New Crops, Bold Ideas Take Root in School Garden

Island Grown Schools education coordinator Kaila Binney met Ellen Berube’s second-grade classroom at the front of the Oak Bluffs School on a sunny Monday afternoon. Ms. Binney was joined by Massachusetts State Representative Timothy Madden and legislative liaison Kaylea Moore, who were visiting the school as it celebrated Massachusetts Harvest for Students week.

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What's in Your Lunchbox? Healthy Snacks Give Kids Needed Boost

I love fall, from the beautiful weather to the change in routines, with schedules a little more ordered and the kids back in school. But with back to school also comes the annual school lunch challenge. Parents and kids have a choice: buy lunch in school or pack a homemade lunch.

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Summer School on the Farm Is Tasty
Throughout the school year, the Island Grown Schools Harvest of the Month program highlights a locally available crop at all seven of our K-12 schools and at six preschools, in school taste tests, on cafeteria lunch menus, and in partnership with Island grocery stores and restaurants.

During the summer, while IGS staff, parents, students and teachers volunteer to maintain our 13 school gardens, students from the regional high school are keeping the Harvest of the Month program alive.

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Last Chilmark Community Lunch Celebrates Bountiful Harvest, Summer Songs

Connected. Privileged. Honored. Thankful. Full.

Those were a few of the words the Chilmark School fourth and fifth grade class used in their class blessing at the school’s community lunch Friday afternoon. The lunch was the last of the school year in a series of gatherings organized by Island Grown Schools and volunteers.

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Grade Schoolers Learn to Love Asparagus
Robin Forte, Island Grown Schools’ Harvest of the Month guest chef for the Edgartown School, moved through the lunch room with a tray of asparagus roll-ups for students to try. As she moved from table to table she saw a pattern emerging, one that has become familiar through the course of this first year of our Harvest of the Month program. The children at first would politely say “No, thank you” to the taste test. Then one student would venture, “I’ll try it,” and then each person in turn around the table would say the same thing.
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Schools Go Green for Harvest of the Month

Spring is here at last, and Island Grown Schools celebrates the appearance of the first spring greens in school gardens across the Island.

We dedicated April to greens in our Harvest of the Month program, with taste tests at every school and school meals featuring local and regionally grown greens at least twice throughout the month.

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Winter Squash Transposed for Spring

As we wait for the first crops of the new growing season to appear in school gardens, Island Grown Schools’ Harvest of the Month program celebrates winter squash, one of the best storage crops to help sustain us through the long months between fall’s bounty and the first crops of spring.

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Cookbook Collaborators Aim To Give Parents Sweet Relief

Thanks to a collaboration between Vineyard Nutrition and Island Grown Schools, Island families have seen their resources for healthy eating multiply in the past few months. With funding from a Mass in Motion grant, registered nutritionists Prudence Athearn Levy and Josh Levy co-wrote Vineyard Family Cooking, a booklet featuring recipes that are easy to prepare, tasty and healthy. The grant also covers the cost of a family cooking class series, taught by Mr. Levy and featuring recipes from the booklet, that began last month.

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Orange, Purple, Sweet or Stamps, Island Grown Puts Potatoes to the Test
“What is it?” a student asked at an Island Grown Schools taste test this month. “It’s a potato,” said the IGS school coordinator, who was giving out little samples of roasted potatoes with rosemary for the students to try. “A what?” asked the student. “You know, French fries are made out of them,” said his friend standing nearby. “Oh, French fries, I know French fries,” the young student said. “Would you like to try it?” asked the coordinator. “No, no,” said the student, shaking his head decisively.
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Island Grown Brings Farm-to-School Message to Cape Cod

A principal from Nauset Regional Middle School was looking for fund-raising ideas for a new greenhouse. School garden coordinators wondered how to keep their plots going during the summer months. A parent spoke about how to create better snack options during school hours.

And they all looked to Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school network, for answers.

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