<![CDATA[FRESHFARM - FoodPrints Blog]]>Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:44:06 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[FoodPrints in the 2016-17 School Year: Real-World Learning and Positive Changes]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/foodprints-in-the-2016-17-school-year-real-world-learning-and-positive-changesBecause of FoodPrints, more than 2,600 students in DC Public Schools had opportunities throughout the school year to garden; chop, mix, and prepare nutritious recipes; and learn academic content through these hands-on experiences.

In the 2016-17 school year, FoodPrints:
  • Taught students PreK-3 through 5th grade with more than 1,200 instructional hours in our 7 partner schools.
  • Served predominantly low-income or disadvantaged students (70% of the students we serve are eligible for free or reduced meals) in Wards 2, 6, 7, and 8.
  • Reached more than 150 classroom teachers who participated in FoodPrints lessons.
  • Hosted about 800 volunteers in FoodPrints sessions and school gardens. Many volunteers are parents who learn and try new foods alongside their children.
  • Made a positive impact on students’ knowledge of and willingness to eat fresh, local, seasonal fruits and vegetables and nutritious recipes.
In FoodPrints classes, students experience real-world learning:

Nutrition: Learning how to choose nutrient-dense foods over energy-dense foods. Students compare packaged foods made primarily from white flour and sugar to homemade, nutrient-rich foods such as kale salad, basil pesto, and butternut squash soup.
Environmental Literacy: Studying the intricacies of composting. Students explore worms and their anatomy and role in our environment, compare decomposition rates of different materials buried in the garden, and manage on-site compost piles.
Math: Calculating perimeter and area of garden beds to determine how many bags of mulch are needed to cover the paths between beds in the school garden. Students also halve, double and triple recipes to prepare the correct amount for a class.
Where food comes from: Observing, studying, drawing, and reflecting on different kinds of plants and parts of plants. Students plant dry beans at the end of the school year and observe them through the fall as they turn from green leafy vines to dry plants with mature pods. They harvest the pods, shell the beans, soak them in class, and use them to prepare Three Sisters Tacos.
FoodPrints also extended our reach this school year by:

  • Partnering with DCPS to serve FoodPrints recipes in school cafeterias 
  • Being a part of the DC Edible Schoolyard team to bring new strategies for farm-to-school initiatives to DC
  • Contributing to the first STEAM certification of a DCPS elementary school -- at Kimball Elementary 
  • Hosting three full-time FoodCorps service members who worked to support FoodPrints programming and create healthier food environments at Tyler, Ludlow-Taylor, and Kimball elementary schools
  • Engaging with evaluation partners at George Mason University to evaluate FoodPrints programming and the DCPS/FoodPrints Cafeteria partnership

​We are grateful for the students, teachers, and administrators who partner with us, and all our generous funders that make this program possible. See you in the fall!
<![CDATA[Kimball Elementary’s STEAM program features FoodPrints gardening, cooking, and science instruction]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/kimball-elementarys-steam-program-features-foodprints-gardening-cooking-and-science-instructionKimball Elementary School, under the direction of Principal Johann Lee, is focused on providing comprehensive and integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) experiences for its students.

FoodPrints classes are one of the main vehicles for delivering STEAM programming for the younger children at the school. All PK3 through 3rd grade students at Kimball this school year have participated in FoodPrints classes -- which include gardening and cooking, along with earth science, math, and environmental literacy content instruction. The PK3 and PK4 students have participated twice-monthly and kindergarten through 3rd grade once a month.

Rosa Ramirez-Lopez, the FoodPrints Lead Teacher at Kimball, is part of the school’s STEAM Team and helps plan the STEAM programming. “Sitting on the STEAM Team has allowed me to integrate FoodPrints with the STEAM efforts at the school -- and it’s allowed us to broaden the impact of FoodPrints as a model for providing science and math content,” says Ms. Lopez.

learning about worms in FoodPrints class

​Principal Lee speaks to the importance of FoodPrints past the STEAM connections in the school’s effort to educate the whole child. “Many of our families live in a food desert, and FoodPrints connects them in a sincere way to fresh, nutritious foods. The program helps our students access what other parts of the city already have access to.”

FoodPrints was also a key part of the school’s recent World Cultures Day. As the students took a “trip around the world,” they visited 6 different countries -- by rotating to tables with information about each country and a native, nutritious dish from that country, as prepared by Ms. Lopez and Kimball’s FoodCorps service member, Kaamillah Mitchell. The students tried Fresh Tomato Salsa from Mexico, Orange Turkey Tofu Meatballs from China, Bom Bom Beans from South Africa and other recipes that used mostly fresh, local produce.

Student harvests lettuce for class with FoodCorps service member Kaamilah

​Mr. Lee notes the results he sees of the younger students’ participation in FoodPrints. The PK3 and PK4 students who’ve had FoodPrints classes all year are eager and excited to eat beets and kale and other produce from the garden. Meanwhile, older students who have not participated in FoodPrints are wary of the beets and kale and not as willing to try them.

“FoodPrints integrates seamlessly into our school and helps us meets the goals of our STEAM programming. And kids enjoy it!” says Mr. Lee.

<![CDATA[Thank you to Washington’s Green Grocer for Supporting the FoodPrints Program!]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 18:08:45 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/thank-you-to-washingtons-green-grocer-for-supporting-the-foodprints-program​Washington’s Green Grocer is generously providing transport and storage services that allow us to get fresh produce from the farmers market to our partner schools each week. ​They've made it possible for more than 3,000 DC Public School children to have beautiful, local vegetables to supplement the produce they harvest from their school gardens to cook during FoodPrints classes.
​Each Sunday morning, FoodPrints teaching assistant, Danielle Tutrone, shops at the Dupont FRESHFARM market for produce students will chop, mix, and cook in their FoodPrints classes the coming week. 

Danielle is assisted  by a wonderful volunteer, Becca Blake, who spends 3 hours each Sunday sorting and packing the produce into coolers for each school. 
Keith Ross with Washington’s Green Grocer, picks up the coolers and takes them to the WGG refrigerated storage facility. 
This school year, Washington's Green Grocer has provided:
  • Pick up, storage and delivery of 4,536 pounds groceries 
  • 756 pick ups and drop offs 
  • 378 coolers delivered to 8 FoodPrints partner schools

Thank you Washington's Green Grocer!

> Learn more about Washington's Green Grocer, a delivery service of carefully curated goods.
<![CDATA[Connecting FoodPrints with School Cafeterias to Offer A Wider Variety of Fresh Recipes Familiar to Students]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/connecting-foodprints-with-school-cafeterias-to-offer-a-wider-variety-of-fresh-recipes-familiar-to-studentsDC Public Schools and FRESHFARM are partnering to offer, nutritious, seasonal recipes in school lunches. These are some of the same recipes students are preparing in their monthly FoodPrints classes.

In February, the Ludlow-Taylor and School Within School school cafeterias began serving two FoodPrints recipes every Wednesday.

In February and March, the FoodPrints entrees included Sweet Potato Quesadillas & Tuscan Kale Salad; Bean and Veggie Chili & Sauteed Kale with Lemon and Garlic; and Shepherd's Pie & Collards with Browned Onions.

After spring break, a new menu began that will run through the end of the school year. The spring recipes are Fried Rice & Spinach Salad; Crunchy Rosemary Lemon Chickpeas & Warm Potato Salad; Prosperity Peas with Collard Greens & French Carrot Salad. 

We hear praise from students and staff at the schools for the taste and variety of the FoodPrints meals. On a recent FoodPrints Day, a kindergartener at Ludlow-Taylor gave her friend across the table a “thumbs up” and a smile for the Crunchy Rosemary Lemon Chickpeas.  

​"We would gladly buy lunch at school every day if FoodPrints recipes were always on the menu," says Genevieve Sapir, mother of two at School Within School.

“It’s something tangible I can ask my child about his day. ‘Did you have chili for lunch?’ And he often asks me ‘Can we make this at home?’ about the FoodPrints recipes,” says Rikki Schmidle, parent at Ludlow-Taylor. The connection between FoodPrints and lunch has been one of the biggest wins this school year. It is such a good way to introduce nutritious foods starting young in a challenging urban environment.”

Rob Jaber, Food Service Director for DCPS and staunch supporter of the FoodPrints program and farm-to-school initiatives, is immersed in the connections made between the classroom and in the cafeteria. “This partnership captures the national trend of scratch cooking in school cafeterias: recipes made from scratch, on-site, that are fresher, appealing, and nutritious. All the partners have been key to the success of this initiative, and we’re excited about expansion possibilities next year and beyond in the future,” Jaber says.

FRESHFARM and DCPS Food and Nutrition Services are working alongside SodexoMagic, the school meals vendor, to ensure the recipes are prepared accurately and consistently, to be tasty and as close as possible to what the students are preparing in their FoodPrints classes.

At both schools, large photographs of students working in their school gardens and preparing the nutritious foods in teaching kitchens hang in the lunchrooms -- making further connections between school meals and FoodPrints

Behind this project is the theory that FoodPrints lessons -- academically enriching opportunities in which students to gain familiarity and comfort with these fresh, seasonal recipes and hands-on food and nutrition education -- combined with changes to the school cafeteria menu and environment will result in increased participation in the school meals program, more nutritious fresh options, and less waste. To meet these goals, DC Public Schools Division of Food and Nutrition Services and FRESHFARM have been building build greater connections between school gardens, the school meals program, and what is prepared in FoodPrints kitchen classrooms.
<![CDATA[Ludlow-Taylor Community Planting Day]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/ludlow-taylor-community-planting-dayOn a sunny spring Saturday morning in late April, the Ludlow-Taylor community came together to plant 20 strawberry plants and 60 asparagus plants, install 80 feet of row hoops to protect the plants, and spread 25 bags of mulch. About 50 people in all participated: 20 adults and even more students.
This was a community effort, with guidance from Ludlow-Taylor’s FoodPrints Lead Teacher Martine Hippolyte and FoodCorps member, Alex Olson, along with Master Gardener and longtime FoodPrints volunteer, Barbara Percival.

Rikki Schmidle was at the planting day with her Kindergartener and rising PK-3 student and was thrilled how families were engaged in planting as part of the FoodPrints program. “The day was wonderful,” she said. “Each member of the family had a job they could do, and we had a chance to get to know other families.”

All of the plants and supplies were provided with a grant from the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, which has generously supported FoodPrints over many years.

The new plants are perennials (they will grow year after year). Unlike other FoodPrints gardens, it’s possible to dedicate space to perennials in the new Ludlow-Taylor edible garden because of its size -- about 1000 square feet of planting area.
<![CDATA[Worms: Are they yucky or are they our friends?]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/worms-are-they-yucky-or-are-they-our-friendsDigging in the dirt. Finding worms. What fun for young children! But it’s also educational, as a springtime FoodPrints lesson demonstrates.

In this lesson, students learned about the world around them and the value of living things in the garden. They learned what composting is,why it’s important and the connection between worms and reducing food waste.

FoodPrints Lead Teacher, Jill Peralta, began the lesson at Tyler Elementary with a kindergarten class by reading Yucky Worms by Vivian French. In the book, a boy starts out thinking worms are “yucky” but with explanations from his grandmother about their form and functions, he ends up thinking of worms as his friends.
From Yucky Worms by Vivian French
As with most FoodPrints sessions, students rotated through four stations -- which allow all students to experience many types of hands-on learning. In this particular lesson on worms and composting, students:
  • Learned purpose and anatomy of worms by reading Yucky Worms
  • Dug in an empty garden bed looking for worms and holding and describing worms they found
  • Learned about the process of composting
  • Made a “compost stew” by drawing many types of food waste they could put into compost
  • Made their own worms with thumbprints and playdough
  • Chopped sweet potatoes, radishes, strawberries, and garlic
  • Ate salad and roasted sweet potatoes together
At the cooking station, students were engaged in chopping sweet potatoes and strawberries. Ms. Peralta shows them how to chop safely and in the right size for the recipe. One boy, after his turn with the garlic twister, exclaimed “It smells so good and spicy!”
Laura Chapa -- Kindergarten teacher in the Bilingual Immersion program at Tyler and also a member of the city’s Environmental Literacy Leadership Cadre -- says she sees students “become more respectful of worms and other living things” when they engage in lessons like this one. She sees value in the structure of the FoodPrints hands-on activities. “I love the creativity, and the children love the activities!” she says.

At the end of the lesson, Ms. Peralta discussed composting with the students. “It’s a way to reduce the amount of trash that goes in landfills and make rich soil that can feed gardens,” she explains. Then she and the students “feed the worms” by putting the leftover radish greens in the worm bin.

This lesson aligns with the Environmental Literacy Framework from the DC Office of State Superintendent of Schools (OSSE) and the Next Generation Science Standard Disciplinary Core Idea of Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems.

​Before they got up from the carpet to go to the tables to eat, classroom teacher Laura Chapa, asks the class, “Now, when you find worms are you going to say ewww or yuck?” “No!” says a chorus of voices. One child volunteered, “I have friends in the garden … under the soil.”   

The lesson ends with the children eating the spring salad and roasted sweet potatoes together. Many asked for seconds!
<![CDATA[New kitchen classroom School Without Walls at Francis Stevens demonstrates a state-of-the-art cooking and learning space for students]]>Mon, 20 Mar 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/new-kitchen-classroom-school-without-walls-at-francis-stevens-demonstrates-a-state-of-the-art-cooking-and-learning-space-for-studentsThis school year, School Without Walls at Francis Stevens (SWWFS) took full advantage of its new demonstration kitchen-classroom, which adjoins the school’s newly renovated cafeteria, with the second full year of FoodPrints programming, a visit from an award-winning chef, and other events.

The kitchen features:
  • Beautiful stainless steel work tables for students to chop and mix as they prepare nutritious recipes
  • State-of-the-art ovens and induction burners
  • Smartboard and high resolution cameras to allow full-view and recording of cooking demonstrations
  • An indoor growlab for starting seedlings for the school’s edible garden
  • Large deep windowsills that provide both loads of natural light and space for young seedlings to grow further

The kitchen-classroom was made possible by the School Improvement Team’s strategic use of funding for a planned cafeteria renovation.

FoodPrints teacher, Ibti Vincent, demonstrates for students while preparing basil pesto

​Earlier in the school year,
Chef Ethan McKee visited from the nearby Urbana restaurant, a Slow Food award-winning, local sourcing Italian restaurant in the hotel Palomar. Chef Ethan led a hands-on pasta making class with second graders, featuring produce grown in the SWWFS FoodPrints garden.

The kitchen-classroom has also been used for quarterly Environmental Literacy Committee meetings, a Volunteer Appreciation event, an adult FoodPrints class that parents won in the school's annual fundraiser, and other SWWFS events.

“The kitchen-classroom showcases our school’s partnership with FoodPrints and FRESHFARM and our commitment to students learning science, math and nutrition through gardening, cooking, and standards-based lessons,” says Richard Trogisch, principal at SWWFS.

Many parents and grandparents who have volunteered in FoodPrints classes have observed how beautiful and welcoming the space is, and how they hope other schools will have an opportunity to recreate the SWWFS kitchen.

Ms. Ibti Vincent, the FoodPrints Lead Teacher at SWWFS, sums up best part of the new kitchen-classroom: “How cool is it that the teaching kitchen is literally attached to the school's cafeteria and cafeteria kitchen, so students make the connections between healthy food they help cook and enjoy in FoodPrints and the food they are eating during breakfast and lunch?”

<![CDATA[FoodPrints is an Important Change Agent: Findings from George Mason University Researchers]]>Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:34:13 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/foodprints-is-an-important-change-agentBy Jenn Mampara, Director of Education

Evaluation of the FRESHFARM FoodPrints program suggests it is an important change agent, helping to positively frame children’s relationship to food, shape schools’ capacity for nutrition education, and support the broader academic mission of DCPS in its integration of subject standards into its food and garden curriculum. 

This is a core finding of a recent evaluation of FRESHFARM FoodPrints conducted by George Mason University Center for Social Science Research. Dr. Amy Best and undergraduate students Alexis Lehr and Kayla Peterson observed FoodPrints programming at two schools through the 2015-16 school year to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of the program.

> Read the FRESHFARM Highlights of the GMU FoodPrints study
> Read the Executive Summary of the GMU researchers’ study of the FoodPrints program

Evidence from this evaluation suggests that FoodPrints is a feasible and sustainable program model for contemporary nutrition education and is able to successfully integrate subject standards into its curriculum.

Key findings of the GMU research include:
  • FoodPrints’ educators encouraged students to work collaboratively and engaged students by involving them in every step of the process. Classes offered child-centered, active learning opportunities. 
  • Lessons were focused on real world application of core subject matter concepts in math, science and language arts. Students practiced making predictions, evaluated the real world evidence before them, and were encouraged to draw conclusions based on evidence.
  • Lessons promoted a critical consumer literacy as a health strategy. Students learned strategies to be more scrutinizing consumers of the food. Lessons focused on how to read consumer labels for nutritional facts and how to identify deceptive advertising.
  • Observations suggested a deep level of student interest in trying new foods that promote body health. Appreciation of the foods prepared and tried was readily expressed openly by the vast majority of students and is perhaps the most persuasive piece of evidence in support of program impact. 
  • Given the curricular scaffolding of the FoodPrints program, which builds each year with reinforcement and content reviews, the greatest impact is likely to be realized longitudinally.
  • FoodPrints has impact beyond school. Findings from parent surveys suggests FoodPrints has had a positive impact on children’s knowledge of healthy foods and their willingness to eat healthy food at home; Interest in cooking nutritious food at home; and nutrition and cooking knowledge.

“Smells so good, so fresh,” offers a boy as the girl beside him pulls arugula from the stem.

- Watkins Elementary, May 26, 2016

“I love snap peas. They’re my favorite,” offers a kindergartener… “Look, peas!” screeches another boy. This is followed by an exuberant “purple carrots!” from a small girl sitting beside him.

- Francis Stevens, May 9, 2016

“Circling the answers didn’t seem to do justice for what a great program you all run. With a 3rd and 1st grade at Watkins and a pre-K -4 student at Peabody, we have had a lot of exposure to FoodPrints over the year. What has interested me is the longitudinal impact of the program. The curriculum builds on itself with each grade and the level of knowledge grows as well. I especially see that with my third grader. The language and respect you all have introduced around food has become an important and essential tool in our household. Nutrition and food choice is extremely important to us, and FoodPrints reinforces that approach in the school setting. It is common to hear ‘Don’t yuck my yums’ or for one of our kids to give a thumbs up/down/middle for a particular meal.”

- Parent survey response, which recognizes the cumulative impact of the FoodPrints program

<![CDATA[FoodPrints Partners with Washington’s Green Grocer to Supply Fresh Ingredients for Our Classes]]>Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:15:12 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/foodprints-partners-with-washingtons-green-grocerWashington’s Green Grocer -- a local food delivery service that sources local and seasonal products -- is generously partnering with FRESHFARM FoodPrints this school year. This partnership allows us to use ingredients grown by local farmers in every recipe students prepare.

Washington’s Green Grocer is a natural partner for FRESHFARM; we work with some of the same farmers and both strive to strengthen the local food system. WGG sources from over 100 Mid-Atlantic local growers and is committed to being DC's best farm-to-doorstep grocery delivery service.
Each week, our FoodPrints teachers compile a list of market ingredients needed for recipes they will prepare with students the coming week. Then, every Sunday morning, our lead shopper, Danielle Tutrone, purchases hundreds of dollars of ingredients at the Sunday Dupont FRESHFARM Market. She sorts everything into insulated coolers labeled with each school’s name and address. 
Washington’s Green Grocer comes by the Dupont Market each week to pick up cooler bags brimming with produce. They store the food overnight and deliver the bags to each of our eight partner schools on Monday morning.

Washington’s Green Grocer shares our commitment to providing healthy, local foods to the community. Their storage and delivery allows FoodPrints to cook more nutritious recipes with our students and to provides additional financial support to our local farmers. 

Thank you Washington’s Green Grocer!
<![CDATA[Our Connections with Schools Go Beyond FoodPrints Classes ]]>Mon, 16 Jan 2017 16:57:14 GMThttp://freshfarm.org/foodprints-blog/our-connections-with-schools-go-beyond-foodprints-classesBy Ibti Vincent, FoodPrints Lead Teacher

Over the past year, I've had the pleasure of working with Karin Harrison, who in addition to being a fabulous special education teacher runs an after school club that attracts some of the most thoughtful and dynamic students at The School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens. Together, elementary and middle schoolers in the self-named Student Sustainability Corps have written (and won!) grants, presented at local conferences, built a retaining wall with community volunteers to ameliorate soil erosion in the front of the school, conducted bin surveys around the school and posted signs to improve recycling efforts throughout the building, and regularly helped me maintain the school's organic vegetable garden. How lucky am I to be a part of this school community and work with these smiling, conscientious young people?

Our connection is an also example of how our FoodPrints school garden extends to support after school and STEM-focused programming outside of FoodPrints classes.
The group also was responsible for constructing and installing a homemade chicken run for the laying hens that were housed at the school for a month this fall. The birds were pretty awesome, inspiring community goodwill and teaching urban kiddos about animal care, while also laying an egg a day and providing learning experiences for our FoodPrints classes.

Their efforts to improve our school community inspire me each day. Each Wednesday when I work with them, I wonder: how will they make me think, and make me smile, today? These students will no doubt go on to become leaders in their communities, to the benefit of us all.
Student Sustainability Corps members mulching and pruning kale in the Francis Stevens school garden