Arkansas Grown Arkansas Farm to School

Food and Agriculture Education

Food and Agriculture Education

Now that you’ve got a school garden or have purchased locally grown vegetables from a farmer, how do you prepare them so that students get to experience new and different ways to eat local foods? 

Food and agriculture lessons are excellent ways to expose students to all different kinds of fruits and vegetables, but determining how to prepare the foods can be time consuming. 

Luckily, there are plenty of community partners, and lesson and recipe resources out there to assist with creative ways to cook and serve fruits and vegetables!

Community Partnerships

There are many organizations to partner with in your community. Spend some time thinking about local businesses, nonprofits, and organizations that work in the field of farm to school, the local food system, agriculture, and education.
 
One example is your county extension office! The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service is a member of the Arkansas Farm to School Collaborative and county agents can help lead farm to school lessons and activities. 
 
Reach out to your local office and ask to speak with the Family and Consumer Science Agent. Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) County Extension Agents deliver programs and information aimed at making life better, healthier and safer for individuals, families and communities. Examples of programs and activities include:
  • Pre-K through 12th grade nutrition education
  • Hands-on, garden-based learning
  • Cooking classes for kids and adults
  • Taste-testing of appealing, healthy, inexpensive, easy-to-prepare foods
  • Providing technical assistance on nutrition and physical activity policies, systems, and environmental changes aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles
For more information, contact your local FCS County Agent: https://www.uaex.uada.edu

Curricular Resources

Cooking Matters is a hands-on food skills education program that empowers families with the skills they need to cook and shop healthy on a budget. 

Programming options include: 6-session cooking and nutrition classes, 1-time grocery store tours, virtual programming options for parents, and a universal lesson plan for teachers.

FoodCorps is a national nonprofit that works to connect kids to healthy foods in schools. FoodCorps has created 96 lessons for grades K-5, organized through a learning progression by grade, season, and theme.

Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Northwest Arkansas has produced many recipes and guided videos for students using fresh fruits and vegetables grown on their farm in Fayetteville. Apple Seeds’ YouTube channel also hosts a playlist of videos with cooking demonstrations, recipes, and knife safety for children.

The Delta Garden Study was a science-based school garden intervention led by Arkansas Children’s Research Institute. The study developed a cookbook with many recipes using locally grown fruits and vegetables

The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences at Texas Tech University has developed a Farm to Table curriculum that exposes students to different aspects of farm to table practices and allows them to learn healthy and sustainable eating habits. The Farm to Table curriculum focuses on six major areas: farmers markets as an entrepreneurial endeavor, ocean to table practices, sugar and honey production, gardening to produce food for culinary arts experiences, food science and sustainability, and proteins and dairy production.