Ontario Farm to School Inspiration: Primrose Elementary School

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Author: Carolyn Webb

Posted: March 30, 2017

Categories: Edible Education Network / GoodFoodBites / News from Sustain Ontario / Schools

National Kale Day at Primrose Elementary School

Canada’s 3rd Annual National Farm to School Month, led by Farm to Cafeteria Canada (F2CC), was held throughout the month of October 2016.

A number of schools submitted Farm to School stories to F2CC as part of the month’s #ThinkandEatLocalatSchool contest. Here is the 6th story that we’re sharing as inspiration for 2017!

Primrose Elementary School (Mulmur, Ontario) shared the following on how they engage in thinking and eating local at school:

Primrose was eating&thinkinglocal@school in so many ways this Farm to School Month (and always!)

  • Students sold $1,480 of Ontario vegetables and fruits through the Fresh From the Farm Fundraiser
  • Students and parents harvested produce from our school garden to serve at the Breakfast Program.
  • Students enjoyed nearly 500 servings of local foods through the Breakfast Program, supplied by local food distributor Crown Dairy out of Guelph.
  • Our milk program (1,000 bottles served in October) and Breakfast Program are supplied by local Sheldon Creek Dairy, less than 20km away. 
  • Students had entries in this year’s fall agricultural fair, where Grade 2 students also attended agricultural awareness days
  • We launched the Headwaters Food and Farming Alliance’s Local Food Club again this October. This is a monthly meal-in-a-bag from with ingredients from local farmers and bakers, which parents and staff purchase and students carry home in special back packs. It encourages cooking as a family, and connections to local food producers, which are listed as suppliers with the feature recipe.
  • 5 students and one teacher went to the EcoLeague Youth Forum in Milton, where in one stream they learned about agriculture impacts on the environment. 
  • Our big celebration was National Kale Day, where students harvested kale from the school garden, reps from each class learned about types of kale and its nutritional power. Each division featured a different kale recipe: primary students did kale, berry and local yogurt smoothies, juniors made baked local egg and kale cups and intermediates kale pesto pasta. The class reps prepared the recipes and served the treats – and their new kale knowledge – to their classmates and teachers.
  • Leftover produce from kale day and Local Food Club was sold at the “Primrose Market” in the foyer, with a message of reducing food waste.
  • Plans for our future farm to school: we are also in the midst of planning a school salad bar program, making connections with local farmers and food producers and developing food literacy messaging. Three parents, including our student nutrition program coordinator, attended training from Farm to Cafeteria Canada in Ottawa to kick off this ultimate farm to school project. Our intermediate teachers have incorporated into their nutrition curriculum plans to involve their students as mentors to the younger students with messages about healthy eating, local food and food literacy, using the salad bar as a hands-on tool. A few students have started on identifying food items we should include and what we could grow that meet the criteria.
  • Plans are in the works for an outdoor classroom, which will make use of the school veggie and pollinator gardens for student learning.
  • School Council approved the booking of Farm to School Workshops, inviting farmers to visit classrooms and talk to students about the local food system and farming life in our area, as well as food literacy, with hands-on, curriculum-tied activities and take-home materials and foods.

Thanks to Primrose Elementary School for sharing their story!

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the other Farm to School stories we’ve shared on the Sustain Ontario blog: