“I Tried Local…” A Toolkit for Engaging Kids with Local Food and Farms

“I Tried Local…” is designed for use in ECE through second grade classrooms. The curriculum is divided into 10 units based on foods grown in North Carolina: blueberries, broccoli, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, peppers, radishes, sugar snap peas, sweet corn, and watermelons. You can move through the units in any order that makes sense based on your growing region, curriculum, or program structure. The toolkit has a plethora of additional resources around how to implement farm to school with gardens, classroom cooking, farm field trips and farmer visits, and local food in meals or snacks. 

We are holding a virtual training session on Tuesday, March 20th from 3:30-4:45 pm to support educators across the state interested in using the toolkit. Register below to reserve your spot and sign up for our newsletter to receive information about future sessions.

The Toolkit is available as a free digital download. To download click in the space to the right of the Toolkit. The download arrow will then drop down.

In each unit you will find:

  • An overview of the crop, including geographic and cultural origins, nutrition facts, and growing tips.
  • A lesson plan that aligns with educational standards.
  • A video from our Meet Your Farmer video series showcasing a North Carolina farmer growing the crop.
  • Children’s books with discussion prompts.
  • A fun coloring page.
  • A recipe featuring local produce that can be made in the classroom or shared with families.

“I Tried Local…” can be used on its own or as a companion piece to the Growing Minds Farm to Preschool Toolkit, published in 2016 with a second edition in 2020. The Farm to Preschool Toolkit includes lesson plans, activities, and recipes for tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, potatoes and sweet potatoes, apples, greens, strawberries, squash, and berries.  

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