Farm-to-School

Working with Local Farms

TCAPS Food & Nutrition Services continues to work with local farms to provide fresh, tasty, and healthy foods to all students in the district.

November 2018 Farm to School Projects

honey glazed parsnips and carrots taste test samplesHoney Glazed Parsnips and Carrots

Students at Central Grade School, Courtade Elementary School and Westwoods Elementary School had the opportunity to taste honey glazed parsnips and carrots at recent taste tests held at each school. A total of 742 students participated in all and most students like it or loved it. The vegetables were sauted in butter and honey and sprinkled with rosemary. Second Spring Farm donated all the produce for the taste test. 

Taste Test Results by School

 

  • Central Grade - 355 students, 101 tried it, 97 liked it, 157 loved it
  • Courtade - 188 students, 46 tried it, 58 liked it, 84 loved it
  • Westwoods - 199 students, 52 tried it, 55 liked it, 92 liked it

October 2018 Farm to School Projects

Courtade Elementary School

School-wide Apple Crunch

Courtade Elementary students participate in apple crunch eventCourtade Elementary School students participated in a school-wide apple crunch event. Apples were generously donated by Bardenhagen Farms.

 

 

 

Central Grade School

Swiss Chard Taste Test

Swiss Chard taste test posters of tried it, liked it, loved itOver half of Central Grade School's student body participated in a taste test of swiss chard in sage butter. Of the 338 that tasted the recipe, 117 tried it, 110 liked it and 111 loved it. The swiss chard and sage were harvested from the school's very own garden. 

 

 

Westwoods Elementary School

Pop-Up Farmer's Market

Students checking out the booths at the school's pop-up farmer's marketStudents at Westwoods Elementary School enjoyed their time exploring the booths at the school's pop-up farmer's market. 

They also participated in a school-wide apple crunch. Apples were donated by Wunsch Farms.

 

 

2017-2018 Farm to School Projects Summary

Courtade Elementary School 

2 Healthy Snack Taste Tests

radish with hummus taste test posterBoth took place in the cafeteria & all students tasted snacks during their lunch period
 

Apples/Pears/Cantaloupe with low-fat greek yogurt dip and Radishes with hummus
 

Students voted Tried It-Liked It-Loved It
 

 

Family Cooking Class

Courtade students participate in a Farm to School cooking classAfter school event

Parents worked with Chef Adam McMarlin to learn how to break down a chicken while students taste tested local root vegetables

Each family went home with the ingredients/recipes to make the meal themselves

Co-convened with Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Taste the Local Difference

The Courtade cooking class was featured on a External Link9&10 News “Wellness Wednesdays” segment.

Westwoods Elementary School

Family Cooking Class

westwoods students participated in cooking classAfter school event, held in the Family-Consumer Science classrooms at West Middle School

Parents worked with Chef Adam McMarlin to learn how to break down a chicken while students taste tested local root vegetables

Each family went home with the ingredients/recipes to make the meal themselves

Co-convened with Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Taste the Local Difference

Pop-Up Farmers Market

westwoods students looking at lettuce at farmer's marketOne-time, school-based farmers market, held on the school lawn

Six vendors with local spring produce and value-added products

Teachers received vouchers to use to purchase produce for their classrooms

Most farmers allowed students to test test their offerings (pea shoots, jam, etc)

Co-convened with Taste the Local Difference

Central Grade School

Two Family Cooking Classes

central grade school students in cooking classAfter school event

Parents worked with Chef Adam McMarlin to learn how to break down a chicken while students taste tested local root vegetables

Each family went home with the ingredients/recipes to make the meal themselves

Co-convened with Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Taste the Local Difference

School Garden Revitalization and Lessons

central grade school student planting with three sistersPartnered with three classrooms - one each of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade

Facilitated three lessons with each classroom that incorporated garden work time with curriculum connections (math, science, social studies)

Partnered with TCAPS and the Grand Traverse Band to have GT Band members present to students about the legend of the three sisters and help the students plant their own three sisters garden (External LinkRecord-Eagle Article about the partnership)

Coordinated with Master Gardeners, parents, and community members to ensure summer garden care  

More Information About Farm to School

Last year, TCAPS planned more hot vegetables in our school meals in addition to providing daily salad bars to continue to increase local produce consumption in the schools. See the photo gallery below of local farmers who we purchase product from. External LinkFoodCorps, in conjunction with TBAISD, is working to develop classroom videos showing External LinkFoodCorps’ daily classroom lessons. They hope that these videos will allow more schools to incorporate the FoodCorps programs into their curriculum. We are working with the FoodCorps instructors to come up with recipes for future produce that we would like to introduce into our meals and that they can include in their lessons. TCAPS is also working hard to add more community businesses that we partner with to increase consumption of other local products. We recently worked with External LinkStone House Bread to increase our fresh artisan bread choices for this school year in our secondary schools which now feature Friday Panini day.

TCAPS is proud to be partnering with External LinkGoodwill Industries. Last year, the chefs at Goodwill Industries created a marinara sauce for TCAPS using local tomatoes. TCAPS students taste-tested the sauce and gave it their approval. Goodwill Industries roast and freeze local tomatoes, then make the district’s marinara on an as needed basis and deliver it to our schools. In addition to the marinara, Goodwill Industries also bakes breakfast muffins for TCAPS using frozen, local blueberries. They also look to source Michigan whole grain flour and sugar to use in the muffins.

External LinkCherry Capital Foods of Traverse City continues to supply locally grown honey, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, watermelon, broccoli, onions, blueberries, strawberries, green peppers, zucchini, squash, and frozen cherries while supplies last. TCAPS is currently purchasing some of our produce from Mi Farms Co-op which is located in Leelanau County. Lastly, springtime brings us asparagus from the External LinkNorkonk Farm in Empire.

We have also been working with Brandon Seng of Goodwill Food Programs and the Farm to Freezer initiative. This program will help expand local food offerings throughout the year as Video Documentshowcased in the video of Brandon’s efforts in collaboration with Calvin Lutz Farms.

TCAPS will also be working to expand its Farm-to-School and local purchasing programs into concessions and catering operations this school year.

School Meals Include More Local Fruit & Vegetables Via 10 Cents A Meal Program

Michigan’s innovative 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program is continuing—and it’s expanded. Gov. Rick Snyder signed the $16.8 billion education budget on June 28, 2018, including a $575,000 line item for the 10 Cents a Meal program. Michigan Prosperity Regions 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9 are now eligible to receive 10 Cents funding. TCAPS has applied for funding. 

Other Resources