Our Farm has been helping the Mt Horeb Area School District serve fresh, local, organic food to its students since 2010. It began with spinach in the spring of that year. Michelle, the food service director, was highlighting spinach on the menu that May and wanted to source it from a local farm. We were able to help. This began the relationship and conversations with Michelle about what other food we could supply. Their budget was tight so we got creative. We bring in a lot of food that, after washing, is not the quality or size we want to deliver to our CSA. Still perfectly good food, just not scoring high in beauty. Mt Horeb schools were excited to be the recipients of that food. For the next several summers we supplied them with tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant and peppers on a regular basis. We would get them other vegetables when they could use them. Michelle pulled together a group of volunteers and students to work with the kitchen staff to process and freeze the vegetables so they could be served to the students during the school year. What a great community effort. Once school began, we also supplied produce for their fresh salad bar.

Two of the students who helped chop hundreds of pounds of vegetables to be frozen for school lunches.

Two of the students who helped chop hundreds of pounds of vegetables to be frozen for school lunches.

Stacks of tomatoes, peppers, and summer squash for Mt Horeb Area School District.

Stacks of tomatoes, peppers, and summer squash for Mt Horeb Area School District.

This summer Michelle and Barb were interviewed as part of the Chop! Chop! Culinary Skills Videos which are designed to help Wisconsin schools incorporate more Wisconsin-grown vegetables in school meal programs. We realized what we are doing is unique. It’s such a win-win. We have a great outlet for surplus, the kids eat better and they learn where their food comes from. Hopefully this relationship can be an inspiration for other school districts and farms.