October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. It is also the kick off for the newest Farm to School team in Coös County who launched their project at the Gorham Farmers Market on Thursday, September 27 from 3 pm – 7 pm at the Town Common.
The Androscoggin Valley Farm to School Team served up a batch of Confetti Soup featuring local veggies from participating market vendors. The taste test was available for all market participants throughout the afternoon. Led by Project Youth staff, students participated in Farmers Market Bingo and learned more about the delicious, healthy local foods that are grown by regional farmers.
Special guest Representative Robert Théberge read Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert and encouraged after school participants to think about ways to help in the kitchen and learn how to cook! With the support of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation, each after school group and Head Start classroom in Berlin and Gorham also received a selection of healthy food books to continue their Farm to School learning throughout the school year.
“The Androscoggin Valley Farm to School Team is in its startup stage.” shares Heidi Barker, team lead from UNH Cooperative Extension. “In June, five of us spent two and half days at the University of New Hampshire attending the first ever NH Farm to School Institute learning from current community projects and creating an action plan which includes building connections with other local food initiatives.”
The planning team members include Pam Laflamme, City of Berlin; Naomi Levesque, Family Resource Center of Gorham; Sue Blanchette, Berlin Head Start; Ruth Ann Hacking, WREN and Heidi Barker, UNH Cooperative Extension. The team has scheduled a Community Planning Meeting for Friday, November 2nd, 1 - 3 pm at White Mountains Community College.
For more information about Farm to School check out www.farmtoschool.org and for local efforts please contact UNH Cooperative Extension at (603) 788-4961.