School Garden

School garden education and field trips to the Bethel Farm will be funded by a $100,000 USDA grant.

Bethel’s current Farm to School program will be expanded thanks to a $100,000 grant from the USDA.

As the only grant recipient in Oregon, Bethel will be able to bring science-based school garden education and nutrition education to each of its elementary schools.

The grant will also fund student field trips to the Bethel Farm and cooking classes for Kalapuya High School students.

Willamette’s Graphic Arts students will design and develop signage for cafeterias and school menus, and create promotional materials for the Farm to School program and the district’s Try It Thursday program.

Bethel’s Nutrition Services Department also recently received a $5,000 award for its use and promotion of mushrooms in school meals.

Master Gardener Trish Bradshaw demonstrates the proper plant watering method to students in Meadow View's Garden Club.

Master Gardener Trish Bradshaw demonstrates the proper plant watering method to students in Meadow View’s Garden Club.

It’s grown like a weed. The Meadow View Garden Club welcomed more than 70 students to its initial meeting of 2013.

Over the next several months kids will learn how to grow plants, care for them and finally reap the harvest.

Under the direction of Master Gardener – and Meadow View Educational Assistant – Trish Bradshaw, the school’s garden club grows larger each year.

Kids will be getting down and dirty doing plenty of digging and planting in the school garden, and they’ve already been encouraged to begin planting at home.

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy helped Fairfield students remove sunflowers so the seeds can be harvested.

2nd and 3rd graders at Fairfield got down and dirty as part of Farm to School Month.

Their classes are part of the School Garden Project of Lane County. Kids get to take part in up to a dozen sessions throughout the school year that link gardening with important lessons in math, science and history.

Having already been on a field trip to a local farm to see where food comes from, they got their hands dirty in Fairfield’s own school garden.

Kids harvested sunflower seeds, strawberries and green beans. They also planted kale and chard for harvest in the spring.

Now when they eat healthy snacks in the classroom through the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, kids make the connection with the food on their plates to the gardens and farms where it’s grown.

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden gets a student tour of the Clear Lake garden from Meghan Mudd.

Serving fresh, locally grown corn on the cob to Clear Lake students, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden got a first-hand look at Bethel’s extensive use of local foods in its school meals.

The Senator’s visit to Clear Lake included time in the school kitchen, a chance for him to sit and chat with students, and a tour of the school’s garden.

Bethel School District’s extensive use of locally grown foods in its healthy and tasty meals was what attracted Wyden to Bethel.

Representatives from four local farms that supply food to Bethel joined the Senator for the visit.

Learn more about Bethel’s leading Nutrition Services program by reading the Nutrition Services facts.

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