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Posts Tagged ‘school lunch’

goodfoodnetworkFriday & Saturday, March 8 & 9:  Good Food Transforming our Region Summit

About the keynote:

Dr. [David] Wallinga applies a systems lens to think about health impacts of food and how it is produced, processed, packaged and distributed in today’s global, industrialized food system.”

About the workshops:

Through the lens of food, workshops will include topics such as economic development and jobs, farmer and producer networking, food access, policy advocacy, healthy food, research and infrastructure, food hubs, and farm to school.”

CSA_OpenHouse03-14-13Thursday, March 14: FREE  CSA Open House

Stop by the Zeitgeist Arts Lobby between 5-7 pm to:

  • Meet local farmers (including ME!)
  • Learn about your share options
  • Choose the right CSA for your family

Friday, March 22:  Farmers Take the Stage

Everyone is welcome at this much-anticipated annual event. In addition to great music by great farmers, there will be a silent auction, stories, humor and more.”

This event is a benefit for the non-profit Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association.

FTTStage

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Yesterday was a great day to attend a conference — overcast with a few sprinkles — and I was able to attend the first part of the Farm to Cafeteria workshop in Cloquet. After the bustle of registration, the 85+ attendees settled in to the auditorium at the Cloquet Forestry Center and heard an introduction from our own LS-SFA’s Joel Rosen. Stephanie Heim took the mike next to give an overview of the Farm to School program, and as I listened to her lovely, soothing voice, I felt . . . tired. Sorry, Stephanie:  I really appreciate your work. I just needed a cup of tea.

It was good to be around other farmers and community members with a shared desire to bring good food to good people and help improve the farming economy in our area. The panel discussion was lively and informative, and it sounded like a delicious dinner featuring foods from local farms (yes, even in April in Northeast MN) was to be served after I left.

Speaking of schools, one of my favorite students, Tristan Pohl, is planning to help out at Stone’s Throw Farm this summer. Here’s a somewhat dated photo of Tristan (on the right) with her dad, Steve, and sister, Autumn. Tristan’s parents are splitting a share this year, and I hear she has quite a green thumb. I’ll be inviting other farm members and non-members to help out on harvest days (Mondays) this summer in exchange for veggies or reduced share prices. Stay tuned for more info on that opportunity.

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Let’s get those kids eating local spuds, folks!  Anyone interested in learning how to bring locally-grown food to cafeterias (of schools, hospitals, and nursing homes) is invited to attend a workshop on Thursday, April 29, 2010, from 2:00 – 7:30 pm at the Cloquet Forestry Center, 175 University Road. 

This includes:  “farmers, food service directors, schools, institutions, distributors, parents, school board members, administrators, teachers, wellness committees, rural and economic development specialists, Extension educators, Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) coordinators, non-governmental organizations, and other community experts.”

You must preregister for the workshop by April 26 (that’s Monday).

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Minnesota Public Radio’s Midmorning program is covering school lunch and farm-to-school programs this morning at 9 am Central — click here to listen.

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Remember school lunch? I do. Mostly I remember white bread-and-lots-of-butter sandwiches, kids finding dead flies hiding under their tator tots (no joke — I witnessed it), and not having anywhere to hide the food I didn’t want to eat since I don’t like drinking milk and therefore didn’t have an empty milk carton (at one point at my grade school, we were required to clean our plates before we could go outside for recess). Long story short, the food wasn’t great.

That’s why I was encouraged to hear that a number of excellent organizations are working together to plan a “Farm-to-Cafeteria” workshop for Northeastern Minnesota. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, check out Lee Zukor’s “Open Letter to Our Children:  We’re Sorry About School Lunch” at his blog, Simple Good and Tasty. I really appreciate the comment by the “School Lunch Landy” (sic) — it’s not necessarily the staff’s fault that the food is sub-par!

On a related note, one of the attendees at the Lake Superior Farming Conference suggested that schools open up their kitchens to farmers during off-hours (usually school lunch rooms close around 2 pm during the school year and are empty all summer) so farmers can make value-added products without the expense of building their own commercial kitchens. Sounds brilliant to me.

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