Temple Independent School District (ISD) and Florence ISD, among others, earned Best of the Bunch recognition for participating in the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Summer Farm Fresh Challenge. Both sourced fresh, seasonal foods from Bouldin Food Forest, a 150 acre farm in Central Texas that uses organic and permaculture principles to grow fresh produce for local customers.
The Summer Farm Fresh Challenge was added to TDA’s Farm Fresh Initiative this year for sponsors serving healthy meals to children when school is out for the summer break. TDA’s Summer Meal Program partners are asked to Eat Local. Teach Local. and Be Social. In addition to serving local foods and providing educational opportunities, participants use social media to raise awareness of Farm Fresh activities and the benefits of serving foods sourced close to home. Bouldin Food Forest participates in the Farm Fresh Initiative as a member of the Farm Fresh Network, which helps schools connect with local producers, who want to market products to schools.
A Facebook post from Bouldin Food Forest’s Ben McConnell sums up the successes possible with Farm Fresh Initiative participation — “A milestone day for the farm: Our biggest-ever delivery of salad greens, for our newest customer, Temple ISD. We’re pretty stoked to help feed nearby kids and the hard-working adults who teach and feed them!”
Temple ISD purchased a blend of purple and green lettuce mix for their salads and other menu items that contain lettuce, like hamburgers. Also, Temple ISD nutrition staff visited the farm to get a better understanding of sustainable agriculture.
”We look forward to expanding this initiative and creating new dishes around farm fresh produce, said Temple ISD Child Nutrition Director Suzanne Murdough.”
For more information and to follow along with this story, follow Temple ISD, Florence ISD and Bouldin Food Forest on Facebook
Temple ISD: @TempleISD
Florence ISD: @FlorenceISD
Bouldin Food Forest: @BouldinFoodForest