Charlottesville Farm to School & Healthy Schools Week

City Schoolyard Garden, Charlottesville City Schools and the City of Charlottesville joined with numerous partners to launch Charlottesville Farm to School & Healthy Schools Week. Announced at the October 2nd City Council meeting, this week aligns with Virginia Farm to School Week and National Farm to School Month and this initiative builds capacity for bringing healthy, local food to city youth. During the first full week of October students at the all Charlottesville City Schools engaged in experiential garden and food-based activities throughout the week with farm animals, a special Local on the Line Menu, and more.

 

“City Schoolyard Garden is pleased to partner with Charlottesville City Schools, the City of Charlottesville, Local Food Hub and numerous community organizations and businesses to engage students in tasting and learning about healthy, local foods,” said Aleen Carey, City Schoolyard Garden Board Chair. “We aim to build food equity for city youth and to educate and excite students about gardening, cultivating healthy living skills, and local agriculture.”

At the CSG gardens, we host goat visits, farm field-trips, garden lessons, and more! Check out our blog to see highlights from Farm to School and Healthy Schools Week 2017.

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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!

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2016 Farm to School Week Highlights: 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!

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A Casa Alma chicken eating in the Clark garden.

In the Burnley-Moran garden, students also welcomed the Casa Alma chickens, and 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.

Students at Burnley-Moran learning about compost from the man who knows it best - Eric Walters of Black Bear Composting.

Students at Burnley-Moran learning about compost from the man who knows it best – Eric Walters of Black Bear Composting.

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. In 2017, the Local on the Line initiative will be amplified with fresh local foods served daily. img_2732

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!

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Thank you to our Charlottesville Farm to School & Healthy Schools Week sponsor: The Market at Grelen

We are grateful to partner organizations: