By Erica Noonan, Globe Staff
Forget chicken nuggets and mystery meat, the week of Sept. 19-23 has been designated Massachusetts Harvest for Students Week.
Local schools and colleges will promote the local harvest and serve fresh, healthy meals prepared with food from Massachusetts farms.
The project is coordinated by several state agencies, including the Dept. of Agricultural Resources and the Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, and sponsored by the Massachusetts Farm to School Project.
Since 2003, the numbers of public school district serving locally gorwn foods had jumped from fewer than 10 to 217.
A sampling of special events around the region:
Acton/Acton-Boxborough Public Schools received a grant from Lahey Clinic to serve fresh fruits and veggies in each school at least one day of the week. They plan to serve jicama and summer squash during Harvest Week. In addition, the elementary school students will husk corn on the cob and make dolls form the husks.
Andover Public Schools will celebrate Harvest Week in a variety of ways, including placing farm to school materials in all 11 cafeterias, working with fruits and vegetables in art classes, serving a mac and cheese recipe in which local butternut squash replaces some of the cheese, and eating tomatoes and basil from the high school garden. Parents who attend the 4 PTO meetings that week will be served local cucumber and watermelon salad.
Boston Public Schools will serve a locally grown item in all 44 full kitchen cafeteria schools Monday through Thursday of Harvest Week. Apples, collards, coleslaw, broccoli, green beans will be on the menu.
Brookline Public Schools will highlight local food in lunches at each school and will distribute farmer ?trading cards? and Harvest Week stickers to students.
Cambridge Public Schools will feature two local foods on the menu at the elementary schools each day of the week and local food throughout the new high school cafeteria and salad bar. The Morse Elementary School will have a grand opening of their salad bar on September 23. Cambridge will also be doing activities with the ?farmer trading cards? and the CitySprouts garden program in two schools.
An AP Environmental Science class from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School to Blue Heron Organic Farm in Lincoln to do volunteer work on the farm and to learn about local food systems.
Students from Maria Hastings Elementary School in Lexington will visit the Lexington Farmers' Market on a field trip for their Kids Cooking Green class. Author Debra Samuels will give a hands-on demonstration at 3pm at the Lexington Farmers Market on how to make lunch, Japanese Bento Style, using ingredients from local farmers.
Marblehead Community Public Charter School will serve students a variety of local foods and provide samples of unique farm produce, such as yellow watermelons.
Students from Somerville Public Schools will help shuck 4,000 ears of corn from Lanni Orchards on Thursday, September 22, to be served at lunch.
Waltham Public Schools have a "vegetable of the month" for September, October and November. The vegetables will be sourced from Waltham Fields Community Farm at highly subsidized rates). In September, summer squash will be featured in all the elementary schools; in October, leafy greens, and in November, winter squash. On September 24, Waltham Fields hosts Waltham Farm Day, an on-farm festival with activities for the whole family.
Elementary students from Weston Public Schools will visit a local farm. The cafeteria will serve cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from a local farm and makes zucchini raviolis. In addition, they will serve local watermelon and a garden salad made from local produce.
For a complete list of all events statewide, visit here
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