Resources from National Farm to Cafeteria Conference Now Available

Did you miss this month's 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference? Make the conference but yearning for a thorough recap? You're in luck! All conference materials and resources are now available on the conference website. Whether your interests lie in "Equity and Justice in Farm to Cafeteria" or "Connecting Institutions with Farm to Cafeteria," you're sure to find something here for you. 

Check out all available presentations, resources and materials here

Governor Edwards Signs Louisiana Farm to School Program Act!

Andrew H. Wilson Charter School students at the Rosa F. Keller Community center prepare an afternoon snack using vegetables from the school garden.

Andrew H. Wilson Charter School students at the Rosa F. Keller Community center prepare an afternoon snack using vegetables from the school garden.

Governor John Bel Edwards has signed the Louisiana Farm to School Program Act into law after its passing unanimously in the Louisiana House and Senate. This is a HUGE success for farm to school in Louisiana! SB 420 provides essential infrastructural support for farm to school initiatives, encouraging the continued growth of our vibrant statewide movement to the benefit of students, farmers and communities across the state.

To learn more about the benefits of SB 420, check out our Louisiana Farm to School Program Act fact sheet. Thank you to all of our members who were able to show their support. This is a huge win for farmers, students, educators and families across our state! 

A Few of Our Favorite Farm to Summer Resources!

USDA Food and Nutrition Service shows us Green Mountain's Farm to Summer Program in Vermont

For most students across Louisiana, summertime is in full swing! Here, we've put together some of our favorite Farm to Summer resources to help you ensure this summer is jam-packed with delicious, nutritious and local goodness. 

 

Get Your Schoolyard Garden Growing for the Summer!

Summer months can be a crucial time for schoolyard gardens in Louisiana. Whether or not your garden will be used as an educational space through the summer, how you manage your garden in May, June and July will determine the work you have in store for you come August! Warm weather cover crops, like buckwheat, sunnhemp, and cowpea, can help to deter weeds as well as to regenerate your soil to ensure a productive fall. 

Beyond cover crops, in June you can plan to direct seed cantaloupe, cucumber, okra, peanuts, pumpkin, winter squash, and watermelon. If you'd like to replenish your herb garden, June's also a great time to plant starts of mint, chives, lemongrass and rosemary

For more detailed planting schedule information, reference LSU AgCenter's incredible Vegetable Planting Guide

Support the Louisiana Farm to School Bill Tuesday, April 19th!

As you know, we've made great headway in Farm to School in Louisiana with the support of Senator Francis Thompson, Louisiana State Senate Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development Committee Chairman. Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 19, Senator Thompson will introduce a bill, The Louisiana Farm to School Program - in order to assist schools and child nutrition staff to identify and utilize all available resources to support and increase the use of locally grown or raised agricultural products in school nutrition programs. The program will be a collaborative effort implemented by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana Department of Education in consultation with various stakeholders.

 

We are so very excited and appreciative to have such strong support for Farm to School in Louisiana!

Key Program Highlights include:

  • An inventory of farms for schools
  • Guidance for schools to develop relationships with farmers
  • Disseminating farm to school procurement guidelines to both farmers and schools in order to help them work together.
  • A plan for integrated curriculum with regard to agriculture, food, health and nutrition
  • Disseminate information on proper equipment to prepare and process fresh food onsite
  • A Louisiana Farm to School Handbook

This is an incredible step for Louisiana and the Louisiana Farm to School Alliance! Please support Senator Thompson tomorrow, Tuesday at 9:30am in Baton Rouge at the Capitol as he champions our efforts and introduces the Louisiana Farm to School Bill to the Senate Ag Committee. We want to see this bill through!

Get Your Schoolyard Garden Growing This April!

Photo by James Van Haverbeke

Photo by James Van Haverbeke

April is a BIG month for growing in Louisiana! This month, direct seed arugula, beets, cantaloupe, collards, cucumber, lima beans, mustards, okra, peanuts, pumpkin, radish, squash, Swiss chard, turnips, and watermelon. You can also plant starts of eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. If your herb garden needs some new variety, it's a great time to plant basil, coriander, lemon balm, mint, parsley, and rosemary. 

For more detailed planting schedule information, reference LSU AgCenter's incredible Vegetable Planting Guide

2015 USDA Farm to School Census Results Are In!

USDA Food and Nutrition Service, USDA Farm to School Grantee:  Firstline Schools, Inc. / Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, Louisiana


USDA Food and Nutrition Service, USDA Farm to School Grantee:  Firstline Schools, Inc. / Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, Louisiana

Earlier this week, the USDA Farm to School team released the official results from the 2015 Farm to School Census. Here are the highlights for our state:

  • 54 school gardens in Louisiana
  • 33% of our school districts are participating in farm to school activities
  • $10,951,500 invested in local food purchases (by school districts)
  • 288,083 students impacted by farm to school activities

Thank you to all of the Louisiana educators, food service professionals and growers working together to increase equity, improve health outcomes for students, and advance economic opportunities for farmers. It is because of you that farm to school in Louisiana is thriving!

For more info and to find your district's results, check out the full census here.