Tahoe Food Hub is pleased to announce their newest Farm to School project, Farm Cart in the Classroom. Farm Cart in the Classroom promotes local food and healthy eating by giving students the tools to host a mini-farmers market at their school. “Instead of a bake sale, students can host a veggie sale,” explains Susie Sutphin, Director of the Tahoe Food Hub. “We believe if kids know the story of their food, they will be that much more interested to think about where their food comes from, how it was grown and select healthy choices.”
Farm Cart in the Classroom engages students on the importance of supporting local farms and growing food with sustainable farming practices. As students plan their Farm Cart Day, they learn about soil health, what produce is in season, the farmers who grow the food and the complexity of what farmers have to do to sell their crops. In planning a Farm Cart Day, students apply many of the skills they are learning in the classroom such as mathematics when pricing produce and managing money; and English Language Arts when integrating ideas as a team and marketing the event to their school. An additional philanthropic component has the class donate the proceeds from the event to a local non-profit of their choosing.
Farm Cart in the Classroom is inspired by Sierra Harvest’s Farm to School program in Grass Valley where they run a similar mobile veggie cart in the schools. The actual Farm Cart itself was built in collaboration with the students of Tahoe Expeditionary Academy. The students made their own design and used reclaimed wood and materials. Tahoe Food Hub hopes to grow the program incorporating farm field trips and cooking demos so the students experience everything about where their food comes from, from “seed to spoon”. To date there have been four farm carts days at various schools around the region. “The Farm Cart project has been an amazing opportunity for our students to learn the importance of local food sources. And how to
make conscious and responsible food choices in daily life that not only affect our health but our community,” shares Doug Reid, 5th grade teacher.