Yolo Farm to Fork is planting the seeds of healthy living through a new edible school garden program, Growing Lunch. Woodland and West Sacramento elementary school students are currently harvesting and delivering fresh tomatoes and melons they planted last spring to their school cafeterias. This fall, students will plant carrots, lettuces and snap peas to be harvested and served in their cafeterias from December through April. The pilot program is designed to empower K-6 students to learn how to grow, harvest and eat healthy, fresh produce at school, while sustaining edible gardens at their school sites.
For the first year of operation, generous grants from the Yocha Dehe Community Fund Wintun Nation and the Glory, Glory Sacramento Fund and with corporate sponsorship from Bayer Crop Science, will sustain the pilot program for the 2016-2017 school year in both Woodland and Washington school districts, at no cost to the schools. Five schools are currently enrolled in the pilot project: Beamer, Whitehead and Plainfield Elementary schools in Woodland and, plus Westmore Oaks, Stonegate, and Elkhorn Village Elementary in West Sacramento.
Grant funding will cover the cost of the year-long pilot including all garden materials, stipends for garden interns and volunteers, project coordination and evaluation, plus publication of a guide for future participating schools in planting, growing, and harvesting protocols to ensure that healthy garden produce is served in the cafeteria. Food Service Directors in Woodland Joint and Washington Unified School Districts have trained their participating cafeteria staff members to receive, prepare and serve the fresh garden produce.
For more information about our Growing Lunch program, email GrowingLunch@yolofarmtofork.org.