|Welcome to our final edition of the Farm to Preschool e-newsletter for 2022! It has been an amazing year with so much progress in the Farm to Preschool world. We released the results of our needs assessment in January, and have tried to cover all of the topics that people expressed a need for through the monthly newsletter. This month we are focusing on engaging families and other volunteers to help with your school gardens and accessing local foods and farms. |
Invite families to help you and ask them what their skills are. You never know who has carpentry skills to help build a garden bed or a pickup truck to go get a load of compost or soil. Maybe you have a farmer in the community that would come and speak to the children about their life and work? Invite families to share a favorite recipe or seeds to grow a special crop from their cultural background. Hold a community workday to prepare the garden for winter and share a pot of hot apple cider or a potluck together. Ask families to help drive children to a farm for
u-pick or to a local farmers market for a field trip. Local schools, colleges, girl and boy scouts, or fraternities/sororities may be seeking community service opportunities. Grandparents or Extension Master Gardener volunteers may like to share their knowledge of gardening with your group. Take a look around and you may be surprised who in your community would like to help you.
List of Master Gardeners in each county
Short term, one day, or ongoing volunteer options
Programs such a FEAST/4-H/Junior Master Gardeners
Get on a local list for ongoing volunteer opportunities (usually at the Chamber)
Connect with your local gardening club
Connect with your local college for interns & volunteer opportunities
from Maria Hitt
After three years of leading the outreach workgroup and helping to write the newsletter, and close to 10 years serving as a member of the Farm to Preschool Network Advisory Committee, I am stepping down. Being a member of the Network has been a favorite and special activity over the years and farm to preschool will always be near and dear to me. I will continue to work and advocate for farm to preschool in both my personal and professional lives. I know that the Network is in good hands and that it will continue to grow and offer support to preschool programs across North Carolina as they strive to connect their children and families to local farms and food.
Whip It Up!
by Marianne Lindgren and Chika Mita
NC Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
|With the holidays approaching, we often prepare our favorite recipes, those that warm our homes and our hearts! The kitchen can be a busy place with lots of family and friends working together to create meals and memories.|
Collard greens are in season nearly year-round in North Carolina and while they are popular in the South, they are grown and served all over the world, including Spain, India, Croatia, Africa, and Brazil. You may have a favorite way to prepare collard greens; however, if you are looking to try something new, here is a recipe for Brazilian Collard Greens. With just a few ingredients and quick cooking time, the collards will stay crisp and colorful. Children can be a part of the recipe preparation by helping to wash, drain, and stack the collard leaves. When selecting collards, choose dark green leaves, without yellowing. Refrigerating collards in a plastic bag will keep them fresh for up to five days.
Brazilian Collard Greens
For a creditable snack in the CACFP, add ½ ounce roasted sunflower seeds to each serving of collards.
Yield: 6 servings
Snack serving size for 3-5-year-olds: ½ cup collards + ½ oz. sunflower seeds.
2 pounds collards, thick stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of garlic powder
3 ounces sunflower seeds
1. Wash collard leaves and drain. Leaves should not be dried.
2. Stack a few leaves together, arranging with the largest leaf at the bottom. Roll the stack of leaves into a cylinder, so the stem is along the length of the roll. Slice the roll crosswise into thin ribbons. Repeat this step until all the collard leaves are cut.
3. In a large skillet or Dutch oven heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is simmering, add the collards and cook, tossing collards until dark green and tender with a bit of crunch. Add garlic powder and salt to taste.
4. To roast sunflower seeds, add seeds to pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until seeds are lightly browned and fragrant (about 1 – 2 minutes). Gently mix into the collards.
CACFP Crediting for Snack: ½ cup vegetable and ½ oz. eq. meat/meat alternate
Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking
This Week in the Garden
The NC Farm to Preschool Network connects, educates, develops and shares resources between community and state partners, farmers, early childhood educators and families to spark the local foods movement in early childhood education environments.
|Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth|
by Mary Siddals
This delightful read will inform young “environmental chefs” about the do’s and don’ts of composting. Mary McKenna Siddals draws you in by mentioning familiar household items that can be composted, but also introduces some not-so-familiar composting substances that will leave students wanting to dig deeper (both figuratively and literally)! Read aloud on YouTube.
by Cynthia Rylant
In November the air turns crisp and cold. Families, animals, and insects all gather together for warmth. This is a great book to share with students to celebrate the month of November.
Read aloud on YouTube.
New NC Farm to Preschool Network Success Story!
Let It Grow!
by Kelly Roten
The changing of the seasons is a time of respite and repair for your soil. After several months of producing it is time to give back-amending your soil in the fall allows for nutrients to break down so your soil is enhanced for next year's crop. First, before a hard freeze comes, disturb your soil so it exposes common bugs/pests to the cool temperatures (this will help cut down on the nuisance of garden pests in the spring). Allow the disturbed soil to sit for several days before proceeding with adding compost, manure, pine needles (adds carbon), kelp (helps break down compost), bone meal (adds phosphorus), or rock phosphate (adds calcium phosphate). After amending your soil cover with mulch or add your pine needles last, in a thick layer to keep insulated. If you have a compost pile, add fall leaves and garden scraps before making sure you cover it as the hard frosts become regular.
2022 North Carolina Crunch was a Success!
|The 2022 NC Crunch was a sucess!! 71 counties participated with 27,2996 crunchers!! WLOS visited Weaverville Primary School's Crunch event in Buncombe County. One of our favorite quotes from a student about apples was, "They're juicy, they're sweet, they help people..."