Harvest of the Month- October 2018

Posted by on Oct 10, 2018 | 0 comments

Harvest of the Month- October 2018

Surrounded by the hype and excitement of goats and bees in the gardens, exciting lunch menu items and farmer visits, we had a staple program snuck in the mix: Harvest of the Month. Our 32nd month of highlighting a local crop was as successful as they can get. The brightly colored cherry tomatoes were so wonderful to share with the students. Although our blog is late—we are excited that it was because there was so much excitement and energy around other CSG activities and programming!

Because of this very wet fall, while harvests of Cherry tomatoes generally go though to the first frost, many many Virginian farmers struggled with producing a crop towards the end of the season. The tomatoes distributed today were from 4 local farms  here in central Virginia. Wayside Produce, Riverstone Organic Farm, Sunflower Flats Farm, and Superfood Farm are located in Rockingham County, Floyd County, Rockbridge County, and Culpeper County respectively. Too much water can destroy the fruit, cause plants to rot and will create less yield. So: this year has been a hard year for tomatoes.

Luckily,with the help of Local Food Hub, we had enough tomatoes for the students across the district to enjoy them on this wonderful summer-like afternoon. Today we had 21 volunteers spread across the district to help with Harvest of the Month. Volunteers at each school distributed beautifully colored cherry tomatoes to students. Many of the students experienced the juiciness of the cherry tomato in their school garden but there were some some students who never tried one. It was hard to resist the yellows, reds, browns, oranges, greens and purples that filled the container. At Jackson-Via we added an additional helping of cherry tomatoes to their delicious salads, while others just got them piled on next to their fresh vegetable soup and grilled cheese.

“They’re sweeter than I thought they would be!” and “Can I have another red one?” were a few of the comments after students tried the tomatoes. We are excited to continue this excitement for cherry tomatoes for next year. We are planning to get them in all of the school gardens again as an easy, quick snack to munch on before an activity starts.