Farmer in the School
Sustainable CAPE is working with the Truro Central School (K-6) in developing a permaculture schoolyard where children grow food for their school lunch program and learn about healthy eating. We helped create a raised bed garden, and are assisting with additional beds to expand growing capacity. We are working towards adding a greenhouse, fruit trees, a wide variety of berries, rhubarb and beach plums in the schoolyard. We helped plan & supply the new “All Local Lunch” series. We have compiled and shared an extensive list of farmers and fishermen willing to sell to commercial institutions, facilitating relationships and connections. We are discussing both a Gleaning and a Grow-a-Row Program to involve more market gardeners in school lunches. We have initiated the first RSA (Restaurant Supported Agriculture) –a CSA for wholesale buyers – on a Truro farm and the school is participating. We also run a Local Food Field Trip series to introduce students to their local harvesters and to connect school lunch to physical health and environmental sustainability.
We are currently initiating planning with the school and hope to secure funding to provide a farmer in the school at no cost to the school or town. We have found that connecting the garden to MCAS curriculum, Health & Wellness curriculum as well as the cafeteria’s school lunch program creates a strong, resilient and sustainable school garden program. It is our hope that this program can act as a replicable model, assisting others in creating their own school gardens.
A private foundation has recently contracted with Sustainable CAPE to conduct a current assessment of Farm to School work throughout each school on the Cape & Islands.