October Is National Farm To School Month
To celebrate, or really more by happy coincidence, we are installing 9 new systems across the CREC schools and upgrading two systems they already have.
CT already has at least 108 schools with some sort of school garden at the school, this will now increase that number to 117. In one fell swoop we increased the amount of school gardens in CT school systems by almost 10%.
70% of Connecticut schools participate in farm to school in some capacity. That accounts for 97 school districts with at least one school participating, with 706 schools in all with some sort of activity that takes part in farm to school programming. That brings the program to over 355,489 students across the state. Quite a staggering number.
CT Ranks Well Above the National Average for Farm to School Participation
46% of districts that partake in the program.
Farm to school programs are valuable to schools because they shed a light on our connection to food, how its produced, where it comes from, and how to eat healthy. School gardens take the learning even further by incorporating STEM lessons using the garden as a hands on cross-cutting teaching tool.
Schools using aquaponics systems in the class or at the school get to keep that learning going year round through the fall and winter giving students a common tool they can use to learn about various subjects all year round.
Of the districts that do not participate, 19% said that they plan on participating in farm to school programs within the next few years. Farm to school participation can come in many forms. Namely, serving locally produced foods in the lunchroom, promoting locally sourced foods at school, hosting events centered around tasting/demos of locally produced foods, conducting field trips to local farms and using better lunchroom strategies to encourage the consumption of local foods. Below is a snapshot of the national participation in each program
Interested In Expanding or Bringing Farm to School Programming to Your School or Classroom?
We are an official outreach partner for the farm to school program here in the state of Connecticut and help you throughout the process. Whether you want to go all in on an aquaponics system, to a class field-trip (our farm operates all winter!) or just want to highlight local food within your school we can help with any aspect of the farm to school activities.
In fact, we our hosting free workshops for up to 100 teachers or administrators in CT about how they can use farming, gardening and aquaponics to enhance learning and strengthen the connection between farmer and food for their students.
We will be hosting four workshops so feel free to choose the one that is most convenient for you. To learn more about these free workshops checkout our workshops page here. If you are interested in joining us for that workshop, click the button below.