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March 2009

A New Herb Garden: Davis Farm to School Connection is pleased to announce that the Davis Joint Unified School District Central Kitchen now has its very own herb garden! Davis Farm to School Connection President Dorothy Peterson and her husband Allan planted a dozen herbs in front of the Central Kitchen building on 5th street. Most of the transplants provided were contributed from Davis High School teacher Amy Schulte’s horticultural classes, and included Chives, Spearmint, Fennel, Sage, Thyme, Marjoram, and Lavender. The purpose of the herb garden is to provide fresh herbs on a daily basis for the Central Kitchen staff to use in their fresh-from-scratch cooking, which includes salads, soups, pizzas, rice bowls, casseroles, chicken and turkey dishes as well as vegetarian.

Farm to School consultant, Georgeanne Brennan, has been working with the staff since winter, 2007, providing monthly culinary instruction that includes the use of fresh herbs. As the staff became knowledgeable about fresh herbs and their flavor profiles, they wanted to increase their use in the scratch cooking. It was decided that an on-site herb garden would begin to answer that need.

Locally Grown Spring Vegetables on the Menu: Each season the DJUSD Nutrition Services produces a seasonal menu, indicating what vegetables and fruits will be available during the season. The spring menu runs from now through the end of school in June, so students will be tasting a wide range of locally grown vegetables from sugar snap peas, late cabbage, asparagus, young carrots, and kiwis to early cherry tomatoes, strawberries, and early zucchini toward the end of May and early June.

Georgeanne Brennan offered a Get Ready for Spring Vegetable class on March 12 to the Central Kitchen staff, that included new ways to use local and seasonal vegetables in the spring menu. Please enjoy a sample recipe from this cooking class - click here.

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