The school garden produces extra food each day which is delivered to those in need, including a local food pantry. The school welcomes anyone to come for lunch: parents, high school students, local employees on break, and more; and these visitors are encouraged to help with the gardening.
Nutritious Meals and a Healthier Environment for the Students and the School’s Community
The Farm to School project at the Kimberton Waldorf School contributes to the provision of high quality, nutrition-dense school lunches while having a positive effect on the local community. Karen Flores, Kitchen Manager and Head Chef, works closely with the school’s gardening teacher and caretaker, Cecilia Martin, to meet the goal of serving as many locally grown and organic items as possible to Kimberton Waldorf’s students.
Cecilia Martin began the project by getting the students involved in growing their own foods. Her students weed in the garden, harvest and wash the produce, and then take the food to the kitchen for use in the school meals. Students also prune the school’s apple trees and harvest the fruit.
Flores explains very simply that the school grows the food and then serves it. The process is very efficient, and no produce is wasted. What is not used in the meals program is put back into the soil in the form of compost.
Some of the school kitchen’s produce must be purchased, however, and Flores explains that for this she focuses on local food instead of on organic. “Local is really my number one thing now more than organic, because organic could come from Chile.”
Produce on the Kimberton Waldorf menus is nearly all locally grown or organic. The kitchen staff members collaborate with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and other local farmers to acquire fresh items including corn, milk, yogurt, and whole wheat bread for the school’s meals.
While getting the students and staff involved has not been a problem, Kimberton’s Farm to School project is aimed at also getting the wider community to join in, as well. The school garden produces extra food each day which is delivered to those in need, including a local food pantry. The school welcomes anyone to come for lunch: parents, high school students, local employees on break, and more; and these visitors are encouraged to help with the gardening. School officials are planning to add the community’s elderly members to this guest list.
With the principles of a Farm to School concept in mind, the kitchen staff at Kimberton Waldorf School find and experiment with new fruits and vegetables to create more nutritious meals and a healthier environment for the students and the school’s community.