To nurture a strong Farm-to-Cafeteria Program incorporating local organic food sources, the community and the public school cafeteria; to provide education about local agriculture and sustainability through “Farm to Classroom,” and maintain a solid base upon which the Orcas Island Farm to Cafeteria Program can continue to grow, prosper and provide good health and nutritional experiences for our youth.
Our Program teaches about nutrition, food differences, how to eat proper foods for healthy bodies, see how food is grown, visit farms and meet farmers, learn to cook...these are all aspects of an effective Farm to Cafeteria Program. They are the aspects we are binding together and disseminating through our classrooms, school garden, cafeteria, the community and the farms.
K-8 FARM TO CLASSROOM:
The Farm to Classroom component of the Farm to Cafeteria Program is the quintessential link that completes the perfect Farm to School circle. Students learn about grains, turn them to flours and make breads. Chefs from the community visit the classroom and teach culinary skills. They visit our farms and milk goats, pluck warm eggs from a nesting hen, water pigs and experience cows up close. They learn to compost, respect the Earth and its incredible bounty and give back rather than waste.
In the Elementary K-5 Farm to Classroom, every student spends a minimum of one hour a week in the Farm to Classroom project. Students work in our school garden turning the soil, harvesting a variety of herbs (among their favorite being fresh sorrel!), brassicas, pumpkins, snap peas, strawberries, lettuces and edible flowers. They harvest seeds to both save and share. During the winter month's when the garden is asleep, students develop culinary skills and learn about winter wellness practices.
Farm to Classroom grades 6, 7 and 8 are exploratory classes and are 2 hours a week for 6 weeks. This allows the class to visit farms and take on projects and experiences that reach far outside the classroom. Recent visits have been to Coffelt Farm, Buck Bay Shellfish Farm, and Orcas Moon Alpacas. Students have delved into the art of artisan cheese-making, oysters harvesting, building a worm composting bin and hand turning an old-fashioned barrel press to make fresh apple cider.
In collaboration with the Orcas Island public school and the Orcas Island Education Foundation (OIEF), the Farm to Classroom Program is made possible. We are truly grateful to all the donors who keep Farm to Classroom alive throughout the seasons!