About ASAP

Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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Farm to School workshop descriptions

Preschool
Connecting the youngest students with local food and farms.

  • Gardening with preschoolers
  • Menu planning and procurement for preschool: Sourcing local products for preschool and childcare settings requires a very different approach than procurement for school systems.  With different buying requirements and regulations there are often more options for local purchasing, but small volumes and small budgets offer different challenges.  From seasonal menu planning to a case study for incorporating CSAs, this workshop will explore different strategies for making Farm to Preschool work.
  • Preschool taste tests and cooking in the classroom: Little hands can make delicious creations. In cooking their own salads, sandwiches, salsas, parfaits, and more young children try new fruits and vegetables, gain confidence and independence, and practice new skills. Attend this workshop to learn tips and best practices for cooking and offering taste tests in the preschool setting. We’ll cook, share ideas, and strategize how to connect our recipes and tastings with local food and farms.

Higher Education
Integrating Farm to School into coursework, service learning, and more.

  • From the Student Perspective: The Value of Local Food and Farm to School: Hear directly from an education student and a nutrition alumni of Western Carolina University about their experiences learning and leading local food and Farm to School activities. Pick up a road map created by ASAP and Western that outlines the many different ways students can participate in Farm to School and the local food movement as part of their studies. Attendees will also tour North Asheville Tailgate Market (on the campus of UNC Asheville) and participate in a brainstorming session about using a farmers market as a teaching tool in the university setting.
  • Institutional food systems:While the k-12 school food system is a hot topic in Farm to School conversations, there are also questions about our college/university cafeterias and other community institutions. This workshop will examine some of these other institutional food systems through the models of Warren Wilson College/Sodexo and Mission Health/Morrison. Join this session to find out how these systems work and how folks in WNC are making the farm connection on a college and hospital level.
  • From the professor perspective: local food and Farm to School across university curricula: Hear how three Western Carolina University professors have integrated local food and Farm to School activities into their course curricula and used both ideas an effective way to teach students about hands-on learning, healthy eating, and community engagement while meeting departmental and university goals as well as accreditation standards. This workshop will provide a variety of examples on how to incorporate local food and Farm to School into education and nutrition and dietetics courses.

Getting Started
Discover how Farm to School can work for you.

  • School gardens 101: Learn the basics of growing a garden and how to use the garden as a motivating and inspiring teaching tool. Hear firsthand how one teacher has incorporated gardening into her classroom. Find out how you can weave the garden into exciting language arts, science, math (and more!) lessons. Leave with activity and lesson ideas sure to captivate your students.
  • Making the local farm connection: Building positive relationships with local food and farms is at the heart of the Farm to School movement. While farm field trips, school gardens, cooking with kids, and serving local in the cafeteria are very tangible, concrete components of Farm to School, the “local farm” piece can often get lost in the shuffle of healthy food and experiential education. This workshop will address the importance of the local farm connection in Farm to School and share strategies for building these connections throughout the school day and across curriculum areas.
  • Getting started in Farm to School and sustaining your program: New to Farm to School and not sure where to begin? Discover which pieces of Farm to School are the best fit for you and your students. Learn about the four components of Farm to School: local food in schools, farm field trips, local food cooking, and school gardens. Come away with ideas for starting up Farm to School activities in your own classroom and with ways to sustain these ideas over time.

Digging Deeper
Learn more about specialized Farm to School topics.

  • Using Farm to School to connect the classroom and the cafeteria: Though it often functions as simply a place for students to eat, the school cafeteria can be a place for students to make connections with what they are learning throughout the school day. Gain a foundational understanding of how school food works from an area Child Nutrition Director, learn how one school turned monthly taste tests into student learning opportunities, and come away with ideas to integrate the cafeteria back into your own school.
  • Highlighting state and regional history through Farm to School:Names like “Turkey Eye bean” and “Hog Heart tomato” evoke vivid images, especially in the minds of children. Our local agricultural heritage is full of rich opportunities to use Farm to School to meet classroom social studies goals. Hear from a local teacher and a local farmer about how they have connected students with their community’s history through food and farming.
  • Farm to School and the high school student: With all the classes offered in high school, where does Farm to School fit in? We will look at ideas on how to incorporate F2S into a variety of classes and organizations within your school. Discuss ways to get your students excited about Farm to School and leave with activity ideas. Since most Farm to School activities are designed for lower grades, we will also look at how to modify a K-2 lesson and make it high school appropriate.
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