This week our sustainability team braved the heat to visit Queens Greens, a local farm in Amherst, MA that produces organic greens, herbs, and vegetables. We met with Queens Greens owner Danya Teitelbaum, who gave us a tour of the farm's fields and greenhouses, as well as its brand new washing and refrigeration facility. A highlight of the tour was learning about the farm's ingenious salad spinners, which are made from old washing machines. How cool is that?!
After the tour, we sampled two varieties of salad mix and got down to business discussing pricing and ordering. We decided on using a combination of competitively priced leafy green lettuce heads, supplemented with mixed salad greens for added color and texture. We'll be testing out this combination during our summer meal program, and if all goes well, local salad will be making a weekly appearance on our menus in the fall, to accompany our Friday pizza offering.
A huge THANK YOU to Danya for a fabulous tour and an even better product! Be sure to check out Queens Greens at a number of local retailers and restaurants, listed here.
Meet the team:
"WE DIG OUR LOCAL FARMER!" From left to right: Becky Barrett (Chef Manager at Lambert-Lavoie Elementary School), Rachel Harb (Sustainable Food Systems Coordinator), Greta Shwachman (FoodCorps Service Member), and Harry Brandt (1st Grade Teacher at Bowe Elementary). Not pictured here is team member Ann Juliano (Chef Manager at Chicopee Comp).
By the end of the three days, we came up with the following goals to accomplish in the cafeteria, classroom, and community during the 2016-2017 school year.
If we accomplish these goals, we will be closer to realizing our overarching vision for ChicopeeFRESH, to provide every student in the district with access to locally sourced, nutritious school meals, as wells as experiential learning opportunities in the classroom and garden.
Watch our digital Story:
The retreat included a workshop on digital storytelling. To tell our story to other members of the Institute, we created this digital story that depicts the success of the Bowe School Garden, led by 1st grade teacher and team member, Harry Brandt. We hope that Harry's enthusiasm for FTS will spread across the district and inspire other successful school gardens in Chicopee!
The ChicopeeFRESH team is a group of creative individuals who are working to feed Chicopee students healthy, local and FRESH foods each day.