With Spring, there comes Hope …and GARDENS!
Dear GMFTS Family – in these times of uncertainty we are grateful to have you as our friends, partners, and supporters – – we are thinking of you and hope you are staying healthy and well. Spring has certainly sprung here in Vermont, and we encourage you to get outside (responsibly), as much as possible, to enjoy the sunshine, warmer temps, and perhaps even get started with your own backyard garden.
We look forward to seeing everyone next school year in the gardens, on farms and in the community.
For now, we are finding new ways to support our community. See below for details.
Farm Direct: Making Food Available to All Vermonters
Our food hub, Green Mountain Farm Direct, is fully operational and continues to make weekly deliveries to retail outlets across Northern Vermont. We are working hard to connect our farmers, (who have lost markets due to school and restaurant closures) with new markets while meeting the needs of many Vermonters who have lost their jobs as a result of the crisis before us. Farm Direct is working alongside area food pantries to put systems in place for on-going deliveries of fresh produce. Additionally, we are taking steps to establish community-based “buying clubs” to provide a weekly delivery of farm fresh, local food to our most rural communities.
Farm-to-School: Focusing on our Students and Families
Our Farm-to-School coordinators have assisted the North Country Supervisory Union with meal prep for on-the-go delivery to students. We are also creating new lessons for Harvest of the Month and thinking about ways to connect with students at home, including some fun, short videos.
The current situation has also given us some time to focus and plan for new projects. In an exciting partnership with the Missisquoi River Basin Association, our Farm-to-School coordinators are working on designs and curriculum for an edible rain garden. These gardens would help slow stormwater, prevent flooding, and filter runoff, while simultaneously providing children with the valuable experience of growing edible food in their school.
We are still planning to plant school gardens later this spring, while strictly adhering to safety guidelines. There are still many crops we can direct sow in late spring and are excited to share the bounty with students in the fall.
The Lunchbox: Preparing to Serve Safe, Free Meals to Kids
Summer is just a few short weeks away and The Lunchbox will soon be ready to serve hot, fresh meals throughout the Northeast Kingdom. Our model will likely change due to social distancing guidelines, but we are committed to providing service through the summer months. More information will become available towards the end of May. Look for updates on Facebook or on our website.
Harvest of the Month: Resources for At-Home Fun and Learning
If you’re on the lookout for food-based educational tools to use with children at home, visit the Vermont Harvest of the Month website. We have a variety of free resources, such as lesson plans, recipes, posters, food-prep tips, and more. Our Farm-to-School coordinators are currently working on developing extended harvest lessons for the newer additions to our seasonal calendar (such as sweet peppers, beef, and whole grains). These will be posted on the website once completed.
Have you seen a need in the community
that we could help with?
Let us know!
Please reach out to our Executive Director, Catherine Cusack at:
Thank you and take good care – the Green Mountain Farm-to-School Team