BCSD District News
Beacon City School District Farm-to-School Month
BEACON, NY - Oct 3, 2017 — As we enter the season of apple cider, pumpkin pie and soups made with delicious root vegetables, Beacon City School District is excited to celebrate local food production as a part of National Farm-to-School Month!
In 2010, Congress designated October to be Farm-to-School Month in order to recognize and support the efforts of students, educators, parents, nonprofit partners and farmers who have worked together to bring healthy, locally-grown food to schools in their communities. According to data collected by the National Farm-to-School Network, there are nearly 43,000 schools in the U.S. that participate in some type of farm-to-school activities, which included nearly $800 million in spending on local food for school cafeterias in the 2013-14 school year!
In Beacon, school district spending on local fod has already reached $11,000 in the first few weeks of September, which includes purchasing of local broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, romaine and green leaf lettuce, Spanish and red onions, green and red peppers, potatoes, scallions, apples, watermelon and dairy products! Though all of these products are regional, the efforts to draw connections to farms that exist within the students’ worlds have increased hyper-local purchasing to producers like Common Ground Farm, which alone has supplied 480 heads of lettuce for cafeteria salad bars!
To continue this emphasis on farm-to-school efforts, October will be full of various hands-on, educational activities, with the help of our community partners:
- All schools have been encouraged to decorate the front of their buildings with local food products - corn stalks, pumpkins, squash, etc.
- During their weekly garden time lessons with Hudson Valley Seed, 2nd grade classes will invite local farmers to see their school gardens and talk about growing food in the Hudson Valley.
- Some students in the Beacon Recreation Department’s after school program will set up Crop Shops (small farm stands) outside of three of the elementary schools on Fridays from 4:45-6:00pm in October and November to sell produce from the school gardens and a few local farms to parents and community members on the following dates:
- October 6 & 13 - South Ave. Elementary
- October 20 & 27 - Sargent Elementary
- November 3 & 11 - J.V. Forrestal Elementary
- On Thursday, October 19, all the elementary schools will participate in the Big Apple Crunch, joining millions of New Yorkers in taking a bite out of a New York State apple.
- Bok Choy will be the Vegetable of the Month and will show up various times on the cafeteria menu, again supplied by Common Ground Farm.
The Vegetable of the Month program brings a different locally-produced vegetable into the Beacon school cafeterias during the school year through a partnership with Common Ground Farm and Hudson Valley Seed. The K-2nd grade students that participate in Hudson Valley Seed’s weekly garden education program taste the raw vegetable, grown at Common Ground Farm, during their classes, then all elementary students taste the vegetable in a featured dish in the school cafeteria once a month.
We also encourage parents and guardians to take students to tour a local farm, go apple picking and visit the Beacon Farmer’s Market on Sundays from 10am-3pm at Veterans Place, next to the post office.
Please contact Karen Pagano at Beacon City School District (845-838-6900 x2012) or Omari Washington, Hudson Valley Seed (347-328-4481), for more information.
The next BOE Meeting
The next meeting of the Board of Education is scheduled for Monday, October 23, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. at Beacon High School. The school district auditors will present their report. School Board Recognition night will be observed. Anticipated return from Executive Session is 8:15 P.M.
The Audit Committee will meet prior to the Board of Education meeting, at 6:00 P.M. in the Library at BHS.