- Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings.
- Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips.
- Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.
Meet Gary Fehr of Green School Farms from Raymond, Nebraska!
"Green School Farms grows sustainably-raised food for area schools and the larger community. Our practices center on compassion and respect for the earth and each other."
What Green School Farms offers:
- Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs
- Plant Starts for your garden
- Online shopping with pickup or delivery options!
Green School Farms is a farm in Raymond, Nebraska growing diverse and wholesome produce and plant starts. Gary Fehr started Green School Farms in 2015 as a way to connect local, sustainably raised food to local schools and consumers. Gary's passion for growing food and caring for the land was ignited while shopping at farmers' markets years ago, and has evolved into a calling that centers around a deep respect for nature.
"Learning things like how it is produced, how production methods affect the environment and our health, issues about food security, long-term effects of chemicals used in conventional agriculture production, and the economic trap that agrochemical corporations use to profit off the backs of farmers.
But we also learned about encouraging alternatives that address these issues in the forms of sustainable, regenerative, and organic systems. The philosophies behind these approaches awakened something in me that felt right and true. At some point I realized I was feeling a calling to participate in this as a livelihood. Rather than just attending a market, I wanted to be more centrally involved, and so I began a gradual but deliberate shift in my career. I learned as much as I could about what it took to start a small sustainable farm. I began to volunteer in sustainable agriculture organizations, and to meet like-minded people, to take classes, to help on farms, and do an internship."
Where to find Green School Farms:
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greenschoolfarms/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/garyfehr/
- More information found here: http://buylocalnebraska.org/online-food-guide/green-school-farms
Green School Farms is passionate about getting local food into the hands of kids, and into the kitchens of schools. They've parterned with several Lincoln area schools and after-school programs to incorporate more fresh, local produce into school menus.
One program they've participated in is called "Nebraska Harvest of the Month." It is a taste-test curriculm that features a locally-grown vegetable or fruit each month. Schools are provided with recipes, taste-test activities, educational posters, and a communications toolkit. Nutrition staff then sources and prepares the local produce and conducts a fun taste-test. Student approved recipes that feature local produce can then be incorporated into the regular lunch menu.
Are you interested in getting local food into YOUR school's cafeteria? Check out the Farm to School programs of the Nebraska Department of Education!
"Farm to school is a win across the board for students, school staff, parents, communities, farmers and food producers." Learn more about the many benefits of farm to school at farmtoschool.org; and additional economic benefits in the Economic Impacts of Farm to School report.