Fall harvest brings Farm to School and Farm to Table events

Posted October 11th, 2011 by Jessica Haney in Green, Health

Farmers markets are abundant with fruits and veggies in the fall, and schools and municipalities are getting in on the action.

Arlington, Virginia kicked off Arlington Farm to Table Month on October 1 with a book signing by Diane A. Welland, author of the brand new — and very accessible — The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Local. Several Arlington restaurants are highlighting locally sourced foods throughout the month as part of the Local Foods, Local Chefs program.

October is now designated as National Farm to School month. Washington D.C. celebrated D.C. Farm to School Week last week, October 3-7. Last year’s celebration is documented in this powerful slideshow, Voices from D.C. Farm to School Week. Maryland Farm to School kicked off in September.

An outing at the farmers market yields yummy greens and a rendezvous with our egg source! Note that these are, in fact, spring chickens (and spring greens, from June).

The third annual Virginia Farm to School Week will be November 7-11, 2011. Last year, schools in Arlington and Alexandria brought in guest chefs and held tastings throughout the week. Barcroft Elementary loved the November week so much, the school’s PTA planned a second Farm to School week in June, a rousing success that was highlighted in the September issue of PTO magazine. More inspiring information and links can be found at the Field to Fork Network.

Last month, educators in Northern Virginia met to discuss schoolyard gardens at the Eat, Grow, Learn seminar. In Maryland, The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF) — in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Food Safety — is offering a free webinar to define the term “Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) for School Gardens and School Nutrition Programs.” Participants can find out what is happening in schools around the country when it comes to growing and eating local. No matter where you live or where your kids go to school, this event will surely be instructive. Registration for the Wednesday, October 12 afternoon webinar is available at GoToMeeting.com

There are so many resources now to connect ourselves to the land and farmers that produce our food. If your school or town still hasn’t gotten the word that the DC Metro area has plenty of great agriculture and gardening opportunities, check out this webinar or some of the links above and inspire some home-grown love!Jessica Claire Haney grew way too many cherry tomatoes this year. She blogs about living naturally — most of the time — at Crunchy-Chewy Mama.

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