Farm to School
Farm to School is a comprehensive program delivered to all South Burlington School District elementary classrooms. 900 + students learn about how foods are grown or made and the ways in which food systems bring food to our tables. Engaging curriculum is presented once a month by a trained Common Roots educator and lessons nurture lifelong healthy eating habits (including encouraging healthy school lunch menu choices). Students experience the colors, tastes, and textures of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and other food products including honey, maple syrup, herbs, legumes, and so forth.
Farm to Go
Farm to Go is an after-school program offered in 6-week courses for 6th-8th middle grade students. Our chef educator works with 6-8 students to prepare healthy, delicious family meals and helps them gain confidence and concrete culinary skills as they collaborate in the kitchen. Creative recipes give students an opportunity to experiment with healthy ingredients as the cornerstone of good nutrition and students develop an understanding of how farm and food choices support a healthy lifestyle.
Community Food Shares
Community Food Shares is an outreach program where participating families have the opportunity to select foods Sunday mornings, or Wednesday evenings at the Wheeler Homestead. This food is available year-round through the generous partnerships with Trader Joe’s, Klinger’s Bread and Panera.
During the 20+ weeks of the growing season, families also receive a fresh share of organic produce cultivated at our Growing Gardens, Growing Kids site at the Farm at South Village with our talented farmer, Forest Donaj-Keys.
Growing Gardens, Growing Kids is a program implemented in partnership with the School’s Out program, Park and Recreation summer programs and field trips with children coordinated by classroom teachers. Children participate in planting and cultivating 50 organic, raised bed gardens. Students are engaged in active agriculture lessons combined with hands-on food production, develop environmental awareness and an appreciation for fresh, healthy food, and cultivate the joys of working in gardens, growing food, and mindfulness of the natural world. Additionally, the harvest helps supply the Farm to School, Farm to Go, Pop Club and the Community Shares Food Programs
Kid’s POP Club (Power of Produce)
The POP Club is a nationally recognized program empowering children to make their own healthy eating choices. Each Farmers Market day from June through October, POP club educators introduce children to the seasonal fruits and vegetables available at the market which allows children to develop an interest in and appreciation for the abundance of local produce. Children, ages 5-12, receive $3 in tokens to purchase produce from Common Roots (membership is on a sliding scale). This puts buying power and choice in the hands of youth giving them their own opportunity to both engage with local food systems and meet and interact with the farmers who grow their food
Taste Testing at our CSA pick-ups and at Community Food Shares pick-up:
During the 2017 season, families who purchase CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, and families who participate in the Community Family Shares program will have the opportunity to taste test a fresh veggie each week. That same vegetable of the week will be prepared in a recipe for family members to taste test. The recipes will be available for anyone take home.
Initiatives toward future revenue streams to sustain our programs:
Underwood Agricultural Space:
Objectives for this space include growing organic food for schools, our programs and wholesale accounts on this two-acre parcel. In 2016, farmers and soil experts tested the soil and we learned that it was low in iron, copper and magnesium. Common Roots purchased the minerals to amend the soil. One aspect of our mission is food education. What is in your soil is a critical component. Common Roots will monitor the mineral density of this agricultural soil. This season, 2017, we will be planting a variety of squashes and pumpkins on this site. There is no source of water at this juncture. For more information on the Underwood parcel
Objectives include mixed uses of this community space to educate young children and community at large with an emphasis on nutrition and natural resources. This summer season Common Roots will offer five different summer camps for children ages 3-6. Community food shares will be available to identified families on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. Common Roots will be doing pilot lessons related to nutrient-dense food preparations this summer.