City Schoolyard Garden celebrates Virginia Farm to School Week with the Charlottesville City Schools (CCS) during the first full week of October. Students at the Charlottesville City elementary schools, Buford Middle School, and Charlottesville High School (who just recently joined in on the fun) participate in various fun, garden and food-based activities throughout the week!
The Virginia Farm to School Week is part of the National Farm to School Network (NFSN), which is an information, advocacy and networking hub that works to bring local food sourcing and food and agriculture education into school systems throughout the United Sates. NFSN strives to empower children and their families to make informed food choices while simultaneously engaging in and strengthening the local community and economy. Currently, 42% of US schools participate in or interact with NFSN, engaging around 23.6 million students!
In recent years, CSG has provided various activities and events to help engage students in the VA Farm to School Week program. For example, at Clark Elementary, Farm to School week trivia was read during the morning announcements and students then went into the garden to participate in a variety of activities. Chickens from Casa Alma came and visited the students, who were able to observe the chickens pecking around and eating bugs and seeds!
In the Burnley-Moran garden, students also welcomed the Casa Alma chickens, but they got a visit from Eric Walters who works with Black Bear Composting. The students were able to learn all about composting and sustainability as well as make seed balls for the garden.
CSG has also partnered with the Local Food Hub and the Charlottesville City School Nutrition Department to offer a tasty Farm to School Week lunch menu, which included dishes that were made from scratch and were sourced locally.
The Virginia Farm to School Week program provides a rich opportunity to engage students in learning about Virginia’s agricultural community and help them connect their local schoolyard gardens to the broader agricultural system. CSG is excited to support this program and its mission!