Farm to School Movement in Maine

Garden kids
photo by Liz Stanley

Why eat local?  How can we eat local?

Have you been wondering how to improve your child’s food choices while helping your local economy at the same time? Many schools across the country are doing just that by using the cafeteria, the school’s biggest classroom, to improve nutrition, teach students about local food systems and turn the tide of childhood obesity.

The Farm to School movement is growing in Maine with gardening projects, farmer visits, cooking and taste testing programs sprouting up in schools in every county. The Maine Department of Education Child Nutrition Services has created a farm to school list-serve to provide agencies, farmers and other interested community members with a way to communicate and community members with a way to communicate and build connections between farmers and schools.

For more information on Farm to School efforts regionally and nationally:
National Farm to School Network
Vermont Farm to School Food Education Every Day

Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (MOFGA) – Maine Harvest Lunch page and other resources.

But it’s summer, and school is out-have you checked out your local farmer’s market?

Taste the flavor! At a farmer’s market, farm stand or through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm, you get produce at its freshest, usually harvested within 24 hours. Foods you find in a supermarket may have been picked weeks ago and were grown with shipping and storage in mind. Find out more about local foods in Maine.

Start your own vegetable garden this year. There are lots of resources to help beginning gardeners. Call your local Extension office for more information.