This August, Northeast Georgia Farm to School program awarded six mini-grants to elementary, middle and high schools to start or improve an edible school garden or to receive a mobile cooking cart – which includes an induction burner, blender, saucepan and skillet, kid-safe nylon knives, and a number of other tools.
To help with implementation, grantees will each be paired with an AmeriCorps FoodCorps service member. Grantees will develop two standards-based lessons plans to be paired with their garden or cooking cart. In addition, they will will present their final projects to the community at a Farm to School Showcase on Dec. 10.
All grantees attended a full day professional development workshop at Grassfed Farms, owned by Murray and Angela Provine, in Clarkesville, GA. Following a tour of the farm, Atlanta Public Schools garden educator Jenna Mobley began the workshop. Mobley showed attendees how to incorporate gardens and cooking into standards-based lessons plans, and why hands-on, interactive lesson plans are often more effective for learning.
Utilizing the mobile cooking cart, attendees did a taste test of several varieties of apples and made a plant part salad to teach students the different parts of various plants and which parts are edible in each plant. During the garden tour, attendees also made seed tape to practice how math skills can be incorporated into square-foot gardening by analyzing the space and number of seeds.
“We had a great time with Northeast Georgia F2S, FoodCorps members and local educators at Grassfed Farms,” said Georgia Organics Farm to School Coordinator Emily Cumbie-Drake. “Participants were really enthusiastic. Each school had some creative ideas about how they wanted to implement farm to school into their classrooms, and we can’t wait to see how they turn out!”
The Northeast Georgia Farm to School Program is a project of the Foodbank of Northeast Georgia. Georgia Organics has been consulting on this project for the last three years.