October is National Farm to School Month and this year Idaho Preferred® will work to help schools in Idaho take part in this celebration by incorporating Idaho foods into cafeteria menus, offering classroom curriculum and suggesting physical activities.
We are encouraging Idaho schools to incorporate a local food in their breakfast, lunch or snack menus. Weekly themes have been created to help identify local foods that are easily accessible or may already be on the menus! Weekly themes include: Idaho grapes, Idaho melons, Idaho apples and Idaho potatoes!
Week 1 – Idaho Grapes
We kicked off Farm to School month with juicy table grapes! Did you know Idaho produces table grapes? Although a small agriculture industry, new growers are now starting to produce table grapes in Southern Idaho. Grapes in Idaho are harvested in late September through early October and are only available for about 4-6 weeks!
Student at Grace Jordan Elementary in Boise celebrated Farm to School with a harvest lunch that included: Idaho cheese, Idaho grown corn on the cob, Idaho grown grapes and local tomatoes grown at the Boise High Community Garden.
Kevin with Dry Creek Farms in Eagle attended the celebration and served the grapes. The kids thought it was pretty fun to have a farmer serving his own produce! The corn on the menu was from Tellez Farms in Nampa. The students had the opportunity to shuck the corn on the cob for their meal that day. Channel 2 News and Channel 7 News joined us at the harvest lunch that day. Watch the full news article here.
We also received pictures from other schools that are participating in the weekly themes. For example to the right is a picture we received of local grapes being served at Homedale Elementary School. Notus Elementary also shared pictures of local grapes being served and positive feedback from the students!
Week 2 – Idaho Melons
Idaho produces a variety of melons including watermelon, cantaloupe and honey dew. Watermelon is the most common melon type in Idaho and is available through early fall. Over 60 schools in Idaho chose to serve Idaho grown melons last week!
Week 3 is Idaho Apples. Apples are so easy to integrate into menus and kids love apples. Apples in Idaho are available the beginning of September and some varieties are still available through March. Idaho produces 60 million pounds of apples a year making apples Idaho’s top fruit.
Week 4 is Idaho Potatoes. Farm to School month will conclude with Famous Idaho Potatoes. Idaho Potatoes are available year around. Idaho raises a variety of potatoes- reds, russets, golds, fingerlings, and more. Nearly 320,000 acres in Idaho are potato fields!
2018 Farm to School drawing contest.
In Idaho we love our potatoes and being active! This year, we want students to draw a picture of the famous Spuddy Buddy doing their favorite physical activities (examples: skiing, dancing, rollerblading, etc).Students who send in a drawing will be eligible to win a prize, like a large Spuddy Buddy or workout shirt! Find the rules here.
More Fun Farm to School Events:
Shoshone School District celebrated this week with a Harvest Festival! They had a guest speaker come and teach the kids how to make cheese balls.
Gooding School District served farm fresh raspberries from Little D’s Berries in Gooding.
Notus Elementary School took 150 students to Blue Barn Produce to pick out small pumpkins in a self made pumpkin patch.
Blue Barn Produce offered teachers a discount on mini pumpkins for their classrooms and their students.