Common Ground Farm, in partnership with Hudson Valley Seed and Hudson Valley Farm to School, formed the Beacon Farm to School Collaborative earlier this year. Through a grant from the United Way Community Fund, the J.V. Forrestal School was the first of four schools to have a full year of monthly programming that includes farmer in the classroom visits, chef in the classroom visits, a school garden program and more.
This fall fourth graders learned about kale and pumpkins, and first graders learned about corn. The kids visited Common Ground Farm, harvested crops, and had a chef come to their classroom to teach them how delicious these veggies can be.
Common Ground Farm is a farm project that serves the community as an educational model for people of all ages to learn how foods grow, how to raise ecologically sound crops without chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and how to keep farmland healthy for generations to come.
On December 5, 2013 the Food & Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a study providing clear evidence that well designed nutrition education programs, just like CGF’s Farm to School program, lead to healthier food choices among low income children in elementary schools.
Here is an opportunity to help programs like Common Ground Farm’s Farm to School initiative this holiday season. It takes just $300—or 4 donations of $75—to teach a full elementary class everything they need to know about how delicious and nutritious organically grown vegetables really are, and to set them on the right path for life.
Here is the recipe for Tuscan Kale Soup using the farm’s kale which was served in all four City of Beacon elementary schools this fall. If 86% of the kids said they liked it, it should be good!
Tuscan Kale Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup diced carrot
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart vegetable broth
2 cups water
3 potatoes, halved and sliced
2 tsp. fresh herbs from the garden (thyme, rosemary, sage or parsley)
1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups finely chopped kale leaves
1 cup of crushed tomatoes
Salt and black pepper to taste
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the olive oil over medium heat; cook and stir the onion until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrot and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes more. Pour in the vegetable broth and water; stir in the potatoes, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the cannellini beans, kale, and tomatoes. Simmer, covered, for 15 more minutes.
Your gift will enable Common Ground Farm and its work to continue to thrive and grow.