Upcoming Events

BY THE NUMBERS… A look at Sept – Dec 2010

  • 1 full-time Farm to School Program Coordinator began in September
  • 2 new websites were launched, http://www.windhamcountyfarmtoschool.org and http://www.windhamfarmandfood.com
  • 11 local farms sold produce through the Windham Farm & Food Network
  • 13 local schools participated in 2nd Annual Kids’ Localvore Challenge Week
  • 28 different local food products were served in school cafeterias
  • 37 community organizations and local businesses have partnered with, and supported, the Farm to School Program
  • 91 meetings were attended, often facilitated, by the new Program Coordinator
  • 118 individuals on the Brattleboro Farm to School Listserv
  • 149 students visited local farms this fall on standards-based field trips
  • 482 students taste tested Butternut Squash in November
  • $5,637 worth of food (6,467 pounds) was purchased from local farms through the Windham Farm & Food Network

For more Program Highlights click here to see our NEW Program Report!

The F2S Program is holding its 1st District-Wide Meeting of 2011!

Please join us,
Monday, January 24th, 3:30-5:00 PM                                                                                     at the Marlboro College Graduate Center, 2nd Floor, Room 2East.

The purpose of this meeting is to provide a space in which all interested
parties come together with the objectives to:

  • celebrate successes from the fall semester,
  • share ideas, projects, materials, and resources,
  • increase understanding of the regional food system and its impact on ourlocal economy,
  • generate ideas for strengthening connections between community, schools, and families, and
  • inspire action!

3:30- 5:00 PM
I. Welcome – Katherine Gillespie (Farm to School Coordinator) & Ron
Stahley (Superintendent of Schools, WSESU)
II. Presentation- What is a food system?
– Our Regional Food System
– Windham Farm & Food Network: Economic Impact of Farm to School
III. Fall Farm to School Highlights
– 5 Minute Presentations by Schools
IV. Discussion: Strengthening Connections between Community, Schools, and
V. Summary & Action Steps

5:00 – 5:30 PM Snack & Beverages- Networking Opportunity

RSVP: If you have not done so already, please email katherine_gillespie@wsesu.org to let me know you will be joining us.

The Graduate Center is located on Route 142 (28 Vernon Street, 05301), in
downtown Brattleboro. We will be meeting on the Second Floor in Room 2 East.
Please click here for detailed directions [

I do hope you will join us! Please share this with other interested folks!
Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Best regards,
Katherine Gillespie

Brattleboro Farm to School Program Coordinator


Feeling the need for one last opportunity to get your hands dirty?
Wishing for some good old fashioned community service time?
Here’s your chance to make your dreams come true….

Come join us for an hour of fun…..
~Academy School Garden Clean Up Gathering ~
Novemer 15th @ 3:30-4:30  PM

For one hour we will bust a move on the garden and set it to “bed” for the winter.  Yummy treats will be provided! Many hands make light work….so, we hope to see you there!!

**Bring: shovels, rakes, gloves,wheelbarrows.


Mark Your Calendars! Upcoming Farm to School Meeting Dates:

Academy School Garden Work DayMonday, Nov. 15th, 3:30 – 4:30 PM. Meet at the gardens behind the school. Dress appropriately and please bring gloves and any garden rakes/shovels you may have to share!

Green Street F2S Committee– Thursday, Nov 11th at 3:30 PM, Laura White’s classroom, Green Street School.

Oak Grove F2S/Garden Committee- Tuesday, Nov. 23rd at 12:0o PM, at the Oak Grove School.

Academy F2S/Garden Committee Meeting– Friday, Dec. 3rd at 7:45 AM, Academy School.

All teachers, school staff, school families and community members are welcome to join these meetings! Hope to see you there!


THIS WEEK-Great Workshops & Events you should know about…

Wednesday, Nov. 3rd, 9:00 -12:00 – Hunger & Nutirtion Safety Net Training – Marlboro Grad Center
Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger and the Vermont Foodbank will be offering this training for service providers and concerned community members to learn about hunger in Windham County and the many nutrition programs and community resources that address it.

At this training, you will participate in discussions on:

  • who is eligible for participation in various programs
  • how community members can access available resources
  • how you can assist community members in getting connected with the help they need
  • your ideas on how Windham County residents can best work together as a community to address hunger

http://www.vtnohunger.org/info/safetynet.php ]Click here to register forthis event! If you have any questions about this training, please contact Kelly McLemore at (802) 865-0255 or at [mailto:Kelly@vtnohunger.org ]Kelly@vtnohunger.org.

Also, Wednesday, Nov 3rd- 6:30 -8:30 PM – Monadnock Farm to School Forum – Heberton Hall, 60 Winter St. Keene, NH
FREE- Hands-on Workshop to cultivate food, learning, and community via the development of gardening programs for preK-12 students.

  • Gain access to ready made curriculum kits around growing vegetables.
  • Learn how to build a coldframe, grow sprouts, use a worm bin and grow lights year round.

For more information contact 75602988 ext 116, or visit www.cheshireconservation.org

If you are able to attend these events please collect and share resources with others in your schools and communities!_______________________________________________

Although this is not an upcoming event, I had to share this. Please take a look at this TED video- an 11 year old on “What’s Wrong With our Food System.” Many teachers across the country are using this 5 minute video to introduce the topic to their students in the classroom. Happy viewing!


Registration for the 2011 Extension Master Gardener Course has begun!

The course dates are Tuesday evenings, February 1 thru April 26th.

This course covers the basics of home horticulture and what it means to be an Extension Master Gardener (EMG). The instructors are comprised of UVM faculty and Vermont horticulture professionals. Course topics include: Botany, Turf and Weeds, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Vegetables, Soil Science, Perennials and Annuals, Sustainable Landscapes Intro, Integrated Pest Management, Invasive Plant Control, and UVM Extension Volunteering. All course requirements must be completed by May 31, 2011.

For complete registration information and forms, please visit the following:

New this year! Several EMG Chapters are offering scholarships throughout the state. Scholarship information is also available at the link above.

Please share this information with your friends, family, and community so even more Vermonter’s benefit from this terrific course!


All Oak Grove Families are invited to our
Fall Open House and Farm to School Celebration Night!

Join us Tuesday, October 12, 2010
4:30- 5:45 PM  – Open House Classroom Tours
5:45 – 6:00 PM – Farm to School Celebration Presentation in the Gymnasium
6:00 – 7:00 PM – Dinner in the Gymnasium

Our menu for the evening will include:

  • Autumn harvest vegetable soup with fresh bread,
  • Local green salad,
  • Delicious potato salad, roasted butternut squash, and other side dishes,
  • Homemade desserts, and
  • Local Apples!

We ask families to please sign-up in the main lobby to make a side dish or dessert for this community event. We look forward to seeing you and sharing a delicious harvest meal together!

For more information, please contact sheila_humphreys@wsesu.org.


Announcing… 2010 Kids’ Localvore Challenge!!

Many area schools are looking forward to participating in the 2010 Kids’ Localvore Challenge from Monday, October 11th to Friday, October 15th. The Kids’ Localvore Challenge is an opportunity for students to take part in learning activities and experiences that highlight the value of food grown and raised in Vermont and nearby states.

Participation in this challenge is optional, but we hope many students with the support of their families will take part!  The Localvore Challenge will work similarly to the March Reading challenge. Participants will set their own goals, keep track of what local foods they eat, and turn their contracts in to their schools at the end, to be entered in a drawing for prizes.  Information will be coming home with your child in the next few weeks.

Click here to access documents that will help you get started planning a Kids’ Localvore Challenge at your school!

Contact Katherine_Gillespie@wsesu.org for more information.


Please look over the minutes from our meetings by clicking here

Join us for the 1st Farm to School Committee Meeting of the School Year!

NEXT Monday, September 13th at 3:30 PM, in Laura White’s Classroom at the Green Street School!

We will be discussing the 2010-2011 F2S Program including: committee structure, farm field trip applications, upcoming taste tests and F2S Celebration Nights, as well as our Get on the Bus Campaign!  Please join us and find out how you can get involved!

Feel free to contact Katherine_Gillespie@wsesu.org for more information.


All Academy School Families are invited to a


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

  • 5:30 – 6:15 PM – Dinner
  • 6:00 – 7:00 PM – Classroom Tours & Desserts (in classrooms)

The cookout is sponsored by ACT (Academy Community Together) & Farm to School. Our menu for the evening will include:

  • BBQ chicken (ACT)
  • Veggie burgers (ACT)
  • Local green salad (F2S)

Please bring a side or dessert to share.

For more information, please contact Julie Potter, j2m2glen@comcast.net.


SAVE THE DATE: Vermont School Nutrition Association Fall Conference

October 21 and 22, 2010

You don’t have to be in School Food Service to enjoy the VT School Nutrition Association Conference and Food Vendor Show, October 21 and 22nd at the Double Tree Conference Center in South Burlington, VT!

Please join us for SNA’s new and improved annual conference that has expanded to 2 days. Inspirational keynote speakers (White House Chef Sam Kass has been invited!) and a wide variety of 19 workshops featuring expert food service directors and chefs will be relevant to not only school food service, but also to nurses, superintendents, business managers, wellness coordinators, and school board members.

You don’t have to be a member to be part of the excitement, while learning new skills and ideas alongside colleagues and other professionals.

For more information contact: Abbie Nelson, Director, Vermont FEED


What a GREAT event! See what the attendees had to say about it in this article by Howard Weiss-Tisman of the Brattleboro Reformer. Click here.

Calling All Food Service Chefs and Managers!!! Don’t Miss Out!

2010 Windham Farm Chef Workshop– making connections with network farmers and  Windham area chefs to explore working with local produce and products.

Day & Time: Tuesday, August 24th, 8:15 AM- 1:30 PM

Location: Putney School, Putney Click here for Directions


9-9:30   Intro to the Putney Kitchen, Garden and Lettuce Harvest

9:30-11:30  Cook and chat:  Lead Chefs, with help from other participants, prepare a dish and facilitate practical discussion of using local produce with limited resources. In total we will prepare and consume 5-6 different dishes.

11:45-12:15   Eat Lunch with Network Farmers!

12:15-1:30 Connect:  Network chefs and farmers gather over coffee and snacks to meet each other and discuss benefits and challenges of selling,  buying and using local produce.  Farmers bring their produce to be prepared during the workshop (order and menu will be predetermined by lead chefs).

1:30– That’s it, back to work!

Fee: Free of charge!!– UVM Extension is providing coordination time, fresh produce for the workshop, as well as a token gift for attending farmers. Lead chefs volunteer their time and expertise.  The facility and refreshments will be donated by the Putney School.

Contact Hans Estrin, Local Food Network Coordinator, to register and find out additional information. Email hestrin@uvm.edu or call 802/257-7967 EXT #312.



Thank you to all who came out to support the Brattleboro Farm to School Program at the 2nd Annual Feast on the Farm this past Saturday! We raised just over $1,000!Your support enables us to offer field trips to local farms, an essential component of strengthening farm and food education in our community. Thank you!

A very special thanks to Tristan Toleno, of the Riverview Cafe and VT Fresh Network, for his fabulous cooking and organizing! And another big thank you to Lilac Ridge Farm and the Thurber family, particularly Amanda Ellis Thurber, for all of your time and energy growing wonderful food for the table, as well as coordinating and hosting this event! Thank you!

Feast on the Farm Event Poster!!

JOIN US…SATURDAY, Aug. 14th @ 5:30 PM

2nd Annual Feast on the Farm @ Lilac Ridge

Proceeds to support farm field trips for Brattleboro Elementary School Kids!

  • Delicious local foods grown at Lilac Ridge Farm and neighboring farms
  • Hay rides, farm tours, and other children’s activities
  • If it rains, the event will use a tent and farm barns for cover

Tickets ($15.00/adult and $7.00/child under 12) available at the door.

Co-sponsored by the Vermont Fresh Network and the Riverview Cafe!



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