Did you know that if you are a CT school educator, CT school food service employee, CT ECE educator, and/or CT farmer you can order Put Local On Your Tray materials at any time, for free? All you need to do is go to the link in our bio, and fill out the “Order Materials Anytime” form! It’s as easy as that! And if you aren’t CT-based, head over to our website where you can find all of our materials (and more!) available for download! @heartctgrown @snaofct @uconnextension @ctfarmtoschoolcollab @grownconnected #farmtoschool #ctschools #ctfarmers #localfood #connecticutgrown #ctfarms #ctgrown #supportlocalfarms #ctgrownforctkids #CTfarmstoCTschools #CTschoolmeals...
Put Local On Your Tray and UConn Extension showed up with pride and enthusiasm for Ag Day at the Capitol last Wednesday. It was great to speak with so many wonderful people about the work Tray is doing to increase the local food students are eating in schools, the educational materials we create to make eating local food fun and engaging, and the ways in which this work supports our CT growers!
Photo 1: six people stand behind two tables displaying Put Local On Your Tray and UConn Extension materials and infographics.
Photo 2: a blue UConn tablecloth and white Put Local On Your Tray tablecloth are the background for Put Local On Your Tray activity booklets, stickers, informational packets, and a calendar of what's growing in Connecticut.
Photo 3: the UConn Extension team smiles behind their Ag Day table and large pop up sign displaying the Tray "Kale Yeah" and "Squish Squash Boom" posters.
It's Farmer Friday! This week we're happy to highlight farmer Derrick who we saw during Ag day at the Capitol. Derrick learned about farming during his youth in Jamaica and has since continued farming under several CT farms before starting his business. Currently, he is growing in Hartford in urban spaces under @knoxhartford .Derrick believes in providing good quality food to his community and is one of the suppliers to Hartford Public Schools, which he has been doing for over five years. If you'd like to reach out to Derrick, follow him at @planteater2020
Last week was National School Breakfast Week, and we saw so many of our schools and partners celebrating in such big ways! A long-time partner of Tray, Naugatuck Public Schools, took this year's theme "dig into school breakfast" literally and delivered with construction hats and safety vests! What a great way to celebrate school breakfast!
Repost from @foodcorps_ct - "Our service site in Naugatuck celebrating National School Breakfast Week! Big thank you to our service member Shannon and site supervisor Kate for this amazing event!"
The Tray Team had such a great time at today's @snaofct conference: March Menu Madness! Shannon and Abby presented on local food procurement, adding local foods to menus, and cafeteria taste tests using local foods. Food Service Directors (FSDs) had the opportunity to participate in a Tray Try Day taste test featuring four recipes submitted by CT public school FSDs. We’re thrilled to be a part of this community and this work!
Put Local On Your Tray has partnered with Narragansett artist, farmer and educator, Dawn M. Spears, to create a new campaign series called "From This Land: Honoring Native Foods". The first campaign in the series honors and uplifts foods of winter including maple, roots, dried foods, and more! Check out our website, under "Seasonal Campaigns", or at s.uconn.edu/FromThisLand. You'll find a downloadable activity sheet, more about artist Dawn M. Spears, recipes, where to purchase CT Maple, as well as resources upon resources for educators and Food Service Directors. Reach out to us via DM with any questions or feedback, or feel free to email Abby at Abigail.firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out this radish taste test done at two Watertown elementary schools! Students were invited to sample daikon, watermelon, and breuer radishes and then vote on their favorite! Watermelon radishes overtook the taste tests at both Judson and Polk Elementary Schools as the favorite radish! All produce was locally sourced from @vibrant.farm in Bantam, CT. Now THAT’S how you ROOT for winter! 😋 @grownconnected @ct.grown @uconnextension @heartctgrown @ctfarmtoschoolcollab #farmtoschool #ctfarmtoschool #ctschools #ctfarmers #localproduce #roots #radishes #rootingforwinter #CTfarmstoCTschools #CTschoolmeals #CTgrown...
This Farmer Friday, we are delighted to shout out Farmer Dishawn, also known as farmer D from Root Life. Farmer D has been involved with agriculture for more than ten years, with several of those years as an environmental educator and volunteer at several agricultural organizations, including New Haven Farms, The New Haven Land Trust, The Yale Sustainable Food Project, & The Yale Botanical Gardens. Recently we were happy to see him at the Producer Training 2023, showing interest in being more connected with the farm-to-school program. You can find Farmer D on various platforms @root.life on Instagram and Facebook @Root Life and YouTube @rootlifeorganic
👀 Spotted @newhavensuper ! 🌽🥒🍓🍎
Put Local On Your Tray posters can help you decorate your cafeterias, office, or program environment with bursts of locally grown fruits and vegetables! We also have stickers to match the posters - perfect for giveaways at a Put Local On Your Tray taste test or Local Try Day! Materials are free to anyone who participates in connecting CT farms to CT schools: farmers, food service staff, teachers, administration! You can order materials from us at any time using by going to s.uconn.edu/ordertraymaterials or clicking the link in our bio!
Repost from @nhpscnp - "@putlocalonyourtray posters spotted at Edgewood School🍎
#Yum #HealthySchoolMeals #SchoolLunchHeroes #SchoolCafeteria #SchoolFoodService #SchoolNutrition #SaladBar #NewHavenPublicSchools"
For Farmer Friday this week, we have Hungry Reaper farm. Will, Jill, and Enya operate Hungry Reaper along with crew members in Morris, CT. This farm and several others have received the CT Grown to CT Kids grant and want to expand their farm-to-school connections. You may have seen us post last summer about them supplying cucumbers for the summer meals program in Waterbury. This year Hungry Reaper plans to utilize this grant to improve their wash and pack station to keep foods as safe as possible for our children. To learn more about Hungry Reaper, you can follow them @hungryreaperfarm or email email@example.com
Today we'd like to send a huge thank you to the members of our Producer Training Panel: "The Honeymooners of Farm to School Procurement". Our panelists spoke to the successes they've had in bringing locally grown food into CT schools, challenges they've faced, and the process each of them went through to to create lasting relationships between CT growers and CT schools.
Moving left to right in the first photo: John Turenne, Director of Dining Services for @branfordpublicschools; Ernie Koschmieder, Food Service Director for Groton Public Schools; Manny Marte, Co-Founder of @micro2life_microgreens farm in Simsbury, CT; Becky Tyrrell, Food Service Director with EdAdvance ; Renee Giroux, @nwctfoodhub Manager; Susan Mitchell, owner of @cloverleighfarm in Columbia, CT; and Elizabeth Fisher, Food Service Director for Vernon Public Schools.
Last Thursday, @uconnextension and the CT Department of Agriculture organized a Producer Training for farmers interested in learning how to engage with the school market. We are still relishing in the networking and learning from the day which included several talks on requirements, regulations, and opportunities. The day also included a panel of CT Food Service Directors and CT Farmers who have integrated, on various levels, relationships to enhance their district's farm-to-school engagement. Built in were ample opportunities for the attendees to connect, share, and troubleshoot.
Stay tuned for more photos, content, and thoughts from the day!
Huge thanks to everyone who came out for the Producer Training @auerfarm yesterday! We spent the day sharing information, brainstorming ideas, and troubleshooting challenges, all surrounding locally grown CT foods making their way to CT schools. To see so many growers and Food Service Directors sharing their insight in one room was humbling and inspiring. Big thanks to @educate.ct and @ct.grown for their assistance and support! Photos courtesy of @healthyplaneat. @heartctgrown #farmtoschool #ctfarmtoschool #ctgrown #ctschools #farmfresh #ctfarmers #localfood #connecticutgrown #ctfarms #ctgrown #localproduce #supportlocalfarms #ctgrownforctkids #CTfarmstoCTschools #CTschoolmeals #CTfarms #CTgrown...
This week on Farmer Friday is CT Grown to CT Kids Grant Recipient @maplebankfarm ! This farm's origins date back to the 1750s with founder Jonathon Hulburt. What first started as 6 acres of land expanded into 83 acres producing a diversity of crops such as fruits, vegetables, animal products, and more. As a grant recipient, they are interested in Farm to School and have plans to use this funding for a caterpillar tunnel which can help with seasoning extension and increase crop yield. To connect with Maple Bank, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
❤️Happy Valentine's Day, Put Local On Your Tray community! ❤️
Did you get our February newsletter this morning? No worries if not - you can always access all of our past newsletters on our website under "About Us" (and you can sign up to receive future newsletters while you're there!)
This month we kept our minds on Black History Month and the 21-day Racial Equity Challenge starting in April. We've introduced a new Cultural Celebrations section, and we're excited to be featuring maple as our local product of the month! Find information on the upcoming Producer Training, Farm to Early Care, and there's some partner news too!
It's Farmer Friday! Today it's an honor to present another awardee recipient of the CT Grown for CT Kids Grant. @huntsbrookfarm , which is based out of Quaker Hill. Hunts Brook was established in the Mid-1990s by Robert Schacht, also known as Digga. The farm has established connections with various schools, including New London, Groton, Waterford, and Montville Public Schools, providing head lettuce primarily in addition to other crops such as carrots and greens at times. As grant a recipient, they plan to expand their high tunnel operations to allow for better yields to supply to schools and other customers. If you'd like to get in touch with Digga reach, feel free to reach out to him at email@example.com
Are you a Food Service Director, teacher, farmer, school food employee, or Early Childhood Educator? Have you incorporated local Connecticut food in your cafeteria or classroom? Has your farm accommodated a fun school field trip recently?
If so, we want to hear YOUR farm to school stories and feature you on our social media! You can share your story at s.uconn.edu/share-your-stories (find this link in our bio!)
Now is the time to connect with farms to work in the coming spring, summer, and fall! Farms such as Sweet Acre Farm, awardee of a CT Grown for CT Kids Grant, built out a cooler that will allow them to store the harvest and serve schools into early winter! You can find Sweet Acre and many farms in our Farm to School Directory. Follow link in bio under "Farm to School Directory" @educate.ct @uconnextension @heartctgrown @ctfarmtoschoolcollab @grownconnected #farmtoschool #farmfresh #ctfarmers #localfood #connecticutgrown #ctfarms #ctgrown #localproduce #supportlocalfarms #springvegetables #spring #springfarming...
This week we're looking back on East Hartford's celebration of CT Grown for CT Kids Week (October 3, 2022 - October 7, 2022) and National Farm to School Month (October). @foodcorps_ct Service Member, Kenia, hosted a "crunch challenge" where students had the opportunity to taste apples and pears from @bluehillsorchard (Wallingford, CT). On Kenia's countdown, all of the students took a simultaneous bite from their apple or pear, creating an audible CRUNCH in the cafeteria! Put Local On Your Tray "It's CRUNCH Time" stickers were distributed to students after the crunch, and "It's CRUNCH Time" activity booklets were used in the FoodCorps after school Sprout Scout program! What a sweet way to celebrate CT farms and local food in schools!
Want to learn more about farm to school and how you can get involved? Send us a direct message or email Abby at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help you!
This week for Farmer Friday, we are featuring @cobblestonefarmcsa based out of Storrs, CT. They grow a wide variety of produce, including veggies, herbs, eggs, and meat. If you followed us this week, you might have seen Cobblestone mentioned on Story Time Tuesday, providing radishes and a turnip to Mansfield Middle School. Cobblestone believes in producing organically grown food free of harmful chemicals. Currently available for Rooting For Winter are turnips, carrots, and butternut. If your school is interested in connecting with Cobblestone Farm, reach out to Diane at email@example.com