farms help kids enjoy local harvests for lunch - Oregon

I recently came upon this article on Treehugger I think it's exactly what we all want our schools to offer and finally Oregon is stepping up and doing it! We should all try to do our part for our schools so that our kids get the best quality food.

In Oregon ::
The Harvest of the Month Program features an Oregon grown product on the lunch menus of participating schools on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. The program is made possible through a partnership between Whole Foods Market and Ecotrust.

Ecotrust is a nonprofit that establishes and maintains relationships between farmers, ranchers, and fishermen and restaurant chefs, grocery retail buyers, and other distributors. Its mission is to connect small sustainable farms to their customers, keeping demand high for the best seasonal offerings in the area.

From kindergarten on through high school, kids at schools in the program get to enjoy fabulous seasonal favorites like local cucumbers, sweet corn on the cob, parsnips, cabbage, potatoes, pears, radishes, and asparagus. Eighty-five schools in the area currently participate in the program.

The Program's Mission
Combining locally grown goodness into homemade meals shows kids how delicious local produce is in comparison with the vending machine monster found at the other end of the cafeteria. After all, getting them started young is always the best way to instill green values in your kids.

Oregon Farms in the Spotlight
Below are some of the awesome local farms chosen to be a part of the program. Each participating farm uses sustainable farming practices without chemicals or pesticides. And they all work hard to keep their impact on the planet minimal. As the program continues to grow, additional farms will be added to the roster to give the kids as much variety as possible.

Hurst Berry Farm
Organically Grown Company
Pollock and Son
Rod Friesen
Willamette Valley Fruit
Unger Farms
Canby Asparagus Farm

The Harvest of the Month Program shows kids the benefits of using small local farms versus mass producers, which can strip foods of their nutritional value and taste, harm the environment, and put scary additives into our food supply.

How to initiate a similar program in your local school ::
It all has to start somewhere, I am trying to start an after school program at my son's school, I would like to see if kids would like to get involved and create their own garden. Obviously this is not a new idea, Alice Waters began this program many years ago in Berkeley, California, but I tell you no one at our school had even thought of the idea, so make the suggestion at your school and you never know who might take it on! (and no, you don't have to do it yourself, but just make the suggestion and start the conversation)