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NH Farm to Preschool Toolkit:

Celebrating Farm to School


Vanika Jethwa

Keene State College Dietetic Intern

3. October is Farm to School Month
4. Share on Social media!
5. Getting Local Food on the Menu
7. NH DOE Bureau of Nutrition Programs and Services - Farm to
8. Connecting with Farmers
9. Taste Tests
13. Farm to Preschool in the Classroom
17. Lists of farms & distributors currently involved in F2S
20. Resources
21. References

October is Farm to School Month in New Hampshire!
October is the perfect time to celebrate the connection between the food grown right here in NH and
how it impacts the learning of our students. Farm to School Month aims to give thanks to communities
that work tirelessly to continue to provide farm to school programming in their area. Improving
nutrition, wellness and academic achievement amongst their student population and providing new
markets for farmers and growers in the state.

Farm to School Month is not just for K-12, in fact as part of the National Farm to School Network’s
vision for the future of farm to early care and education, they state that access to healthy, local foods,
gardening opportunities and food-based activities to enhance the quality of the educational
experience is the “new normal” in early care and education.

Local agriculture plays a vital role in the culture, heritage and economy of the Granite State and it is
important that every child has access to these local and nutritious foods. Farm to pre-school
encompasses serving up local foods in pre-schools, along with hands on garden/nutrition education,
field trips and farmer visits. It is all about connecting kids to the roots of food.

This toolkit aims to help you get started, thinking about Farm to School Month, and is full of ideas,
recipes and activities to make learning about agriculture here in NH, fun for all.

We encourage everyone to get involved, from parents, teachers and students, to farmers, food
professionals and community members. This is especially important during the month of October
which was proclaimed as Farm to School Month in NH by Governor Hassan last year.

Share on social media!

One of the easiest ways to get involved is to spread the word about Farm to School on social media.
Let us know how you are celebrating!

Sharing stories about your program not only generates interest and excitement but it can also
encourage others to get involved and begin taking action to start a Farm to School initiative in their
own community.

The National Farm to School Network encourages highlighting your program on your website,
newsletters and in materials that you send home. Check out their website for
more information and for free downloadable flyers, posters, stickers’, bookmarks and more.

There are multiple ways to share on social media. Currently the NFSN uses #F2Smonth and
#FarmtoSchool. The New Hampshire Farm to School Program also encourages sharing via social media.
They currently use

Follow the National Farm to School Network on their blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see
inspiring examples of farm to school success and innovation.

Getting Local Food on the Menu
Serving local foods as part of a Farm to School initiative is not just for K-12. More recently pre-schools
have been engaging in these activities and as a result have seen increases in children’s willingness to
try new foods. In fact The Centers for Disease control and prevention recognized farm to pre-school as
an opportunity to increase access to healthy environments for improved early eating habits and
obesity prevention in early care and education.

When thinking about local foods, many people initially jump

to fruits and vegetables. Here in NH we are lucky to have
locally produced foods that cover the entire meal from grains
and proteins to dairy, vegetables and fruits.

When beginning the transition to using local products start

small. Maybe choose one local item a month to showcase.
This toolkit follows a Harvest of the Month Preschool
Calendar with local NH products. This would be a great
starting point for your program.

You may already be serving local food without even realizing it! Reach out to your food provider and
ask them if they supply local produce and if it’s being labelled on their food packaging. If not, find out if
they are able to source locally as many have connections with farmers already.

If neither of these options work, you can reach out to farmers directly. Included in this toolkit is a list
of farms that currently participate in farm to school or who would like to start doing so. Many farms
cannot keep up with the large demands of a full school district and so are unable to participate. The
smaller scale of pre-school programs can allow for more farms to get involved.

There are a number of Local Food Purchasing Options Available:

 Community Supported Agriculture Model: Subscribe to a CSA or less traditional "market basket"
program that delivers fresh market produce to schools and child care sites
 Cooperative Buying Model: Participate in cooperative purchasing with other preschool/child
care sites and local farmers to decrease costs
 Farm Direct Model: Collaborate directly with a local farmer
 Farmers’ Market Direct Model: Collaborate with one or several farmers at your local farmers’
 Growers Collaborative Model: Partner with grower collaboratives that aggregate produce from
multiple farms
 Produce Distribution Company Model: Contract with produce distributers that contract with
local farmers (an option for larger centers or those that utilize a contracted food or nutrition
services vendors
The New Hampshire Farm to School Program

The NH Farm to School Program has numerous resources to help you get started on this process. On
their website they detail the following "six steps to success" for getting local
produce into your school.

1. Contact Stacey Purslow at the NH FTS Program

She will assist you with all of the following steps and will answer any questions you have about
the program.
2. Working with NHFTS and your local farmer(s), determine the following:
Appropriate products and quantities desired/available
Packaging requirements
Billing/payment method and dates
Insurance requirements
Distribution methods, frequency, dates and times
Price of product
3. Once steps two is complete, contract with your farmer and/or distributer and begin offering
fresh, local foods in your school!
4. Get NHFTS posters to proudly display in your cafeterias and schools announcing that you are
providing local products.
5. Let your school staff, students and parents know what you are doing and direct them to
the NHFTS website for more information.
6. Add more local products to your cafeterias menu!

For more information please check out the resources page at the end of this booklet.

The New Hampshire Dept. of Education Bureau of
Nutrition Programs and Services - Farm to School

The NH DOE has a number of resources available from the United States Dept. of Agriculture and allied
NH organizations. Here are four tips they share for Farm to Preschool initiatives:

1. Start Small
Farm to Preschool initiatives don’t have to take place every week, start small initially and work your
way up. Farm to School Month is a great time to start with a one off special event or activity. There are
a few ideas in this toolkit, but take a look at the resources page for more ideas on special events. You
could also start by sending out newsletters, or adding a farm to school portion to an existing
newsletter, detailing any events that have happened or highlighting local food on the menu.

2. Tap into Parents

Often time’s parents are more involved at a pre-school level. This is
great news for your Farm to Preschool program as parents are
excellent role models for healthy eating. Making full use of parent
volunteers can allow for more flexibility in your Farm to Preschool
program. Parents can help plan and maintain a garden, help out with
special events and add a helping hand during taste tests or other Farm
to Preschool activities.

3. Create an Edible Garden

Did you know, funds from the Child and Adult Care Food Program may be used to purchase items for
gardens such as seeds, fertilizers, watering cans etc. Enlist the help of local businesses such as Home
Depot to donate products and supply volunteers for garden build days. Many businesses have
employee initiatives for volunteering in the community and are actively looking for projects. Stay on
the lookout for grants from the USDA to help fund your garden. Any produce that is grown may be
used in your CACFP program.

4. Plan menus around seasonal produce

Use the Harvest of the Month Preschool Calendar in this toolkit to help plan your menus. Food in
season is often cheaper and easier to find. Make sure to highlight these local foods on the menu and in
any newsletters. The NH Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners are available to help with seasonal
produce information and are also available for advice on garden builds and layouts. Please see the
resource page for their website.

For more information on Farm to Preschool in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, 7
National School Lunch Program or Summer Food Service Program, please contact Carole
Dennis at
Connecting with Farmers
Farmers are not only great for getting local food into your school but they are also an excellent source
of information for your students. There are multiple ways to get farmers involved in your Farm to
Preschool program:

1) Host a Farm Day where you invite local farmers to visit your preschool and talk about their
farm. You could co-ordinate this with a taste test highlighting produce from their farm and ask
the farmer to stay and enjoy a meal with the students.
2) Organize a field trip to see a working farm in action
3) Ask a farmer to get involved with your preschool garden. Farmers have a lot of knowledge on
growing a variety of fruits and vegetables. They may offer to donate seeds or teach staff more
about maintaining a garden.
4) Become classroom pen pals with a farmer. Ask them to share pictures and letters with your
students on a monthly basis.

This is a great opportunity to learn from the experts themselves on how food is grown and processed
in our state.

A list of farms and farmers can be found on the website:

A hard copy list can also be found in this toolkit.

Taste Tests
From an early age it is important children are given the opportunities to try healthy and nutritious
foods. Institutions provide a great setting for this, which makes taste tests a wonderful addition to any
Farm to Preschool program. Taste tests are a great way to introduce new foods to children and also
get them excited about these new foods.

Taste tests are also a great opportunity to start working with local farmers. Often the quantity of food
needed is very small and easy for farmers to produce. You can try out new products and see which
items would be viable to purchase locally long term for your program.

Highlighting a new local food each month in a taste test is a great addition or start to any Farm to
Preschool program. The Harvest of the Month Preschool Calendar included in this toolkit highlights a
variety of local NH products that can all be incorporated into a taste test.

Dedicate the month of October to learning about cruciferous vegetables which includes broccoli,
cauliflower, kale and cabbages.

We have included 3 simple recipes for you to try, that showcase a variety of cruciferous vegetables;
Kale chips, Broccoli slaw and Cauliflower wings.

Kale Chips

Serves: 12 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes


2 Bunches Kale
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Teaspoons Salt


1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non-insulated cookie sheet with
parchment paper.
2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into
bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil
and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes

Broccoli Slaw
Serves: 8 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 0 minutes


½ sweet onion grated

½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¾ pound savoy cabbage (cored and thinly sliced)
½ pound broccoli crowns (trimmed and chopped)
1 carrot (grated)


1. Stir together the grated onion, mayonnaise and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season to
taste with salt and plenty of black pepper.
2. Combine the cabbage, broccoli and carrot in a large bowl and pour over the dressing.
Toss gently until evenly coated. Let the slaw sit for at least 30 minutes. Before serving,
taste and adjust the seasonings.

The slaw can be made up to 3 hours ahead of serving.

Cauliflower wings
Serves: 8 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

 1 cup milk
 1 cup flour
 1 teaspoon garlic powder
 pepper to taste
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 head of cauliflower
 2/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
 2/3 cup buffalo sauce

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces discarding the core.
3. Combine milk, flour, garlic powder, pepper and olive oil in a large bowl. Place batter and
cauliflower in a large Ziploc bag and toss until cauliflower is coated.
4. Pour cauliflower into a large strainer letting any excess batter drip off. Sprinkle with
Panko breadcrumbs and gently toss.
5. Place on a foil lined pan and bake 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently toss
with buffalo sauce. You want the cauliflower coated but not soaked.
6. Place back on the pan and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender
7. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.

Farm to Preschool in the Classroom

Farm to pre-school is not just about eating and procuring local foods; it also revolves around giving
children a better understanding of where their food comes from and how it grows.

In this toolkit we have included two books from NH based authors which both illustrate the
importance of food in our community. Strega Nona’s harvest by Tomie dePaola and Ox-cart Man by
Donald Hall. We hope you will share these with your students to begin a discussion on how food grows
and how it can bring families and communities together.

You can also find a list of similar books by NH authors in this toolkit or on the website:

Garden and nutrition education can be incorporated through multiple avenues. Along with the 6 lesson
curriculum included in this toolkit here are a few activities to try during October to celebrate Farm to
School month.

For more ideas on incorporating farm to school into everyday learning, check out or which both provide links to multiple resources
and curriculums.

Create your own Bird Feeder
(Taken from ‘Grow Your Own, For Kids!’ book by Chris Collins & Lia Leendertz)

Mixing bird seed with suet or lard provides birds with extra fat and nutrients to keep them
warm in the coming winter months. This feeder is incredibly easy to make and students can
watch the birds enjoying their new snack from the window!

You will need:

1 block of suet or lard

Wild bird seed/mix
Empty yogurt pots


1. Melt the suet in a large saucepan and stir in bird seed so that all the seed is
2. Poke a hole in an empty yogurt pot and thread string or twine though it.
3. Secure the string or twine so it can hold the pot.
4. Fill the pot with the seed mixture and leave to solidify.
5. Once solid, tie the feeder up on a tree or fence.

Cabbage Exploration
(Adapted from Growing Minds Farm to School Preschool Lesson)

For this activity children will become comfortable tasting new foods in a supportive
environment and will have the opportunity to explore a new vegetable. They will learn that
vegetables come in different shapes and sizes.

You will need:

Knife (for adult use only)
Cutting Board
One local red and one local green cabbage

Show the children the red and green cabbage while they are still whole
Have children compare the sizes (longer/taller/larger) and weights (heavier/lighter) of the

Look closely and observe the cabbage is made up of leaves! Peel off one layer of leaves and
show children the leafs mid rib and veins. Draw a diagram of the leaf on the board and point
out the different components of the leaf. Ask the children what they think the middle of the
cabbage looks like. Is it all one color or many colors? Cut the cabbages in half. Pass around the
cross sections. What do the children see? Explain that cabbage is a series of leaves squeezed
and wrapped together.

Taste the Cabbage

Cut the cabbage so you have small ribbons. Pass out one piece of green and one piece of red
cabbage to each child. Do the children think they will taste the same of different? Do they think
the cabbage will be crunchy? Prompt the children to try one variety and then the other. Do
they notice any differences? Do they like green or red cabbage better? Make a graph recording
children’s votes for the favorite cabbage.

Plant your own Bean!
(Adapted from Seeds of Fun activity)

In this activity students will get to plant their own bean and watch it grow! This activity is great
for helping children learn how plants grow and what they need to be able to grow (light, water,

You will need:

Lima Beans Marker
Masking tape Paper Towels
Zipper Bags Water Source
Paper Plate Plastic cup (optional)
Potting soil (optional)


1. Tell students they are going to plant their very own vegetable! Start by dampening a
paper towel and folding it in half. Lay it down on a paper plate.
2. Give each child a couple of lima beans to place on the paper towel and fold the towel in
half sandwiching the beans between the sheets.
3. Slide the plates, towels and beans into the zipper bags but do not seal them. Write the
child’s name on the bag with masking tape and a marker.
4. Set the bags in a warm area by the window or tape them up to the window. Remind
students that plants need water, warmth and sunlight to grow. The paper towel
provides the water and the sun provides the heat and light.
5. Check the bean plants daily. Students can draw the seed/plant every day to document
changes. The beans will become larger and eventually sprout.

1. Fill plastic cups with potting soil. Help the children make 1 inch need holes in the center
with their finger.
2. Give each child their plate with the beansprout.
3. Carefully plant the bean so the initial sprout now sticks down into the soil. Place the
cups on a sunny warm window.
4. Continue to watch the bean grow and document the changes.
Farms Currently Participating or Interested in Participating
in NH Farm to School
A  Autumn Harvest Farm, Grafton, NH,
 Cardigan Mountain Orchard, 632-9144
Alexandria, NH, 744-2248  Kellie Brook Farm, Greenland, NH, 702-
 Giles Family Farm, Alfred, ME 207-324- 0342
2944 H
B  Hurd Farm, Hampton, NH, 944-6869
 Joe's Brook Farm, Barnett, VT  Norway Hill Orchard, Hancock, NH,
 Duane Family Farm, Barnstead, NH, 525-4912
435-6867  Fletcher Community Farm, Haverhill,
 Meadowstone Farm, Bethlehem, NH, MA, 978-388-3422
444-0786  French Pond Orchards, Henniker, NH,
 Stout Oak Farm, Brentwood, NH 428-3000
 Pierson's Farm, Bradford, VT, 802-222-  Porkside Farms, Henniker, NH, 428-
4444 3378
 Cargill Commodities Farm, Brookline,  Brookdale Echo Farm Puddings,
NH Hinsdale, NH, 336-7706
C  Longhaul Farm, Holderness, NH, 968-
 Campton Farm, Campton, NH, 536- 9381
3689  Fruit Farm, Hollis, NH, 465-2241
 Hackleboro Orchard, Canterbury, NH,  Gould Hill Farm,
783-4248 Hopkinton/Contoocook, NH, 746-3811
 Brookford Farm, Canterbury, NH L
 Sticks and Stones Farm, Center  Hollister Family Farm, Lee, NH, 659-
Barnstead, NH 776-8989 7189
 Monadnock Menus, Cheshire County  Ivan's Hilltop Farm, Littleton, NH 444-
 Hazelton Orchards, Chester, NH, 867- 5161
5926  Walker Hill Farm, Lisbon, NH
 Apple Hill Farm, Concord, NH, 224-8862  Mack's Apples, Londonderry, NH, 432-
 Carter Hill Orchard, Concord, NH, 225- 3456
2625  Oliver Merrill and Sons, Londonderry,
 NH Growers Coop Concord, NH NH
D  Sunnycrest Farm, Londonderry, NH
 J and F Farms, Derry, NH, 437-0535  Meadow Ledge Farm, Loudon, NH, 798-
 Kittredge Farms, Derry, NH, 247-0456 5860
 Fresh Start Farms, Dunbarton, NH  Miles Smith Farm, Loudon, NH, 783-
E 5159
 Cedar Circle Farm, East Thetford, VT,  Red Manse Farm, Loudon, NH, 435-
802-785-4737 9943
 Blue Ox Farm, Enfield, NH, 632-9643  Paradise Farm, Lyndeborough, NH, 345-
F 0860
 Tracie's Community Farm, Fitzwilliam, M
NH, 209-1851  Hill Farm, Marlow, NH, 446-6261
G  MackMoulton Farm, Meredith, NH,
 Beans and Greens Farm, Gilford 279-3915
 Trombly Gardens, Milford, NH, 620-  Meadow's Mirth, Stratham, NH, 767-
5785 2610
 McLeod Brothers Orchards, Milford,  Three River Farmers Alliance, Seacoast
NH, 673-3544  Heron Pond Farm, South Hampton
 McKenzie's Farm, Milton, NH, 652-9400 T
 Picnic Rock Farms, Meredith, NH, 279-  White Gates Farm, Tamworth, NH
6126  Spider Web Gardens, Tuftonboro, NH,
 Frost's Roadside Gardens, Monroe, NH, 569-5056
638-441 W
N  Abenaki Springs Farm, Walpole, NH,
 Sullivan Farm, Nashua, NH, 595-4560 445-2157
 Middle Branch Farm, New Boston, NH,  Alyson Orchards, Walpole, NH, 756-
487-2540 9800
 Miller Farm, New Durham, NH, 859-  Pete's Farmstand, Walpole, NH, 802-
1022 885-6443
 Dutton Berry Farm Stands, Newfane,  Yankee's Farmers Market, Warner, NH,
Manchester, West Brattleboro, VT, 802- 456-2833
365-4168  Vegetable Ranch, LLC, Warner, NH,
 Spring Ledge Farm, New London, NH, 456-3628
526-6253  Abigail's Bakery, Weare, NH, 724-6544
 North Country Farmers Coop  Random Hills Farm, Weare, NH, 657-
 Briar Stone Farm Stand, North 8294
Haverhill, NH, 787-6696  Warner River Organics, Webster, NH,
 Grafton County Farm, North Haverhill, 746-3018
NH  Edgefield Farm, Westmoreland, NH,
 PT Farm, North Haverhill, NH 787-9199 399-9975
 Windy Ridge Orchard, North Haverhill,  Fertile Fields Farm, Westmoreland, NH,
NH, 787-6377 399-7772
 Nottingham Orchard, Nottingham, NH,  High Hopes Orchard, Westmoreland,
679-5524 NH, 399-4305
O  Milkweed Farm, Westmoreland, NH,
 Pork Hill Farm, Ossipee, NH, 662-2205 399-4430
P  Harlow Farm, Westminster, VT, 802-
 View Farm, Pittsfield, NH 435-5503 722-9203
 Riverview Farm, Plainfield, NH  Manning Hill Farm, Winchester, NH,
 Longview Farm , Plymouth, NH, 536- 239-4397
3823  Picadilly Farm, Winchester, NH, 239-
S 8718
 Surowiec Farm, Sanbornton, NH, 286-  Johnson's Highland View Farm,
4069 Windham, NH, 898-3831
 Saxtons River Orchard, Saxtons River,  Devylder Farm, Wolfeboro, NH 569-
VT, 802-869-3150 4110
 Tassey's Farm, Shelburne, NH Y
 Blueberry Bay Farm, Stratham, NH,  Zacks Farm, York, ME, 207-475-7857

Distributors Currently Offering NH-Grown and Regional
 Black River Produce: Springfield, VT Contact:
Marc Curran Phone: 802-886-6217  Prickly Pear Produce: Merrimack, NH Contact:
Website: Ray Forrest Phone: 603-424-2649
Email: Website: http://
 Costa Fruit & Produce: Contact: Linda
Shea Phone: 617-241-8007
Email: Website: www.fre  Saunders Wholesale Fruit & Produce: Somersworth, NH Contact: Marc or
Lenny Phone: 603-692-0005
 Donabedian Brothers: Salem, NH Contact: Greg Website:
Donabedian Phone: 603- 898-9781
Website:  Shaheen Brothers: Amesbury, MA Buys from
farms in ME, NH & MA. Ask for local when
 Golden Harvest: Kittery, Maine Contact: ordering. Larger quantities may require lead
Jim Phone: 207-439- time. Phone: 800-742-4336
2113 Website: http://www.goldenharvestprod Website:
 Sysco Northern New England: Westbrook,
 Granite State Fruit: Manchester, NH Contact: Maine Contact: Kurt Chapin Phone: 207-253-
Diane or Bill Phone: 603-627-413 7054 Website:

 Monadnock Menus: Keene, NH  Upper Valley Produce: White River Junction,

Website: VT Contact: Ron Buffa Phone: 1-866-330-7456
 North Country Farmers Coop: Colebrook,
NH Contact: Julie Moran Phone: 603-726-
6992 Website:

New Hampshire Dept. of Education Bureau of Nutrition Programs and Services:

New Hampshire Farm to School website:

National Farm to School website:

National Farm to Preschool website:

USDA Farm to School website:

Michigan Farm to School: Garden to cafeteria guide

Getting Started with Farm to Preschool:

Local food for little eaters: A purchasing toolbox for the child and adult care program

Cultivating Joy & Wonder: Educating for Sustainability in Early Childhood through Nature, Food, and

Growing Minds Farm to Preschool Curriculum:

USDA Grow It, Try It, Like It! Nutrition Education Kit Featuring MyPlate:

New Hampshire Extension Master Gardener Program:

- http://
- Grow your own for kids! book, Chris Collins and Lia Leendertz,

Images supplied by the Rochester Child Care Center, Tri County CAP Head Start and
the Nashua Adult Learning Center.

Thank You!