i-Three Issue Corps 2016 – Farm To School: Showing Schools How It Works

Our i-Three Issue Corps project involves finding opportunities to bring fresh and lightly processed local produce to schools. With fall right around the corner everyone is gearing up for another school year. That means another farm to school month is in sight as well. 

October is National Farm to School Month and here in Salem County, New Jersey we are reaching out to schools to pilot a local product. We hope to show schools how easy it is to procure local products, to conduct taste tests with students, and to ultimately show schools that students are more apt to consume locally grown products because of their freshness and taste. We do this with the hope that these products will make repeat appearances on the school cafeteria menu.

In the past we have tested zucchini fries, chick pea salad, black bean salad, and kale chips. Each of these were a huge success! Many of them have been implemented into the cafeteria menu.

Pictured below is the chick pea salad we tested with grades 1 through 5 in an elementary school in Salem County, New Jersey. 

Shoemaker Chick Pea Tasting

Next pictured is the results from the zucchini fries we tested with pre-K through 8th grade in another school in Salem County, New Jersey.

LAC Zucchini Fries Taste Test

So, what are we planning to test this time? Peaches of course! We have a local orchard in the county that grows great peaches. The farmer is looking for another consumer for the peaches, so this seems like a match made in heaven. Some varieties of peaches can keep for a long time which is especially important for schools since the winter is a tough time to get local produce. By connecting the schools with the local orchard we hope to create a lasting reciprocal relationship in which the farmer, the school, and the students can all benefit.

Stay tuned for an update after the tasting to get results.

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