In the Field: Our Recent Workshops & Courses

Posted on January 20, 2019

Vermont FEED staff has been all around the state—and beyond—to expand Farm to School programming to new communities and deepen existing programs. Here’s a snapshot of the work we’ve done these past few months:

USDA “School to Farm-” and “Farm to School-” Based Curriculum and Local Food Procurement
Southern Vermont
Fall 2018

This two-year School to Farm project started with two school communities with the goal of building stronger connections to their local farms through education and local purchasing. One favorite moment over the course of the program was when Ms. Skolnick’s Randolph Elementary class had the amazing opportunity to take their Vermont History and Farm curriculum to canvas. Special guest artist Brendan Taaffe worked with the fourth grade students to turn their story into an old fashioned ‘crankie.’ A crankie is an old storytelling art form: a long, illustrated paper or canvas is would onto two spools and  loaded into a viewing box. The scroll is then hand-cranked so the images pass by the viewing box while the story is told aloud. It can be accompanied by a narrative, song, or tune. The Vermont History crankie and classroom educational program finale will be performed during a community farm event at Silloway Farms in May.

Farm to School Curriculum Support with the Center for an Agricultural Economy through Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Concord School, Concord VT
September 25, 2018

We worked in collaboration with the Center for an Agricultural Economy to support elementary and middle school educators in integrating Farm to School topics and themes into their existing curriculum. We used food system mapping as a way to understand all the ways that Farm to School fits into curriculum. One middle school teacher exclaimed “Farm to School fits into everything!”

FEED 101 Course with Vital Communities
Claremont, NH
October 2018–January 2019

The goals of this multi-week course were to have participants explore and expand their personal and professional knowledge and experience related to Farm to School education while building and strengthening school community connections. One teacher ended the workshops series saying, “I have a much deeper appreciation for cafeteria food. I actively defend cafeteria food now from a more informed point of view.... I can educate [my students] more about food, food insecurity… I now have a more nuanced understanding.”

Farmer Forums
Montpelier, VT
December 2018

These forums were created to give farmers the opportunity to learn about school nutrition programs and procurement, and give school nutrition directors the opportunity to learn about what farmers are producing, what could be purchased, and how.

Cultivating Farm to Early Childhood
Orange County Parent Child Center, Tunbridge, VT
December 1, 2018

The goals of our Farm to Early Childhood introductory workshop were to: explore and expand knowledge of and teaching practices in Farm to Early Childhood programming; immerse participants in hands-on child centered Farm to Early Childhood learning experiences through the lenses of curriculum, kitchen, and community; investigate and learn how Farm to Early Childhood concepts help meet multiple standards across licensing, CACFP, VELS and STARS; and build and strengthen community connections.

“I was impressed at how each participant really used multiple teachable moments with their children and parents to expand their world.” –Cynthia Greene

Farm to School Workshop through Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Harwood Union High School, Moretown, VT
December 5 & 12, 2018

This workshop was created to support teachers in drawing personal, cultural, and historical connections to foods and food systems studies. Favorite moments included using world languages and history as a lens for food systems education, mapping our favorite foods through the lens of culture, singing Bate, Bate, Chocolate with the Spanish teacher while making socially just hot chocolate from scratch, and pickling giardiniera.

Riverside Middle School Farm to School Curriculum Workshop through Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Riverside Middle School, Springfield, VT
December 14, 2018

This workshop reflected on and deepened our Farm to School work in the curriculum at Riverside addressing STEM and science standards. We explored the attributes of a good Farm to School program and what we value and want to communicate about in our food system.