NH School Garden Day (2016)
October 6, 2016 was NH School Garden Day. Schools and their gardens from around the state hosted visitors so they can learn about the gardens.
Sea to School
NH, Maine and Massachusetts farm to school programs worked together in 2016 to create a resource guide and educational video on best practices and case studies about sea to school in New England. View the finished guide and video here. NH Farm to School also partnered with NH Community Seafood to bring fresh and local fish to schools. Fish to School began with a fish tasting by seacoast school food service directors. We tried dogfish, pollack, hake and redfish, all sustainable and plentiful in the Gulf of Maine. This was followed by a fish to school day in December of 2014 where eight seacoast schools all served Acadian redfish on the same day. Thanks to a mini-grant from the NH Department of Agriculture, we developed a fish to school poster schools can hang in their cafeterias. Find more fish to school resources here.
Farm to Institution Summit and Farm to School: Recipe for Success Contest
This 3-day event in 2015 brought educators, non-profits, government agencies, students, farmers, fishers, K-12, college and hospital dining together to learn more about farm to institution in the northeast. Over 600 people attended. This event was preceded by a contest to gather the best farm to school projects and activities happening on the northeast. The top three winners, including NH's Iron Chef Salad Challenge, are available now.
Farm to College
A project to help New England Colleges and Universities increase procurement of local foods. The project entailed discovering what colleges and universities may already be doing in regards to procuring local foods and what is happening on campus to influence purchasing.
USDA Procurement Workshops
NH Farm to School received a grant through the NH Charitable Foundation to help educate schools and farmers about proper USDA procurement requirements that schools will need to use when making most school food purchases, which includes food they are purchasing from a farm. Several regional workshops were planned for 2015 as well as trainings that were offered within other conferences and events. Other aspects of this project included the development of local foods buying groups and using forward contracts.
Manchester Cooks (2013-2014)
A series of workshops to train the food service staff of the Manchester school district on culturally appropriate recipes to address the needs of the immigrant and refugee population in the schools. Four workshops were planned throughout the school year and focused on the cuisine of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latino countries. Read more about it here.
NH School and Youth Garden Network Development (2014)
NH Farm to School partnered with NOFA NH and the Cooperative Extension to develop an NH School and Youth Garden Network. This network provides resources and support to anyone interested in starting or expanding a school or youth educational garden in NH.
NH Farm to School Conferences (2011-2015)
The next NH Farm to School Conference is happening on May 20, 2014 at Canterbury Shaker Village in Canterbury, NH. Workshop topics will include procurement, USDA farm to school, school gardens, farm to preschool, grant writing and funding opportunities and more. Our keynote speaker is Helen Brody of NH Farms Network and the author of New Hampshire: From Farm to Kitchen. The NH Department of Ed/Bureau of Nutrition is partnering with us on the conference. Thank you to Farm Credit East and The NH Department Of Agriculture for helping fund this event.
NH Healthy Recipe Cooking Challenge (2010-2013)
The NH Healthy Recipe Cooking Challenge took place annually from 2010-2013. Ten teams from around the state participated in two categories: High School Culinary and CACFP programs. The teams created recipes that had to include certain ingredients. Ten judges decided upon the winners. All recipes and winners can be found on the recipe page. In 2014, the competition was re-launched as the NH T.E.E.N Cookoff.
Farm to Pre-School Conference
The first Farm to Preschool Forum held in the northeast was October 5, 2013 at Dublin Consolidated School in Dublin, NH. Seventy-five teachers, farmers, advocates and others from around New England spent a day attending 12 workshops and participating in field trips to area farms and preschools.
Cooking with Local Foods to Meet USDA Guidelines Workshops (2013)
These regional workshops were for school food service workers to learn new recipes using locally sourced dark leafy greens and orange vegetables. Five workshops were held in the spring of 2013 in Nashua, Concord, North Conway and Exeter. Seventy food service workers attended in total.
Local Foods Trade Shows and Matchmaking Events
NH Farm to School partnered with other organizations in the state to organize regional local foods trade shows where farmers and value added producers met potential institutional, restaurant and other buyers who would like to offer more local foods to their customers.
New Hampshire Farm to School Conference
NHFTS is working with partners to host a statewide farm to school conference! The conference, "Sow, Reap, Prepare, Eat!" will be held on Saturday, November 19, 2011 in Lebanon, NH and will feature a keynote presentation by the inspiring Tony Geraci and a dozen informative, motivating workshops!
Several times each year, school food service directors and farmers are given the chance to meet and form connections during our NHFTS matchmaking events. These meetings give those interested in participating in the Farm to School Program an opportunity to determine if working together is feasible and mutually beneficial.Farmers give short presentations about their farms, including their history, size and what they produce. School officials will have a chance to see which farms will be good matches when it's time to set up food contracts in September. Stacey Purslow, NHFTS Coordinator, organizes these events. Event dates and times are listed on the homepage of the website as they come up.
Educational Posters (2011-2012)
For the 2011-2012 school year, we sent out NH Farm to School posters to all participating schools. These were posted in cafeterias, informing the students that their school is taking part in a program that uses food from local farms in their lunches.
Farm to School Hubs (2011-2012)
During the 2011-2012 academic year, NHFTS piloted a new project to help increase farm-to-school activity in different regions of the state that are sometimes difficult for us to reach given our small staff and location on the Seacoast. Working with partners in three areas -- the Monadnock region, the Upper Valley region, and the North Country region -- NHFTS established NH Farm to School Hubs to advance projects specifically focused in those areas. NHFTS staff continued to serve the state, with a particular focus on the Seacoast region.
"Get Smart Eat Local" 10-District Project
In 2006, NHFTS initiated a new, one-year pilot program -- the Get Smart Eat Local 10-District project -- to work with school districts and farms in the seacoast region of the state to work help build and strengthen direct farm-to-cafeteria relationships and introduce new local foods in the schools. In contrast to the statewide model established by NHFTS to bring NH apples and cider to as many NH schools as possible, the Get Smart Eat Local 10-District project focused on making a connection between a wholesale grower and ten school districts — 27 schools with over 15,000 students — in Rockingham and Strafford counties to add fresh New Hampshire-grown products to school menus. Funding for this project of the NH Farm to School program was provided by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's Josephine A. Lamprey, Otto, and Thanksgiving funds and is a collaboration of the University of New Hampshire's Office of Sustainability and UNH Cooperative Extension. This program continues today through direct sales of farm products to schools in the 10-District area.
Apples & Cider Project
The NH Farm to School Program was established in 2003 as a pilot program funded by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) to introduce local apples and cider into NH K-12 schools. Within three years, over half the K-12 schools in the state were purchasing them for their cafeterias! This program continues successfully today in many schools across the state. Most schools order local apples and/or cider directly through their distributors. Others purchase directly from farmers. Orchards selling to schools directly or through a distributor include:
- Apple Annie grows a variety of low-spray apples in Brentwood. The farm also sells cider, fall vegetables, jams and jelliies, and baked goods. Contact the farm at 603-778-8881.
- Applecrest Farm Orchard in Hampton Falls grows more than 40 different varieties of apples. The farm offers school tours. Contact the farm at 603-926-3721.
- Brookdale Fruit Farm grows apples, berries, pumpkins and more. You can visit the farm's store and pick-your-own when fruit is in season! Contact the farm at 603-465-2240 or e-mail.
- Carter Hill Orchard grows a number of different varities of apples, and presses the apples for their preservative-free cider right on the farm. They also host school field trips and tours for "kids of all ages." Contact the farm at 603-225-2625.
- Mack's Apples in grows a variety of apples in Londonderry. Contact the farm at 603-434-7619.
- Windy Ridge Orchard and Christmas Tree Farm in North Haverhill is a NH Farm of Distinction. The farm offers school tours and posts lesson plans on their website. Contact the farm at 603-787-6377.
- Read NH Farm to School Program Highlights: Our First Three Years
- Read the apple/cider pilot project reports
Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP)
In collaboration with partners in the NH Department of Education, UNH Cooperative Extension, and others, NHFTS is building on its previous work to develop new connections between schools, produce distributors, and NH wholesale vegetable growers. Target schools for the initial connections are those receiving grants from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP). A USDA initiative, FFVP grants awards to schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. Recipients of FFVP funds are schools whose student body has at least 50% eligibility for the free and reduced lunch program. Each school receives funding based on the total number of students in the school. The NH Department of Education (DOE) is overseeing the distribution of the funds, and NHFTS is working to help participating schools purchase some of their fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms. The NH Dietetic Internship programs at Keene State and UNH, along with Cooperative Extension, are working with the DOE to provide the educational component of the grant. Learn more...