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Sustainable Table: Farm To School Month

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ASHLAND, Ore. – The national non-profit is doing big things locally, teaching kids about where their food comes from. It’s Farm To School Month, and statewide, the organization is working toward grant funding which would expand their mission.

The Oregon State Legislature is currently considering a bill which would allocate $5 million in grant funding to the Farm 2 School program in the state. That means more local kids could go on more field trips to places like the the Eagle Mill Farm in Ashland. This field trip is part of Rogue Valley Farm To School Program, which gets fresh farm produce in schools and kids on farms.

6-year-olds to teenagers got a lesson in sustainable farming and sustainable food, starting out with seeds, to bugs, then harvest and finally preparing a meal. It might be the freshness, or the fact they had a hand in it, either way just about everyone cleared their plates.

“When kids come here and try a vegetable or a food they’ve never tried before – that’s gonna stick with them and they are going to discover, ‘I actually like radishes and I want to keep eating those in my life,’” said Susan Muller, a Farm to School Educator.

The Hymas sisters have learned to try and like new things, even veggies.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t like them very much,” said student Kyla Hymas. “There are still some like brussle sprouts and things like that I don’t like.” But there are many more Kyla does like.

“Nutritionally, this is leaving a legacy in their minds and in their habits, which is really important,” Muller said.

Rogue Valley Farm To School said the proposed expansion to funding would impact kids in Southern Oregon.

“That means more field trips we can do with kids, more kids on farms, more school gardens growing and that directly translates to action,” Muller said.

Rogue Valley Farm 2 School says to support this kind of learning, you should contact your local legislator and let them know they need to encourage Farm 2 School funding.