It is hard to believe, given all of the snow on the ground, but we are hard at work making plans for our summer program!
One of the many highlights of the summer program is that we participate in the national Slow Foods USA Farm to School Program. This year, we will be partnering with Ollin Farms to provide the students with the opportunity to visit a sustainably operated farm to learn about the cultivation of food (the field trips to the farm are generally one of the highlights of the summer) and the children will be using the fruit and vegetables that the school receives from the farm (in our weekly CSA share) in practical life and food preparation activities. In addition, the children will also maintain their own organic, heirloom vegetable garden at the school. We believe that this program helps us to raise the next generation with an awareness of the importance of enjoying nutritious, local, seasonal, and sustainably produced food. It also assists them in developing a more refined palate which is more accepting of fresh fruit and vegetable offerings, and provides hands on botany activities in which they gain a better understanding of the life cycle and parts of plants.
In conjunction with this program, we will again be offering our families the opportunity to purchase their own CSA shares from the farm as well, with the convenience of being able to collect your shares from the school when you pick up your child.
Ollin Farms is a beautiful, family owned farm, which provides an enormous variety of nutrient dense foods which they grow using sustainable agricultural practices. Community Supported Agriculture is a socio-economic model of farming in which members of the community pledge support to a local farming operation by purchasing a weekly share of the farm's produce. It provides participants with high-quality, local, sustainably grown produce, while sharing the risks and benefits inherent in farming. Participants will receive a weekly share for 21 weeks during the CSA season (May 30th-October 17th). If you saw pictures from last summer, you will remember the excitement that ensued each week when Farmer Mike came to drop off the shares (I have never seen children so desperate to find a raw turnip to munch on).
We are particularly excited about this partnership because they offer a tremendous variety of fruits and vegetables (over 150 varieties!), they have several options as far as share size, they partner with a chef to offer some great harvest dinners at the farm, and in addition to growing fruits and vegetables, they also raise chickens, sheep, and honeybees! For more information about the farm, their farming practices, or to view a list of the fruits and vegetables they provide, please visit their website at: http://www.ollinfarms.com/
If you would like to purchase a CSA Share for your family through the school, please return your CSA contract (with a check payable to Ollin Farms) to the school prior to Friday, January 28th!
You may also contact Ollin Farms directly to purchase shares after this date, if you decide to participate later, but we do expect that they will sell out well before summer.