Job Opening: Director Position, Seeds to Plate Program at Mark Twain Middle School, Los Angeles, CA
The Seeds to Plate Program aims to create and maintain a school garden that is integrated into the academic environment, promote a healthy food culture, nurture physical and mental well-being, and provide hands-on gardening and eating experiences for students, families and staff to foster mutual respect, appreciation of diversity, community spirit and sustainability of the earth. This modern incarnation of the garden program at Mark Twain Middle School was started in 2009, and consists of a team of seven volunteers, predominantly UCCE Master Gardeners.
By Ben Eichorn of GrowYourLunch.com (Reprinted with permission)
School lunch continues to be a hot topic these days. At the end of September, The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 was up for re-authorization and voting was postponed until December 2015. For now, the 5-year-old standards for increasing fruit, vegetable and whole grain consumption and reducing salt in public school cafeterias remain in place, though on shaky footing.
The primary question at the heart of the debate around re-authorizing the Act is not about whether the food is good for our children, but rather, “Do kids actually eat the healthier food if it’s provided to them.” And the answer is yes and no – both sides of the debate can provide evidence to support their claims.
At Grow Your Lunch, we are heartened by the significant strides being made toward increasing the availability of healthy food in schools (see National Farm to School Network, Chef Ann Foundation and Center for Ecoliteracy, among many organizations doing great work in this area) but we remain troubled by the barriers to consumption due to our local youths’ lack of familiarity with fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Science and Our Food Supply – Free Supplementary Curriculum for Middle Level and High School Classrooms
What captures the interest of students? FOOD! Yes, food can be used to engage students in inquiry-based science — really! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have created Science and Our Food Supply, an innovative, interactive supplementary curriculum for use in middle level and high school science classes. An advisory board of experienced teachers just like you developed and tested the materials.
The story revolves around a sister-brother team, Lexi and Jason Williams, who are determined to win the First Annual Garden Contest sponsored by the local Farmer’s Market.
In the process, we learn about such gardening subjects as: the importance of planting certain vegetables at certain times of year, the importance of fertilizers, worm poop, rotating crops, trellises, beneficial insects, pollination and much, much more.
I recently came across a very valuable teaching resource for both educators and students from a very unlikely source – Afghan Ag.
e-Afghan Ag is supported by the USDA and managed by University of California, Davis with additional information from other land grant universities such as Cornell and Purdue. The url is http://afghanag.ucdavis.edu/
The site contains university researched best practices for farmers in Afghanistan including an entire section of Educational Materials. Of the educational materials, check out Horticulture, Field Crops and Soil.
Two Junior Master Gardener Pop Up Opportunities:
For Ages 7-14
July 14th and July 16th 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Imagine picking a cauliflower from your garden and making a pizza from it. A cauliflower crust pizza has no flour and hence no gluten. Who doesn’t like pizza? Everyone likes pizza. Kids will be lining up to sample it.
Intrigued? I surely was, couldn’t wait to try it. You can even fold it like a pizza slice.
The directions are in this recipe courtesy of the Lucky Penny Blog.