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February 2010

Winter Garden and DavisRISE Coordinator Meeting: On February 4th, school garden and recycling coordinators met for their Winter Davis Farm to School Connection meeting at Patwin Elementary School in Davis. Coordinators look forward to these meetings, held three times a year, to network, share resources and enjoy a delicious dinner together catered by the DJUSD Student Nutrition Services. At this meeting, attendees entered a raffle upon arriving and were awarded fun free prizes such as garden planting beds made from recycled materials, newspaper seedling pot makers, glossy bi-lingual garden harvest photo cards and gift certificates to The Davis Farmer’s Market. Joannie Siegler, garden and DavisRISE Coordinator at Patwin, let the group on a tour of the schools’ garden and recycle programs. Attendees then gathered as a large group for a citrus tasting activity and mini-workshops on seeding and transplanting, worm bin discussions and waste-free lunch day brainstorming. During the dinner of Farm-to-School pizza and a salad bar featuring local and seasonal produce, coordinators had a chance to chat with Student Nutrition Services staff and learn more about the exciting new lunch offerings. The next garden and DavisRISE coordinator meeting will be at Martin Luther King High School on May 6th.

Lunch-Time Taste Testings: This month was the launch of the new Taste Testing Program at school sites within the Davis Joint Unified School District. Davis Farm to School Connection recruits and trains interns to volunteer at each elementary and junior high school doing taste testings during lunch one day a week. Most interns are college students from UC Davis or Sacramento State University. These taste testings have two functions: to increase student’s consumption of local and seasonal produce in the salad bar and made-from-scratch hot bar items, and to market and promote the school lunch program to all students. Interns greet students in line for school lunch and offer taste testings before they get their food, as well as offer taste testings to students who bring their lunch from home. They promote the food in a positive manner, and offer nutritional information about the tastings to students as they do so. Feedback from the program has been outstanding so far, with many students choosing the taste tested items for their lunch.

Student Nutrition Services Participates in the Souper Bowl: The DJUSD Student Nutrition Services served soup at the Davis Food Co-op’s Souper Bowl Event on Feb. 28th. The Souper Bowl is an annual fundraiser to raise money for food for the elderly. Student Nutrition Services served tastes of Mandarin Coconut soup to a crowd of almost 400. This was the soup offered at all DJUSD school sites for school lunch in February. Representatives from the Davis Farm to School Connection Steering Committee were on hand to pass out information and answer questions.

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