Harvest of the Month

October is National Farm to School Month! This national celebration is all about highlighting innovative programs that foster connections between students’ taste buds, minds, and their local food system. One program gaining traction around the country is the Harvest of the Month. Each month, schools feature a local food item either in the cafeteria or in students’ classrooms. Students conduct taste tests, and learn about the nutritional content of the item. Some schools serve recipes in the cafeteria that feature the item all month long. Harvests are not limited to fruits and vegetables, but can include dairy, meat, or even a locally significant fish like salmon!

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What’s Going On? – Ear Notching

Along with the changing leaves, pumpkin patches and spooky thrills, October is dedicated to the appreciation of pork. Pork is the most consumed meat around the world and serves as a very important food source. In the United States, the pork industry is booming with about 60,000 pork producers that raise around 115 million hogs annually.

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Farm Safety

Farm safety is important for everyone even if you do not live or work on a farm or ranch! Farms, like many workplaces, have many potential hazards. There are several things visitors to farms and ranches need to be aware of. Upon your arrival for a trip to the farm, the farmer or tour guide will generally give your group a brief overview on what to be aware of in terms of safety and if there is anything you are unsure of, ALWAYS ASK, safety is always their number one priority!

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Bulb Forcing

My mother loves tulips. She is as faithful to this bloom as the pickiest of pollinators. Even in spring, when tulips are plentiful at the farmers market and grocery store, she will drive the extra 45 minutes to a tulip farm—just for the added choice. Only yesterday over dinner, I noticed a bouquet of deep purple tulips on her windowsill, set against the backdrop of a rainy January evening. I love tulips because my mother loves tulips, and because of the the color they bring to an otherwise typical gray Portland day. In winter, these flowers bring with them a foreshadowing of spring, and can warm the people sitting around a kitchen table. Tulips, and other bulbs, can do the same thing for a classroom.

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5 things to do now in your school garden

It’s been chilly and rainy here in Oregon, but be warned: as of this writing, the official start of spring is just 28 days away! Leaves are emerging from willow trees, and frogs are sounding their mating alarms in the evenings. With a little bit of planning now, you could have some wonderful plants growing in your garden in as little as 6 weeks.

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5 Wonderful Christmas Gift Ideas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Everything is slowing down and the joys of gift giving are abundant! Are you still looking for a gift for a special little tyke in your life? We suggest giving the gift of literacy!

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Bringing the Outside In: Winter Activities that Connect with the Outdoors

Winter is beginning, which makes us think of staying indoors and keeping out of the wind and weather. Many children and even adults begin to miss being outside in nature during these short days. Regardless of religion or background, everyone can appreciate the ancient practice of bringing a tree or bough inside the house this time of year to remind us of the springtime to come.

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Pick of the Season // Spring 2015

Dairy foods are smooth, creamy, and healthful. Learn about how MyPlate helps you make great food choices every day, with this book about dairy! Mari Schuh is the author of this book and the other four food group books in this series.

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