It’s been a fabulous Spring. Rain and sunshine, seedlings and composted manure. Field trips – with TST Boces special needs teens who also helped care for our seedlings in their greenhouse; 55 fifth-graders from a “buddy” program with Enfield and Cayuga Heights Elementaries; New Roots Charter School students during their Farm-to-School intensives. GIAC teens working almost every Friday since February.
An acre is almost full with plantings. Two of our summer interns began a couple of weeks ago, and teens from Youth Employment Services will begin in July.
Now, it’s harvest season again! This year we have so much growing that we’re harvesting Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. This week, 75 pounds of fresh, organic produce from our fields made its way into school food!
Thanks to the Learning Web preteens who planted peas in the snow in March, we were able to bring 8 1/2 quarts of sugar snap peas to the Fresh Fruits and Veggies Snack Program at BJM Elementary for their last week of snack. We also brought them kale, spinach, tatsoi, pac choi and basil which were used in snacks and the Healthy Meal Assembly Program.
Thirty pounds of fresh, organic lettuce (about 1/4 of the lettuce used in salad bars for the 8 elementary schools and 2 middle schools) were used in the Ithaca City Schools lunch program this week along with a case of purple pac choi. The central kitchen delivered them to each school in the district on Tuesday. More next week, with kale!
Fridays from 4-7pm we’re at the Newfield Farmers’ Market selling our produce along with bread, apple, craft, skin product, jewelry, maple syrup and other vendors. Come check it out! Just 6 miles south of Wegmans down Rt. 13.
To top it all off, our community gardeners are creating beautiful gardens this year! Gardener and mother of two Jessica Woodhouse says, “We’re having fun! It’s a beautiful spot and you’ve put together a really nice setup for gardeners.” More photos coming!
We are also piloting a School Food Hub with Regional Access this summer and fall… Look out for more on that soon!
Check out this 13-minute podcast on WHCU radio here – an interview in June with Wood’s Earth director Audrey Baker and Ithaca City Schools lunch director Denise Agati about growing, sourcing, and using fresh local produce in school food!