

~Lisa Seiber-Garland, Trenton Special School District

Create pathways for collaboration to innovative local food procurement – Mike Brown – TN Dept of Ag 

What’s Needed in the future in 2024 to get more food in schools?  

Sue Miller – Blackberry Pond Farm, Martin, TN, Weakley County , West TN

  • Currently they have excess Scarlett Queen and Thai turnips & Beets right now. Additionally they have micro-greens available for taste tests. Microgreens have a high nutrient content.

Tyler Smith  – Future Visions Farms, Whitlock, TN, Henry County, West TN

  • Strawberries (Mid/late April- June) – can deliver to schools 
  • If you can’t be competitive with wholesale dealers, don’t try 
  • Growing for volume – cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, watermelons, cantaloupes, butternut, spaghetti, acorn, kombucha, new potatoes. Sweet onions (red and yellow)
  • Henry County has not received any grants to purchase local foods.
  • GAP Certification – the farm is GAP Certified which has been necessary for the large distributors/ market  – it’s a lot of redundant, tedious paperwork. It takes time.

Ryan Gunn – Blueberry Farms, Cottage Grove, Williamson County, Middle TN 

  • Small-Scale Beef Producer
  • Competitive Pricing
  • How small of a producer is too small for schools?
    • There is no size limit. We have sourced one beef cattle into schools and that was fine. Most importantly it needs to  be USDA certified processed, the measurements are equal – i.e. exactly 5lb packages.
  • Delivery is also a factor but could be included in the cost of the product
  • They deliver from farm to freezer
  • Dignity and Food should always be hand-in-hand. It’s good to know that people care about food and have dignity for their school food.

Keep up to date with our Harvest of the Month program here: https://nwtnlfn.org/taste-of-tennessee/

Register in this year’s NWTN Local Food Guide (it’s free!) – only for farms and producers living in Northwest Tennessee.

Thank you for your interest in the local foods for local schools online discussion. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Caroline Ideus or Samantha Goyret with questions or concerns.

Grow Food Challenge Winner Donates Prize and Hunger Relief Guide Published

Beginning on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 through July 1, 2023, the #GrowFoodChallenge partnered with 14 Seed Distribution Partners in 9 northwest Tennessee counties to distribute 2,700 seed packets donated by the Society of St. Andrews, Sow True Seed, Community Gardens Commission, Barefoot Gardens, and Ferry Morris. 

Doubling the amount from last year, in 2023, 105 participants registered, impacting a total of 609 individuals, families, and childcare centers, including 338 children from nine (9) Northwest Tennessee Counties: Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley, TN. 

The #GrowFoodChallenge is a yearly call to action for individuals, families, schools, & community groups in Northwest Tennessee to grow food (#NWTNEssentialGardens) & build soil (#ComePostYourCompost). Local growers are encouraged to donate their extra produce to food pantries throughout the region by visiting the NWTN LFN’s webpage: nwtnlfn.org/volunteer/plant-a-row-for-the-hungry.

#Grow Food Challenge participants could participate in three themed photo entry opportunities to win prizes: START. GROW. HARVEST. Participants entered up to a total of 6 photos showcasing their growing food and food waste projects. There were several prizes associated with each theme including the grand prize to fill a chest freezer with a quarter processed beef from NB Beef Company.

Owen Wenz, is the #GrowFoodChallenge winner of a family pass for four from Discovery Park of America! Owen is very knowledgeable about plants and loves to grow food! It’s little guys like him that inspire big kids like us to grow more food and reduce food waste!

Margaret Perry Childcare Center inWeakley County, Tennessee won theBamboozle compost pail prize from this year’s#GrowFoodChallenge. The staff and children not only grow healthy food, they serve healthy food in their daycare meals, too!#farmtoECE

Bethany Overington from Carroll County won the START prize for the #GrowFoodChallenge donated by Tractor Supply out of Milan, TN.

The NWTN Local Food Network recently published a Hunger Relief Guide. Local growers are encouraged to donate their extra produce to food pantries throughout the region by downloading the guide from NWTN LFN’s webpage: nwtnlfn.org/volunteer/plant-a-row-for-the-hungry.

On Saturday, July 1st, at the Martin Farmer’s Market Celebration Event, Samantha Goyret and Caroline Ideus, Local Food Network Team Members and Co-Managers of the Market, with the help of musician Alex Sadler, announced the winner of this year’s #Grow Food Challenge. 

The McKenzie Senior Center from Carroll County, TN was announced as the grand prize winner. They won a chest freezer to include a quarter processed beef from NB Beef Company out of Sharon, TN. 

Pictured here, left Samantha Goyret and Right Caroline Ideus present a sign of gratitude to NB Beef Company owners – Cody Nanney and Justin Burlison, who donated a quarter of their locally raised and processed beef to the #GrowFoodChallenge Grand Prize Winner: McKenzie Senior Center who will be donating their prize to United Neighbors, a food pantry in Carroll County.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with NWTN Local Food Network to provide this type of offering. Eat local and Eat beef!”

– Justin Burlison, Co-owner of NB Beef Company

These gifts keep on giving because, as a collective decision, the McKenzie Senior Citizens Center has donated their prized freezer full of local beef to United Neighbors, a local thrift store and food pantry located in McKenzie in Carroll County, TN.

Left to right: A #GrowFoodChallenge collaboration with Samantha Goyret – NWTN Local Food Network, Cody Nanney – NB Beef Company, Saudia Aiken – United Neighbors, Karen Ibarra – McKenzie Senior Citizens Center

“We have been serving our community’s seniors since 1963 with a total 82 active annual members today,” stated Carol Armpriest, President of the McKenzie Senior Citizens Center.  “We decided to donate our grand prize to United Neighbors because they could use a freezer full of local beef for their clientele in our community. It aligns with the activities the Local Food Network is promoting in the #GrowFoodChallenge – provide your extra food to others who are in need.”

Photo: (Left to Right) Carol Armpriest, Samantha and Sofia Goyret, and Karen Ibarra pose with the Hunger Relief Guide and their #GrowFoodChallenge Winner Certificate in front of the McKenzie Senior Citizens Center square-foot garden that is located behind their building, near the EW James Grocery Store parking lot in McKenzie, TN. They will be donating their prize to United Neighbors, a local food pantry.

Karen Ibarra, also pictured, partnered with Carol in creating the garden with the goal of benefiting the McKenzie Senior Center members and local community with vegetables and knowledge about growing your own food. As a UT Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, Mrs. Ibarra stated, “sharing the garden experience and the beef also aligns with the mission of the Tennessee Master Gardener Program to improve the lives of Tennesseeans by promoting individual and community health and environmental stewardship.”

“The timing of this gift could not be at a better moment,” stated Saudia Akin, Executive Director of United Neighbors. “We are seeing more families in need of food this year, and we often run out of food by the end of the month. Providing this local source of protein is an incredible gift to our clientele in need.”

United Neighbors, located on 2455 Cedar Avenue in downtown McKenzie, will be offering food boxes to anybody in need on Wednesday, October 4th at 5pm.

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of Martin, TN with a mission to serve as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL in Northwest Tennessee.

We hope you can join us for next year’s Northwest Tennessee #GrowFoodChallenge. Learn more at nwtnlfn.org/grow-food-challenge.

The #GrowFoodChallenge is paid for through a #SeedMoney Grant with the following generous seed donors; Society of St. Andrews, Sow True Seed, Ferry Morse Company, Cooperative Gardens Commission; and the following prize donors: Discovery Park of America, Greenway Nursery, Tractor Supply Company, Walmart, Bamboozle, the TN Environmental Council, Rural King and NB Beef Company.

Grow Food Challenge Winner Announced and Hunger Relief Guide Published

Beginning on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22 through July 1, 2023, the #GrowFoodChallenge partnered with 14 Seed Distribution Partners in 9 northwest Tennessee counties to distribute 2,700 seed packets donated by the Society of St. Andrews, Sow True Seed, Community Gardens Commission, Barefoot Gardens, and Ferry Morris. 

The #GrowFoodChallenge is a yearly call to action for individuals, families, schools, & community groups in Northwest Tennessee to grow food (#NWTNEssentialGardens) & build soil (#ComePostYourCompost). Local growers are encouraged to donate their extra produce to food pantries throughout the region by visiting the NWTN LFN’s webpage: nwtnlfn.org/volunteer/plant-a-row-for-the-hungry.

Doubling the amount last year, this year 105 participants registered, impacting a total of 609 individuals, families, and childcare centers, including 338 children from five (9) Northwest Tennessee Counties: Benton, Carroll, Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Henry, Lake, Obion, and Weakley, TN. 

#Grow Food Challenge participants could participate in three themed photo entry opportunities to win prizes: START. GROW. HARVEST. Participants entered up to a total of 6 photos showcasing their growing food and food waste projects. There were several prizes associated with each theme including the grand prize to fill a chest freezer with a quarter processed beef from NB Beef Company.

On Saturday, July 1st, at the Martin Farmer’s Market Celebration Event, Samantha Goyret and Caroline Ideus, Local Food Network Team Members and Co-Managers of the Market, with the help of musician Alex Sadler, announced the winner of this year’s #Grow Food Challenge. 

The McKenzie Senior Center from Carroll County, TN was announced as the grand prize winner! They won a chest freezer to include a quarter processed beef from NB Beef Company out of Sharon, TN. 

“We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with NWTN Local Food Network to provide this type of offering. Eat local and Eat beef!” – Justin Burlison

These gifts keep on giving because, as a collective decision, the McKenzie Senior Citizens Center will be donating their freezer full of beef to United Neighbors, a local food pantry in Carroll County, TN.

“We have been serving our community’s seniors since 1963 with a total 82 active annual members today,” stated Carol Armpriest, President of the McKenzie Senior Citizens Center.  “We decided to donate our grand prize to United Neighbors because they could use a freezer full of local beef for their clientele in our community. It aligns with the activities the Local Food Network is promoting in the #GrowFoodChallenge – provide your extra food to others who are in need.”

Photo: (Left to Right) Carol Armpriest, Samantha and Sofia Goyret, and Karen Ibarra pose with the Hunger Relief Guide and their #GrowFoodChallenge Winner Certificate in front of the McKenzie Senior Citizens Center square-foot garden that is located behind their building, near the EW James Grocery Store parking lot in McKenzie, TN. They will be donating their prize to United Neighbors, a local food pantry.

Karen Ibarra, also pictured, partnered with Carol in creating the garden with the goal of benefiting the McKenzie Senior Center members and local community with vegetables and knowledge about growing your own food. As a UT Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, Mrs. Ibarra stated, “sharing the garden experience and the beef also aligns with the mission of the Tennessee Master Gardener Program to improve the lives of Tennesseeans by promoting individual and community health and environmental stewardship.”

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based out of Martin, TN with a mission to serve as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL in Northwest Tennessee.

We hope you can join us for next year’s Northwest Tennessee #GrowFoodChallenge. Learn more at nwtnlfn.org/grow-food-challenge.

The #GrowFoodChallenge is paid for through a #SeedMoney Grant with the following generous seed donors; Society of St. Andrews, Sow True Seed, Ferry Morse Company, Cooperative Gardens Commission; and the following prize donors: Discovery Park of America, Greenway Nursery, Tractor Supply Company, Walmart, Bamboozle, the TN Environmental Council, Rural King and NB Beef Company.

Pictured here, left Samantha Goyret and Right Caroline Ideus present a sign of gratitude to NB Beef Company owners – Cody Nanney and Justin Burlison, who donated a quarter of their locally raised and processed beef to the #GrowFoodChallenge Grand Prize Winner: McKenzie Senior Center who will be donating their prize to United Neighbors, a food pantry in Carroll County.

Kailyn Bates out of Huntington, TN won the #GrowfoodChallenge gift basket!

The NWTN Local Food Network recently published a Hunger Relief Guide. Local growers are encouraged to donate their extra produce to food pantries throughout the region by downloading the guide from NWTN LFN’s webpage: nwtnlfn.org/volunteer/plant-a-row-for-the-hungry.

Owen Wenz, is the #GrowFoodChallenge winner of a family pass for four from Discovery Park of America! Owen is very knowledgeable about plants and loves to grow food! It’s little guys like him that inspire big kids like us to grow more food and reduce food waste!

Margaret Perry Childcare Center inWeakley County, Tennessee won theBamboozle compost pail prize from this year’s#GrowFoodChallenge. The staff and children not only grow healthy food, they serve healthy food in their daycare meals, too!#farmtoECE

Bethany Overington from Carroll County won the START prize for the #GrowFoodChallenge donated by Tractor Supply out of Milan, TN.

GroMoreGood Grant to Cultivate Sharon School Garden

Recently, the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network received a $500 Gro More Good Grassroots grant to support the renovation and rejuvenation of the Sharon School Grant. This was a competitive national grant from the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening.

In 2023, 160 programs received funding to start or expand their youth garden or greenspace. A total of $95,000 was awarded.

“Congratulations to the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network for receiving a 2023 GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant,” said KidsGardening’s Program Director, Sarah Lane. “We love when kids can play, learn, and grow in the garden, and the new student-designed garden at Sharon School will be the perfect place for that.”

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network facilitated the Weakley County Farm to School Action Planning process which produced a Farm to School Action Plan in 2021. “The organization’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for a thriving and equitable local food system that is accessible to ALL,” stated Samantha Goyret, Executive Director, NWTNLFN, “which is exactly how we plan to utilize the Sharon School Garden as a way to empower both teachers, students, and the community.”

The Weakley County Farm to School vision statement, “Plants the seeds for students to learn where their food comes from by growing, observing, and experiencing hands-on opportunities. The growth of the initiative occurs as educators, farmers, and local ag-based entities work together to create a nationally recognized sustainable model.

The #GrowSharon School Garden Committee will coordinate the maintenance of the garden through a strategic plan that is being worked on with the STEM Garden design project to involve ALL grade levels at Sharon School in order to take part in maintaining, engaging and enjoying the garden space. 

Part of the plan is to add playground borders around the garden, lay down a thick layer of mulch and create new raised beds for kids 3 years old to 14, Pre-K – 8th grade to utilize throughout the school year.

#GrowSharon Committee members include Linda Biggers, Interventionist Specialist at Sharon School who is working with students to design the school garden using STEM concepts; McKenna Cady, Middle School teacher who incorporates STEM concepts into daily student activities and has a passion to work with children with disabilities; Michelle Clements, Principal, Sharon School who has been serving Weakley County Schools for over 15 years; Beth Davidson, Assistant Principal who wears many hats, Ms. Beth is a Literacy Leader, RTBR Coach, and co-leader of the Sharon School; Samantha Goyret, Parent/LFN Staff, who has been volunteering at Sharon School for 5 years and loves to teach children about gardening, eating well and having fun in the soil; and Danielle Scott Johnson, 2nd grade Teacher who in 2020, was a Teacher of the Year State Finalist, and the lead teacher who implemented the Sharon School garden in 2014. Ms. Danielle’s passion and dedication to keep growing has inspired the rest of the school to take action to expand the garden location.

The GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant, brought to you by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening, is designed to bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens to communities across the United States. The Grassroots Grants are part of Scotts Miracle-Gro’s larger GroMoreGood initiative, which aims to bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens and greenspaces to 10 million children by 2023.

There are several volunteer opportunities through the NWTN Local Food Network visit: nwtnlfn.org/volunteer.

More about grantees: https://kidsgardening.org/grant_winners/2023-gromoregood-grassroots-grant-winners/

~ Written by Samantha Goyret
Local Food Network Team Member

Taste of Tennessee Harvest of the Month Poster Winners Announced

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network (LFN) has been developing the Taste of Tennessee Harvest of the Month (HOTM) poster contest since 2019. In 2022, during National Farm to School Month in October, the LFN partnered with Weakley County Schools and Trenton Special School District to conduct this annual poster contest. The Harvest of the Month program’s goal is to encourage healthy food choices by increasing Northwest Tennessee residents’ exposure to seasonal foods, agriculture and nutrition education, while supporting local farmers and building excitement about locally made meals.

nwtnlfn.org/taste-of-tennessee

This project provides awareness of the locally grown foods, artistic expression, and the important connection with our local food system,” commented Samantha Goyret, Executive Director of the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network. “The entries showed how students, when given a chance, have an incredible ability to showcase their creative skills and agricultural knowledge.

9 student winners and 9 honorable mentions were selected from a total of 57 entries from Weakley County School & Trenton Special School Districts. The winning student artwork will be pooled with all Harvest of the Month winners since 2019 to then be featured in a 12-month poster series that will be offered to all school cafeteria programs across the State of Tennessee through generous support from the Tennessee Department of Education. The finalists will be announced at a later date.

Each contestant had to write one to two sentences about their featured local product. “I picked watermelon because it’s my favorite fruit!,” wrote Scarlett Lovell, Greenfield School. “It’s juicy & sweet. I like to eat watermelon in the summer with my dad!

I love apples,” wrote Helena Bennett, Kindergartener at Sharon School. “My apple is in a fruit basket, and I love polka-dots. It’s in my imagination.”

“I love honey,” wrote Haven Love, 5th grade, Trenton Rosenwald Middle School. “It is a healthy food, and I like to cook with it. I think it is neat how bees make it.”

Weakley County Schools is very fortunate to have such great supporters of both Agriculture and the arts in our area,” said Randy Frazier, Director of Weakley County Schools. “Our rich farming heritage deserves to be celebrated and we are grateful to the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network for highlighting our students’ talent and producing such a practical tool for us.”  

Students received local food and produce prizes from the following farms: Blackberry Pond Farm out of Martin, TN, Dixie Chile Ranch out of Kenton, TN, Purrrfectly Homemade out of Troy, TN and Barefoot Gardens out of Martin, TN.

Image Above: Weakley County School Students, (top left to right): Helena Bennett – Sharon School, Annabelle Lovell – Greenfield School, Paola Rodrigues – Dresden Elementary School,

(bottom left to right): Maria Ivansic – Martin Elementary School, Elissa Puckett – Dresden Elementary School, Wyatt Craig – Dresden Middle School, Avery Riley – Sharon School

Image Above : Trenton Special School District Students from Trenton Rosenwald Middle School (left to right): Catelyn Ambrose – Watercolor Asparagus and Black/Blueberries, Colored Pencil Choloe Francis – Black/Blueberries, Nickolaus Cliff – Colored pencil Strawberries, Haven Love – Pencil and Marker Honey

The following student artists won the Harvest of the Month poster contest:

~ Honey – Haven Love – 5th grade, Trenton Rosenwald Middle School
~Asparagus – Wyatt Craig – 6th grade, Dresden Middle School
~Strawberries – Avery Riley – 3rd, Sharon Elementary 
~Strawberries – Nickolaus Cliff, 5th grade, Trenton Rosenwald Middle School
~Blue/Blackberries – Chloe Francis – 8th grade, Trenton Rosenwald Middle School
~Asparagus, Blue/Black Berries – Catelyn Ambrose – 8th grade, Trenton Rosenwald Middle School
~Tomatoes – Paola Rodriguez – K, Dresden Elementary School
~Apples – Helena Bennett – K, Sharon School
~Pumpkins – Elissa Puckett – 1st grade grade, Dresden Elementary School 
~Leafy Greens – Annabelle Lovell – 8th grade, Greenfield Elementary School
~Watermelon – Maria Ivansic – 5th grade, Martin Elementary School

The following students received Harvest of the Month honorable mentions:

~Honey – Sofia Goyret – 3rd grade, Sharon School
~Blue and Blackberries – Jo Winstead, 7th grade, Dresden Middle School
~Blue and Blackberries – Emma Munoz, 7th grade, Martin Middle School
~Watermelon – Scarlot Lovell – 3rd grade, Greenfield Elementary School
~Watermelon – Blaze Bennett – 5th grade, Sharon School
~Apples: Persi Foster – 2nd grade, Gleason Elementary
~Pumpkins: Helena Bennett – K, Sharon School

The Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network’s mission is to catalyze actions that are increasing access to locally grown and produced foods.  

This program’s material is based upon work that is supported by the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Grant in collaboration with the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network and Farm to School program partners.

For more information about the Harvest of the Month program, local food recipes, and how to download current Harvest of the Month posters, visit the Local Food Network’s website at: nwtnlfn.org/taste-of-tennessee.

Free Snacks at Farmers Market Back to School Event

This Saturday, July 30th from 8am – 12 Noon at the Martin Farmers Market, the Northwest Local Food Network will be providing FREE snack taste tests along with farmers market vendors offering their favorite snack recipes. Kids activities include a table hosted by the Kiwanis Kids Club who will be making bookmarks. Blackberry Pond Farm will offer a hands-on hydroponic tower and microgreens growing demonstration. 

To support the Weakley County Schools Food Pantry, donate your non-perishable food items (examples: Mac-n-cheese, instant mashed potatoes, family pasta meals, canned vegetables, canned fruit, kid friendly snacks). 

Register for Free & Reduced Lunch Applications through the Weakley County Schools Nutrition Department. Get ready for school with healthy snacks!

Pick up a Weakley County Fair Agenda, get your copy of the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Guide, and #Get It Local! Invite your friends to this event: https://fb.me/e/3AAnYh8YN

Blackberry Pond Farm will be offering a demonstration of hydroponic equipment that will be utilized in Weakley County Schools through various growing food projects led by teachers and their students. #FarmtoSchool

~Written by Samantha Goyret, Co-Manager of Martin Farmers Market
Executive Director, LFN Team