Resource Library

The resources below are published by FEED or its parent organizations, Shelburne Farms and NOFA-VT.

Click on any of the resource titles to learn more about that particular item.

Cultivating Joy and Wonder: Educating for Sustainability in Early Childhood Through Nature, Food, and Community

This guide is designed to bring education for sustainability into early childhood classrooms through engaging activities, essays, and resources that encourage children to explore and engage in the world around them. It is the product of Shelburne Farms’ years of experience in early childhood education and sustainability, both on the Farm and with their partners, the Sustainability Academy and King Street Center in Burlington, Vermont. It includes:

  • more than 75 “facilitated learning experiences” organized around four “threads” that flow through the seasons: Who Are We?, Who Lives Here?, What’s Happening?, and How Are We Connected?
  • background on the promising practices and approaches to education for sustainability adapted to be developmentally appropriate for early childhood classrooms
  • essays from educators sharing their experiences with education for sustainability
  • an appendix packed with handouts to support and extend the learning experiences

Published by Shelburne Farms

Farm to School Action Planning Template

This is made up of several worksheets to help you get going on your FTS plan. Use it to brainstorm and think through the goals, action steps, group members, timeline, and resources/assistance needed.

Farm to School Assessment Rubric

The Rubric is designed to help schools or districts assess the stage of their farm to school program, which can help inform action planning to identify what next steps might be taken to deepen the program and give it greater staying power. It can also be used to identify readiness for farm to school grants and needs for technical assistance.

Farm to School: Highlighting Local Fruits and Vegetables

Although this guide was created for schools participating in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), it is good for anyone needing ideas for creating learning opportunities in the classroom around fresh food. It was funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant through VT Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets. FFVP provides all students in participating schools with a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day. This is not only an opportunity to incorporate nutrition education in the classroom while providing a free healthy snack, it is also an opportunity to support your neighborhood farmer by buying local. Published by VT FEED.

Guide for Connecting Farms to Schools & Communities

This guide is designed for farmers, teachers, and others interested in using farms for education and connecting them to the community. It includes strategies for marketing local food to schools and 45 hands-on, farm-based, educational activities. Published by VT FEED.

Guide for Farm to School Community Action Planning

This resource is a primer on organizing a school committee to develop a farm to school program. It’s perfect for school nutrition staff, parents, teachers, principals, students, or community members seeking to make changes in their school food environment and develop connections between classrooms, cafeterias, and communities. It’s filled with templates and examples for planning, running meetings, checklists, and other resources. Published by VT FEED.

Guide for Using Local Food in Schools

This guide is designed to help schools reconnect with their local food systems through their school food programs. It is intended for school nutrition directors, managers, and staff, as well as farmers, students, teachers, school administrators, parents, and community members who are interested in making changes to school food. Based on VT FEED’s belief that the cafeteria can be a place of learning and discovery, this guide explores opportunities for increasing local purchasing, shares stories about real-life challenges and successes, and identifies ideas for changing the school food system. Published by VT FEED.

Guide to Taste Testing Local Foods in Schools

This guide is designed to help school nutrition staff, teachers, and farm to school coordinators develop a successful taste test program, a strategy which VT FEED has found to be effective at encouraging children to try new foods, explore a variety of healthy dishes, and develop lasting healthy eating habits. Published by VT FEED.

This guide provides the tools and resources to help implement a taste testing program in your school in order to:

  • broaden student experiences with a variety of foods
  • introduce foods that are locally grown and available
  • integrate new, local foods into school meal programs and get students to eat them!
  • involve students and staff in school food change

How Do We Feed Vermont’s Schoolchildren?

Vermont school serve breakfast and/or lunch to more than 50,000 Vermont students each year—a total of 15.5 million meals and an annual business of $40 million. An increasing number of children in Vermont have poor or inadequate diets and lack a working knowledge of their local food system. By working with Vermont's current school nutrition programs, we can provide all children with access to more fresh and healthy foods straight from Vermont farms. This can improve children's health and performance and expand opportunities for local farmers.

This report outlines how Vermont schools currently provide meals to their students. It shows how farm to school programs work within schools to encourage greater use of fresh local foods and help Vermont children make healthier food choices. Published by VT FEED.

New School Cuisine: Nutritious and Seasonal Recipes for School Cooks by School Cooks

New School Cuisine is the first of its kind—a cookbook for school cooks, by school cooks. Developed by Vermont school nutrition professionals with support from the New England Culinary Institute, this cookbook includes 78 kid-tested and approved recipes that meet the new USDA dietary guidelines and feature local, seasonal foods. It's a practical resource for child nutrition programs as each recipe is in USDA format, yields school-sized quantities, includes a nutritional analysis, and contains information on the specific food components that credit towards meeting the USDA meal pattern. New School Cuisine was created by VT FEED, the Vermont Agency of Education’s Child Nutrition Program, and the School Nutrition Association of Vermont.

Project Seasons

Developed by Shelburne Farms, Project Seasons is a collection of hands-on education activities for discovering the wonders of the world. Classroom educators, pre-school and after-school teachers, camp instructors, and parents will find it invaluable in cultivating an awareness and appreciation of agriculture and natural resources. It includes:

  • over 147 activities using low cost, easily found materials
  • directions and illustrations for creating hands-on seasonal bulletin boards and learning stations
  • learning objectives, grade range, and time required for each lesson
  • background information and thematic bibliography

Promising Practices of Farm to School: An Integrated Approach to School Food Change

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control, this report shares findings from a yearlong project to investigate the impact of farm to school programs in Vermont.    

The project gathered quantitative and qualitative evidence on how the accessibility of healthy food through farm to school programming affects student attitudes towards eating fruits and vegetables. It can help whole school communities move towards healthier school food choices. Vermont farm to school stakeholders met regularly from fall 2009 to spring 2011 to share information and gather evidence of the impact of programming on student food choices. The goal was to identify promising practices of farm to school and explore how to make lasting school food change.

The cross-program evaluation in this report is based on evidence collected from 12 schools engaged in farm to school programming throughout Vermont (rural, suburban, and urban). Data was collected from 632 students, 43 teachers, and 10 food service directors in 2010-2011. Published by VT FEED.

Serving up a School Culture of Health, Wellness & Nutrition

This guide is designed for school administrators, farm to school coordinators, teachers, health and wellness staff, and others interested in building a coordinated culture of health in elementary schools. It walks readers through a framework from assembling a school team and taking the pulse of the school to nurturing a school culture that values the important role that healthy food, nutrition education, and physical activity play in learning. It includes countless creative, field-tested ideas alongside nine real-life profiles of Vermont schools to build understanding and support your efforts in making schools healthier places to learn. The guide was created by VT FEED and the Vermont Agency of Education with support from USDA and Team Nutrition. Published by VT FEED.

Values Based Tiered Buying Resources

Does your organization or institution need a template to assist with articulating your goals for buying local? In this webinar, Abbie Nelson and Erin Buckwalter of NOFA-VT, provide an overview of their research and show the tools they have created that support institutions to define and communicate their food purchasing values, and subsequently develop and market a values-based tiered buying system that includes local and regional foods.

Vermont Farm to School Food, Farm and Nutrition Curriculum Units

This guide includes seven in-depth food, farm, and nutrition units for grades K-12. Classroom educators from around Vermont created the units and VT FEED made modifications to increase accessibility for a variety of classroom settings.  You may be interested in an entire unit, or you may want to choose lessons that work best for your classroom and students. Each unit focuses on a different theme specific to the developmental needs for that grade level and contains a “Snapshot” that outlines the components of the unit and lesson summaries. Published by VT FEED.

Vermont Farm to School: Building a Healthy Food System One Bite at a Time

An overview of the farm to school movement in Vermont and our successes in combating childhood obesity. The 17-minute film documents and shares success stories collected during an 18-month study, funded with support from Senator Patrick Leahy and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC Grant # 1H75DP002293-01). Produced by Andrea Grayson of It’s a Fine Mess! Productions, One Bite at a Time was screened at the 2011 Vermont International Film Festival. Viewers may watch the three-part documentary in its entirety or view shorter segments, each highlighting the impact of farm, food and nutrition programs on the health of Vermont’s school children. Published by VT FEED.

For more information on the CDC-funded study or to request a DVD of One Bite at a Time please contact us.