Blog Archive

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Cultivating farm to school and ECE this summer

July 2021
Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers,

Summertime harvests have just begun, but fall will be here before we know it! Now is a great time to start planning for the many changes we might see in Michigan's K-12 and early care classrooms this upcoming school year.
Vermont Farm to School Grant Includes Anti-Racism Education
In Vermont, a farm to school Vision Grant was awarded to South Hero Land Trust to integrate anti-racist education within the existing farm to school program. Storytelling, art, music, agriculture, food, and land stewardship will support students’ and teachers’ learning.

Farm to School Camp in the Upper Peninsula
The first Farm to School Camp was held in June in Ishpeming, with Partridge Creek Farm partnering with Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (MARESA) Health Educators as hosts to facilitate learning about growing and cooking healthy food.

Michigan Program Making CSAs Available for More Families
A program called Michigan Farm to Family: CSA has expanded options for accessing produce for more Michigan families. Families take part in nutrition education and the program offsets some costs of CSA (community supported agriculture) membership, reducing barriers to participation and increasing connections between farmers, families, and local, seasonal eating.

Collective Kitchen: A Conversation About Building Power and Community Through Food
July 7, 5 p.m. ET

Join CoFED and Design for the Commons for a multi-sensory experience centered around storytelling, food sovereignty, and communal cooking. With food as our common denominator, CoFed and Design for the Commons hope this webinar will facilitate discussion around building community and meaningful relationships through food.

Save the Date! Cultivate Michigan Marketplace: Growing Connections in Early Care and Education
August 16-26, 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET

Join us to build your network in these virtual, regional meet-the-buyers style events! Food suppliers will make connections and learn how to market and sell to early care and education sites, and child care providers will connect with sellers in their region to purchase local foods for the children they serve.

Save the date for your regional event:

  • Monday, August 16 – Upper Peninsula 
  • Tuesday, August 17 - Southwest Michigan
  • Wednesday, August 18 – West Michigan
  • Thursday, August 19 - Northern Lower Peninsula 
  • Monday, August 23 - East Michigan 
  • Tuesday, August 24 - Mid-Michigan 
  • Wednesday, August 25 - Southeast Michigan 
  • Thursday, August 26 – Southeast Michigan (Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties) 

More details and registration to come soon!
Creative Opportunities for Strengthening Farm to ECE Through Emerging Federal Funding Streams: Webinar and Resources
The National Farm to School Network, the Policy Equity Group, and the Food Research and Action Center shared information about different funding streams and how they can be used in early care and education and more specifically, how agencies can collaborate to support farm to ECE, early learning programs, and farming and food production.

USDA SNAP-Ed Recipes Now Includes a New Seasonal Recipes Section
The SNAP-Ed recipe page is a great resource for healthy and affordable recipes. The site now includes a “Recipe Video Collections” section with step-by-step instructions and a “Seasonal Recipes” section with a featured low-cost, in-season recipe.

Want to Plan a Farm Field Trip?
Taste the Local Difference has a Farm to School Directory with a list of farmers and food producers who are interested in hosting or participating in field trips, helping with school gardens, or in-class instruction.

Visit the directory page to search by county and start planning an event for next school year.
Growing the Next Generation: Grandfriends and Gardens
In Ionia County, Michigan, seniors are gardening with preschoolers to teach them about growing plants, building relationships, and other important life skills. Gardening also benefits the senior participants, many of them noting how interacting with young children has improved their quality of life. Check out this blog to learn more about the benefits of intergenerational gardening and how you can start a program in your community.

Little Seeds Pollinator Pals Grant
Deadline: July 30

The Little Seeds Pollinator Pals Grant presented by Little Seeds and KidsGardening is designed to support youth garden programs interested in preserving and creating pollinator habitats to help rebuild declining pollinator populations. In 2021, eighteen programs will be awarded $500 to support the development of new and expansion of existing pollinator gardens.

USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Grant Applications Open
Deadline: July 30

USDA announced the availability of up to $4 million for grants to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects. The Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production is accepting proposals for planning and innovation projects, and these grants are part of USDA’s broader efforts to support urban agriculture.

Incubator Kitchen Manager at Growing Hope
Deadline: July 9

Growing Hope in Ypsilanti, Michigan has an opening for an Incubator Kitchen Manager. This position will manage the Growing Hope Incubator Kitchen, support the Farmers Market team, and manage the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace building maintenance and grounds upkeep. 

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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