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School gardens’ produce increasingly ends up in school cafeterias

This year, another Colorado school district will join the growing national movement to bring fresh vegetables from school gardens  into  school cafeterias, directly onto the plates of the  students  who grew them.

Just four years ago, only a few schools in the country were doing this.  But after Denver Public Schools worked with  Slow Food Denver to create food-safety guidelines,  the garden-to-cafeteria movement  is spreading  across the country,   and the DPS food safety protocol is now a national model.  By May 2013, four states and the District of Columbia had laws to ensure that  produce from school gardens could be served in school cafeterias, according to the nonprofit ChangeLab Solutions.

“The kids are really excited about it,” said Emily O’Winter, healthy schools coordinator at Jeffco Public Schools, which tested pilot programs at four of its schools last year. “They’re so proud. At the salad bar, they look for their tomatoes from the garden.”

Experts say the trend is rooted in a convergence  of events:   the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that targeted  childhood obesity;   new USDA nutritional requirements that fruits and vegetables be served daily at school lunches; and the growth in consumer demand for foods grown locally.

At first, the idea of serving vegetables from school gardens in school cafeterias was so novel that CLICK TO KEEP READING

The Open Enrollment Game: Where to Register for School?

Next week, I get to register Claire for Kindergarten! It’s hard to believe, but districts all over the Denver Metro Area are holding their Kindergarten Registrations in January!

(Stock photo credit: igoghost.)

So, next week, I’ll be standing in line at our neighborhood school…whether or not I want her to go there. If I was satisfied with our neighborhood school, my task wouldn’t be so daunting. I have to gather all of our proof of residency requirements, birth certificate, immunization records, and the other items. (The Eye of Newt was surprisingly easy to find, and I may have a good lead on the Unicorn Whisker.)

But that’s not the tricky part.

The problem lies in the fact that our neighborhood school is not our first choice for Claire. It’s not even our second or third.

Thankfully, we do have other first choices: