Throughout October, school districts, early care and education sites, farmers and organizations across the state participated in National Farm to School Month by celebrating PA Preferred Days, serving local food for school meals, visiting local farms and so much more!

The following stories come from across PA.

Here are some highlights from celebrations across the state:

  • Allegheny Valley School District hydroponic system.

    Allegheny Valley School District teacher McCall Emerick and her 6th grade science students harvested Buttercrunch lettuce and Swiss chard from their hydroponic garden to make salads for their Farm to Table program. They plan to grow beans in their new aquaponics fish tank that they will then fry as a healthy snack.


  • Provident Charter School purchased apples from a local orchard for students to taste. They purchased several varieties that students then voted on. Taste testing and allowing kids to describe their preferences has been proven to increase the likelihood that they try new foods in the future!


  • Donegal School District in Lancaster County works with the PA Beef Council to provide local beef to their students every month. In October, the school extended its education beyond the school’s four walls and toured a beef farm where students learned about the animals and what the farms do to ensure a successful end product.

    Donegal students visited a local beef farm.

  • Ridley Elementary Apple Crunch Day

    Ridley Elementary School in Delaware County celebrated Apple Crunch Day in October. Gearing up to the day of the event, teachers engaged students in fun classroom activities that reviewed the many health benefits that apples provide. Students sampled three varieties of local apples in the lunchroom and voted on their favorite. On October 20th, Apple Crunch Day, the winning apple variety was given to everyone in the building to enjoy!


  • During the week of October 16th, Green Trees Early Learning Center, Inc.’s children made their own “wish” to hang on their apple tree and learned about the different stages of a seed. They made seed balls and planted them in their school garden. Green Trees partners with another local non-profit organization, Outdoor Nurture, which helps the children harvest seeds and sort them for next year. Children talked about the journey of a seed and discussed what they are excited to grow in the garden next spring!


  • Delaware County’s Rose Tree Media School District’s Food Service Department collaborated with STEM teacher Mr. Kevin Reilley and the students in the Outpost Space STEM course at Springton Lake Middle School to grow butter lettuce using a hydroponic system. Students germinated seeds, transferred them to a hydroponic unit, balanced the pH and nutrient levels and adjusted temperature and light cycles. After 4-5 weeks, students harvested about 175 heads of “space” lettuce. Some of the lettuce was used for Springton Lake’s school meals.


Unionville Chadds Ford School District served baked ziti made with local ingredients!

  • Unionville Chadds Ford School District featured a baked pasta recipe that was created with the help of the Chef for Governor Shapiro’s residence, Barry Crumlich. The connection with Chef Barry was facilitated by the PA Beef Council. The school partnered with Katt and Mathy Farm in Landenberg, PA to purchase ground beef and SIW Farm in Chadds Ford, PA to purchase tomato sauce processed with their tomatoes. Additionally, they purchased fresh pears from Shanesville Fruit Farm in Boyertown, PA via Common Market.


  • Curwensville Area School District celebrated Apple Crunch Day by purchasing a variety of local apples from Way Fruit Farm in Port Matilda, including Honeycrisp, Gala, McIntosh, Crimson Crisp, Red Delicious, and Fuji. Students ate apples in all different forms throughout the month: whole, sliced and as an apple crumble!


  • Every October, Overbrook School for the Blind engages the school community during their Fall Festival celebration by highlighting the importance of farm to school programming. This year, pumpkin smoothies, apples from a local orchard and farm to school nutrition education resources were available for students, parents and staff to enjoy.


  • Avonworth School District hosted a PA

    Avonworth School District served a locally sourced school meal.

    Preferred Day on October 27th with produce from Clarion River Organics. Large PA-grown beets were used to make a sweet and delicious roasted beet salad and fresh kale was used to create the PA Harvest of the Month recipe for Kale and Apple Salad.


  • The Education Center at Watson Institute started implementing PA Harvest of the Month this school year and celebrated National Farm to School Month with a PA Harvest of the Month apple celebration. The Education Center is a 100% special needs school for students ages 3 to 21. While it is not always easy to get the children to try fruits and vegetables, they get excited when they see all the different shapes, textures and colors


  • Davis Grown Farm and the Bloomsburg Area School District worked in partnership to provide Davis Grown beef to students in October. To accommodate the cafeteria staff’s limited time, Davis Grown supplied cubed beef and the students were able to try beef stroganoff. To celebrate National Farm to School Month and the district’s PA Preferred Day, Beaver Main Elementary invited Mayor Justin Hummel and school board president Stephanie Andreacci to join first- and second-grade classes for their locally sourced lunch. 


  • Brown’s Family Childcare celebrated National Farm to School Month by enjoying many local PA foods, learning about agriculture and adopting a cow through the Discover Dairy Adopt a Cow program.

    Brown’s Family Childcare adopted a cow!

Celebrating farm to school activities recognizes and supports local producers, raises awareness about food and agriculture and brings nutritious farm fresh food directly to kids across Pennsylvania. Thank you to everyone who participated in October! 

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