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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

RFP for MFFC due FRIDAY!!

Hello MI Farm to School Listserv!

Each year, Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS) hosts the Michigan Family Farms Conference (MFFC), a forum for beginning, small-scale, and culturally diverse farmers to network, learn, and build sustainable family farms. This year we have chosen the theme "Nurturing Resilient Farms - 2020 & Beyond." It gives us great energy to release the Request For Proposals (RFP) for both the keynote speaker and workshops. While the conference happening on Saturday, February 8, 2020 is months away, it will be here before you know it! Even if you do not have a presentation of your own, we would like to hear your ideas for workshops and/or keynote speakers.
RFP Link: http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07egcfl5g1jvwkr0vw/start


We are also excited to announce that MIFFS will be hosting a design competition for a new MFFC logo this year! For more information about the dimensions, file type and how to submit visit the link below. The chosen logo creator will a $50 gift card, receive five free tickets to the conference and recognition across our social platforms as well as at the conference. We look forward to many new ideas for the 17th annual conference.
Logo Link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfrD2rG1L1DO-EV5_tpibFsxI14WIIy1C_DREhVdAO5nNwTAw/viewform
If you do not have gmail, please submit your logo directly to john@miffs.org

Submission deadline is THIS FRIDAY July 19th. For more information on the RFP or logo submission visit https://www.miffs.org/mffc2020. Please share widely with your networks. Thank you for supporting MIFFS.

Thanks for your support!

MIFARMTOSCHOOL is a listserv that links farm-to-school stakeholders and practitioners in Michigan, from school food service directors and school administrators to growers and distributors. Content posted to MIFARMTOSCHOOL does not necessarily reflect the views of Michigan State University or the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Upcoming MFIN Network Meeting & Michigan Apple Crunch!

Participate in Michigan Farm to Institution Network activities and be part of the larger movement to help take local food purchasing at Michigan institutions to the next level!

 

MFIN Virtual Network Meeting

1-3 pm on Thursday, July 18, 2019

Zoom

Register here

 

Join this network meeting to learn more about farm to institution efforts in Michigan, including:

  • The promising practice of a regional farm to school directory, presented by Carolyn Thomas of Macomb ISD and Kaitlin Wojciak of MSU Extension who helped to develop the Farm to School Directory for Macomb and Oakland Counties;
  • A supply chain analysis of University of Michigan Dining, presented by Jae Gerhart of MSU Extension and Keith Soster of University of Michigan Dining; and,
  • Michigan Cucumber Crunch, a new promotion supported by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Department of Education, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, MSU Extension, and of course, Cultivate Michigan!

Registration is required to participate in this virtual network meeting.

 

 

Save the Date for Michigan Apple Crunch!

October 10, 2019

For the first time, the Michigan Apple Crunch will join forces with the Great Lakes Apple Crunch for one great crunch. Schools, hospitals, universities, early child care and education programs, and other organizations and businesses celebrate Michigan's harvest season by taking part in this fun, one-day event to collectively crunch into Michigan apples. Whether you celebrate on October 10th or anytime in October, be sure to register your crunch event to be counted!

Learn more and register here!

 

 

 

Colleen Matts

(she, her, hers)

Farm to Institution Specialist

Coordinator, Michigan Farm to Institution Network

Core Partner, National Farm to School Network

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

matts@msu.edu

517.432.0310

foodsystems.msu.edu | cultivatemichigan.org | mifarmtoschool.msu.edu

 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

June 2019 Michigan School Garden newsletter

MICHIGAN SCHOOL GARDEN NEWSLETTER

June 2019

Summertime in a Michigan School Garden – doesn't get any better than this!

Articles

Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant

by Kristine Hahn

 

A cohort of dedicated educators is working hard to provide garden-based educational opportunities for their students in Southeast Michigan. This spring, 18 of these committed garden educators were awarded mini-grants to start, expand or deepen their school garden projects through Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension).

 

This year is the first year that MSU Extension is offering the Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-grant program as a pilot project. The funding to support this project is generously provided by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and will fund two years of school garden mini-grants and support.

 

Schools and Early Care and Education sites based in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties were eligible to apply for mini-grants ranging between $500 - $1,500 to support their projects. Over 30 applications were submitted during the first competitive grant cycle. Ultimately, 18 schools and early care and education sites across the three counties were funded to support their garden programs. The program has the potential to positively impact the educational environment for 3,959 students ranging in age from 0 – 26. The grantees will receive grant funding, technical assistance and training through MSU Extension throughout the course of their one-year grant.

 

Garden projects were categorized as either planning or implementation grants. Planning grantees will focus their one-year grant on building a garden team and creating support systems for a future garden to thrive for many years to come. Implementation grantees will focus their one-year grant on either building or expanding their physical gardens, or deepening their existing garden project by adding a new facet to support their programs.

 

Many grantees represent schools that focus on providing job skills and vocational skills training for special needs young adults. These programs equip their students with the skills and confidence to find and successfully hold a job in the agriculture or culinary industry. Students assist with the entire process of propagating plants, garden maintenance, and harvest. A number of the schools then use their garden produce to cook, bake or create value-added edible products. Some creative schools are also crafting value-added products like herbed soaps, lip balms, sprays and lotions. 

 

Other grantees focus on the youngest eaters, exposing students that are pre-K age to how food is grown, harvested and used, creating healthy eating habits from the earliest ages. A number of the Early Care and Education sites are using the food that is grown in their existing gardens in their meal programs, so students reap the benefits of their garden education through nourishment in their daily meals.

 

This project was designed and implemented with the assistance of many dedicated community partners, including: Detroit Public Schools Community District, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, Keep Growing Detroit, Macomb Intermediate School District, Michigan Farm to Institution Network and Michigan Farm to School, Oakland County Food Policy Council, Oakland Schools, and Waterford School District.

 

The full list of Southeast Michigan School Garden Mini-Grant Grantees follows. Congratulations to these dedicated programs that support their students to learn about food, agriculture, the environment and healthy eating through their school garden programs!

 

ABCs & 123s Home Daycare, Macomb County

A&W Daycare, Wayne County

Brewer Academy, Wayne County

Franklin Middle School, Wayne County

Grandview Elementary and GSRP, Wayne County

Green Garden Child Development Center, Oakland County

Independence Elementary, Oakland County

LACC Child Care Academy, Wayne County

Lamphere High School, Oakland County

Lincoln Center, Wayne County

Madison School, Wayne County

Flynn Transitional Center, Macomb County

Mixter Institute for Transition, Wayne County

Neil E Reed High School, Macomb County

Orville Krause Elementary, Macomb County

Patterson Elementary, Oakland County

Rising Stars Academy, Macomb County

St. Paul's Lutheran Church Early Childhood Center, Oakland County

 

 

How Do You Summer Your School Garden?

by Kristine Hahn

There are many good alternatives for getting your school garden through the summer.  Use the one that is best for you and your school.

 

Keeping a school garden alive during the summer can be a big challenge for some schools.  However, there are many viable methods for summer maintenance of a school garden, and there is one that can be a success for any school garden.

 

Summer school garden maintenance can especially be a barrier for newly established school gardens.  Keep it as simple as possible.  In some cases, this may mean not having a summer garden when school is out, but only plant cool weather crops in the Spring and Fall when school is in full swing.  Many assume that gardens are limited to growing crops such as cucumbers, squash, peppers and tomatoes during the summer months.  But there are many excellent fast growing cool weather crops that do best in the cooler temperatures of the Spring and Fall, such as peas, lettuces, cabbage, collards and many root crops.  Some crops such as carrots actually get sweeter from exposure to the cooler temperatures.  It is also a great way to get kids to try vegetables that they may not normally be exposed to, as children are much more likely to try vegetables that they have grown.

 

Some schools are able to schedule students and their families and community members to care for the garden during the summer months.  This is a wonderful way to get and keep families and community members involved in the garden.  But this summer maintenance method does require high involvement and some scheduling with regular reminders.

 

Districts such as Detroit Public Schools Community District are able to hire summer help to maintain school gardens during the summer months.  Not all districts (or individual schools) have this option, but if there are a large number of gardens in the district and funds are available, this choice can make the most sense. 

 

Sometimes summer school students and staff can assist in summer maintenance.  However, summer school rarely takes place during August, so that would require some scheduling of school families and community members to cover that high maintenance month. 

 

Some school gardens have a combination of community members and school participants gardening in it.  This makes the garden more flexible during the summer months and can involve the community participants assisting in maintaining the school plots or portion of the garden during the drought-prone months of July and August.

 

There are many combinations of the methods listed above that can work as well.  With a little flexibility and scheduling most school gardens can thrive during the summer.  So don't let the stumbling block of summer maintenance keep your school from having a vibrant garden – even if it is just in the Fall or Spring.

 

                        ____________________________________________________________

School Garden Grant Information

 

  • Annie's Grants for Gardens – Our 2019 Grants application period will be open from August 1, 2019 to November 1, 2019. Click here to access our Grant FAQs. 
  • American Honda Foundation - Due dates three times per year
    • Schools, nonprofits classified as 501(c) (3) s and private or public schools (elementary and secondary) are eligible.
    • Award range: $20,000 - $75,000 for one year
  • Captain Planet Foundation ecoSolution GrantCurrent cycle due on July 15
    • Schools, nonprofits and other organizations classified as 501(c) (3) are eligible
    • Projects must: support solution-oriented, youth-led projects that result in real environmental outcomes; be based in the United States; only support direct project costs.
    • Award range is between $500 - $2500.
  • The Home Depot FoundationCommunity Impact Grants currently open
    • Schools and 501(c) (3) organizations are eligible.
    • Awards are up to $5,000
    • The Home Depot also has opportunities to match donations from local stores with nonprofits. Follow this link for more information on how to request a match. 
  • Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation
    • Public schools are eligible
    • Awards from $5,000 - $25,000
    • Visit this link to answer preliminary questions and learn more.
  • Salad Bars to School Grant
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply. To qualify for a Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools grant, applicants must offer the salad bar as part of the reimbursable meal served in your district.
    • Schools use the award (approximately $3,147 value) to implement salad bars as part of their daily meal program
    • For more information and to apply, follow this link.
    • The top five program awards will be a grant package worth $2,100. An additional 20 grant packages worth $500 will be awarded.
    • Learn more and apply here
  • The Samull Classroom Herb Garden GrantCurrently open
    • Private and/or public elementary schools for grades 3-6 are eligible. Classes must have a minimum of 15 students.
    • Awards are up to $200 to establish an herb garden
    • Follow this link to learn more and apply
  • Youth Micro-grants through Karma for Cara FoundationRolling deadline
    • Youth under age 18 who are working on a community service project (including school and community gardens).
    • Awards are between $250 - $1,000.

 

School Garden Educational Opportunities

  1. National Children & Youth Garden Symposium

register now and be prepared to be inspired by your colleagues from across the country who are engaging in new and innovative ways with kids in the garden.

 

  1. MSU Extension Master Gardener Programs

    MSU Extension Master Gardener Training Courses are typically offered starting in January, March and August in several locations around the state.

    https://www.canr.msu.edu/master_gardener_volunteer_program/join-us/upcoming-extension-master-gardener-trainings

     
  1. MOFFA (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance) Educational Opportunities
  • North American Association of Environmental Educators Professional Development

            https://sites.google.com/site/nationalschoolgardennetwork/networking

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 



Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Oakland County Office

1200 Telegraph Rd. #26E

Pontiac, MI 48341

248-802-4590


*Please note my new office location


MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.  Michigan State University programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.


"Always be humble and kind." - Tim McGraw

 

Summer is a great time to grow farm to school 🌱

July 2019
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

Summer has officially begun! As the growing season kicks off, learn how schools are maximizing gardening spaces, what’s new in farm to school policy and legislation, and opportunities for professional development.
News
Kids Eat Local Act Can Support Children, Farmers, and Communities
What is the Kids Eat Local Act? Chloe Marshall says, “It’s a win-win-win approach to feeding our kids fresh, healthy food, supporting our local farmers and food producers, and strengthening local economies.”

Detroit’s Drew Farm Continues to Grow
A school farm in Detroit produces over 20,000 pounds of produce for the district each year. Funded by the National School Lunch Program, Drew Farm is one-of-a-kind and serves as a model for other districts.

Children in Alaska Make the Most of Gardening using One Square Foot of Dirt
Children at Ray’s Child Care and Learning Center in Alaska are growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers in individual one square-foot garden boxes, showing that small spaces can yield great results. A larger edible garden, as well as experiential learning opportunities and visits to local farms, are part of this center’s everyday farm to ECE experiences.

Michigan School Districts Recognized for Summer Meal Programs
Meal programs in Michigan and across the United States are serving children and teens delicious, nutritious food all summer long. These USDA Food and Nutrition Service awardees are being recognized for their high-quality meals and education initiatives.

Events
National Children and Youth Garden Symposium
July 10 - 13
Madison, WI

The American Horticultural Society is hosting the National Children and Youth Garden Symposium to help educators teach children about creating a sustainable environment. The 3-day symposium will explore innovative sustainable gardening curriculum and practices, discuss "green" career resources, and highlight model partnerships.

Webinar About Measuring Equity in the Food System
July 16, 3 - 4 p.m.

This webinar will provide an introduction to the newly published guide, “Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics,” including examples of ways the guide can be used. There will be time in the webinar for questions, comments, and suggestions for related resources.

Resources
Free Online Course: Straw Bale Gardening in Child Nutrition Programs
This short, online training reviews the benefits of a straw bale garden and walks participants through the process of building one step-by-step. The training covers supplies needed and costs to create a straw bale garden, lessons learned from a first-time straw bale gardener, and include photographs to help participants get ready to plant! 

New Local Food Purchasing Guide from NC Cooperative Extension
What is the best way for child care centers and technical assistance providers to purchase local food for meals and snacks for their centers? Learn from case studies and data gathered from ECE providers in North Carolina.

State Farm to School Policy Handbook: 2002-2018
The National Farm to School Network and the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School have published a handbook that summarizes and analyzes every proposed farm to school bill and resolution introduced between 2002 and 2018, from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. Farm to school advocates, policymakers, researchers, and journalists can search bills by both jurisdiction and topic to find analyses of trends, case studies, advocacy resources and more.

Jobs
Community Food Systems Program Manager, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
July 4, 2019

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension is seeking applicants for a Community Food Systems Program Manager position. This position will help community residents, leaders, organizations and First Nations build capacity, enhance place-based food systems, and improve community health and well-being.

About Michigan Farm to School

Farm to School centers around efforts to serve local foods in school and early care and education settings. We share ideas, tools and resources to support a range of efforts, from school garden programming to farmer visits and field trips.

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