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An authentic farm experience – guest post by Karyn Novakowski, Somerville Farm to School Project Director

Members of the Somerville Farm to School Implementation Planning Team had an opportunity to spend a day on a farm and work alongside each other outside of the traditional office setting.  The team was comprised of school staff, members of community based organizations such as Groundwork SomervilleShape Up Somerville, and UMass Extension, and other key members.

Welcome to the farm!
Introductions and goals for the day

The trip was organized and led by Tamika Francis of theMOVE. TheMOVE “organizes reflective farm-volunteer workdays for diverse urban groups across Metro Boston, to connect folks hands-on with fresh food, and with the labor and land that sustain us.” It sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

It was lovely; a beautiful late summer day. Flowers in the labyrinth were in full bloom and the tomatoes were at their height of ripeness. Some of them were so ripe that they were nearly falling off of the plants!

Flower labyrinth
Farmer Elizabeth Almeida of Fat Moon at Meadowbrook Farm took time from her very busy schedule to introduce us to her farm. The farm has hosted many students from the Greater Boston area, including those from Somerville. Elizabeth reminded us that “Kids can do real farm work.” Doing real work (weeding, harvesting, watering, seeding, feeding animals) leads to an authentic farm experience. When visiting the farm, students may perform skills and tasks they didn’t know they were capable of doing! This instills confidence and a deeper connection to the land where food is from.
We participated in real work too! Our goals for the day were to 1) prep a bed for a spinach planting by pulling out spent zucchini plants, 2) weed the beet patch and 3) harvest TONS (and taste a few) tomatoes from the greenhouse.
Weeding the beet patch!
Tomato rainbow
Harvesting tomatoes
And more tomatoes!
Thank you to Tamika and Elizabeth for organizing such a great day! And thank you to all the members of the planning team who joined us for the trip!
 Content and photos provided by Karyn Novakowski, Somerville Farm to School Project Director

CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETSSummer Sol is theMOVE’s 5th annual celebration of our work, bringing communities closer to healthy food.  Enjoy an evening of catered delicacies and stirring cocktails, inspired by diverse international cuisines, and prepared with the freshest produce from our local partner farms & restaurants.  Summer Sol will be hosted at the Edward L. Cooper Community Gardening Center in Fort Hill, Roxbury.  Take a look at our photo albums from Summer Sol 2013 and Summer Sol 2012.+ TICKETS: are now available at summersol2014.brownpapertickets.com, buy yours today!  From 8/9 until 9/12, pre-sale tickets will be available for $75 per guest.  Day-of tickets will be available for $85 per guest, online and at the door. All proceeds from the event supports our work with urban youth and families. More details at www.summersol.org.

Click Here to Pre-view & Bid on Summer Sol Silent Auction

LEAD SPONSORS

FEATURING INCREDIBLE FOODS from Fresh Food Generation (Roxbury) | Haley House Bakery Cafe (Roxbury) | Boobee Bread (Roxbury) | Global Local Gourmet (Roxbury) | Mei Mei Street Kitchen(Fenway) | Basil Tree Catering (Cambridge) | Forklift Catering (Somerville) | Sophia’s Greek Pantry (Belmont) | Red’s Best Seafood (Seaport) | La Sanghita Cafe (East Boston) | Sofra Bakery & Cafe (Cambridge) | Red Fire Farm (Granby MA) | Blue Heron Farm (Lincoln MA) | Bay End Farm (Buzzards Bay MA) | Farmer Dave’s(Dracut MA) | Locust Knoll Farm (Sterling MA) | Iggy’s Bread (Cambridge) | Flour Bakery (Cambridge) | Taza Chocolate (Somerville)… and more!

FEATURING BOLD LIBATIONS from Percival Brewing Company (Dorchester) | Artisan Beverage Cooperative (Greenfield MA) | Berkshire Mountain Distillers (Great Barrington MA)… and more!

FEATURING GENEROUS SILENT AUCTION PRIZES from Taza Chocolate | Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health | Paul Goodknight | The Huntington Theater Company | Shared Harvest CSA | Edible Boston | Global Local Gourmet | Hubway | Gouveia Vineyards | Coastal Vineyards | Berkshire Mountain Distillers | Artisan Beverage Cooperative | Sugar Maple Inn | Boston Investments | Six Flags New England… and more!

FEATURING ECLECTIC INTERNATIONAL BEATS from DJ Trizlam & Dudley Disco

FEATURING BEAUTIFUL SEATING ARRANGEMENTS from Be Our Guest

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Boston Food Justice Hub | Bikes Not Bombs | Discovery Roxbury | NE Center for Arts & Technology – Culinary Arts Education | The Williams Agency | Wonder Women of Boston

SUMMER SOL is hosted by Tiffany Probasco | Markeya Williams | Glynn Lloyd | Erin Anderson | Brandon Ransom | Patti Moreno | Jasmine Laeitmark | Cagen Luse | Aziza Robinson-Goodknight | Anna Norcross | Paige Brooks-Cook | Katrina Kazda | Crystal Carrington | Dave Madan | Rebecca Schoen

Guest post by : Kim Szeto, Boston Public School, Farm to School Coordinator

FNS_CityGrowers_theMOVEAs summer winds down, BPS Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) staff is gearing up for the start of school on Thursday September 4th, 2014. We’ve spent the last week hosting various training and professional development opportunities for our cafeteria staff as they prepare their kitchens for another year of healthy, tasty school meals.

thMOVE_BPS_FFG_CGThis year, members of our FNS management team also spent a day out in the fields (literally!) reconnecting with our own stories of growing and eating healthy, sustainable foods. Through a partnership with theMOVE, a local non-profit that takes BPS students on reflective farm volunteer trips, our team alongside trainees from the Urban Farming Institute of Boston, helped harvest lettuce, stake tomatoes and weed squash beds at City Growers right off of Blue Hill Ave in Dorchester, MA.

Our staff also had the opportunity to hear from Cassandria Campbell, a BPS graduate and co-founder of Fresh Food Generation,  and taste a delicious spread of locally grown vegetables, jerk chicken, and rice and beans prepared by the new food truck and catering business aimed at improving access to healthy, affordable, foods in low-income neighborhoods here in Boston. It is days like these help our team to refocus, re-energize and remember why we do the work that we do to bring Boston’s students healthy and delicious meals each day.

Here’s an inspiring Ted Talk by Jarret J. Krosoczka author and illustrator of the Super Hero Lunch Lady graphic novels to remind us all of the important role that our staff plays in feeding and shaping our students each day.

Here’s to a great start to the 2014-2015 school year!

SUMMER SOL is theMOVE’s 5th annual celebration of our work, bringing communities closer to healthy food.  Enjoy an evening of catered delicacies and stirring cocktails, inspired by diverse international cuisines, and prepared with the freshest produce from our local partner farms & vendors.  Summer Sol will be hosted at the beautiful Edward L. Cooper Community Gardening Center in Fort Hill.  Take a look at our beautiful photos from Summer Sol 2013 and Summer Sol 2012.

TICKETS are now available at summersol2014.brownpapertickets.com, buy yours today!  From 8/9 until 9/12, presale tickets will be available for $75 per guest.   Day-of tickets will be available for $85 per guest online and at the door. This is an all-inclusive event, ticket price includes passed appitizers, hot food bar, cocktails, drink and dessert station + entertainment, with great company in an open garden atmosphere, in Boston’s historic Fort Hill neighborhood.

FEATURING INCREDIBLE FOODS from Fresh Food Generation (Roxbury) | Haley House Bakery Cafe (Roxbury) | Boobee Bread (Roxbury) | Global Local-Gourmet (Roxbury) | Mei Mei Street Kitchen(Fenway) | Basil Tree Catering (Cambridge) | Forklift Catering (Somerville) | Sophia’s Greek Pantry (Belmont) | Red’s Best Seafood (Seaport) | Locust Knoll Farm (Sterling MA) | Iggy’s Bread (Cambridge) | Flour Bakery (Cambridge) | Taza Chocolate (Somerville)| Sofra Bakery (Cambridge) … and more!

FEATURING BOLD LIBATIONS from Percival Brewing Company (Dorchester) | Artisan Beverage Cooperative (Greenfield MA) | Berkshire Mountain Distillers (Great Barrington MA) … and more!

 + FEATURING GENEROUS SILENT AUCTION PRIZES from Taza Chocolate | The Huntington Theater Company | Shared Harvest CSA | Edible Boston | Six Flags New England… and more!

 + FEATURING ECLECTIC INTERNATIONAL BEATS from DJ Trizlam & Dudley Disco

FEATURING BEAUTIFUL SEATING ARRANGEMENTS from Be Our Guest 

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Boston Food Justice Hub | Bikes Not Bombs | Discovery Roxbury | New England Center for Arts & Technology – Culinary Arts Education | The Williams Agency



SUMMER SOL is hosted by Tiffany Probasco | Markeya Williams | Glynn Lloyd | Erin Anderson | Brandon Ransom | Patti Moreno | Jasmine Laeitmark | Cagen Luse | Aziza Robinson-Goodknight | Anna Norcross | Paige Brooks-Cook | Katrina Kazda | Crystal Carrington | Dave Madan

Summer Sol2014_08

FAMILY WORKDAY AT JP GREEN HOUSE – AUGUST 24th 2014 

Come join theMOVE as we offer our help to Andree and her family at JP Green House in Jamaica Plain in Boston (T-accessible), a sustainably-designed home with a 1200 square foot garden that provides their family with much of their food for 6 months of the year! We’ll help with harvesting, weeding, and whatever else needs help that day.

The work day will go from10a-1p. We’ll offer a complimentary lunch, snacks and only ask for a contribution from participants who can give. The house/farm is easily accessible from Forest Hills Station on the orange line. Maximum of 2 youth per 1 adult, preferably youth 8-18years, although we welcome all. Only 12 spaces available. SIGN UP HERE.

Photo Photo Photo

For more information about car pooling, directions or details email:connect@farmvolunteer.org.

tazalogo031808July 2014, Somerville, MA 

Somerville based, Taza Chocolate, has a tour donation program that aims to give back to the communities that they are part of — from our local community of Somerville, MA, to the global community to which we all belong.

For every ticket sold for our public tours of the Taza Chocolate Factory, we donate $1 of the $5 ticket price to a non-profit organization. Each quarter, we choose a different organization, in recognition of the myriad of different charitable initiatives that need support, both close to home, and across the planet. We’re thrilled that our donation recipient for the third quarter of 2014 (July to September) is theMOVE, an organization that shares our passion for connecting people with the sources of their food.

About Taza Chocolate:

“We make stone ground, organic chocolate. Cacao is so complex in flavor that we want to let it speak loud and proud. That is why we do less to bring you more. We stone grind organic cacao beans into perfectly unrefined, minimally processed chocolate with bold flavor and texture, unlike anything you have ever tasted.

Taza founder Alex Whitmore took his first bite of stone ground chocolate while traveling in Oaxaca, Mexico. He was so inspired by the rustic intensity that he decided to create a chocolate factory back home in Somerville, MA. Alex apprenticed under a molinero in Oaxaca to learn how to hand-carve granite mill stones to make a new kind of American chocolate that is simply crafted, but seriously good.”

Learn more about Taza Factory Tours here. Book your tour and help theMOVE earned much need funds to continue our work.

See more here.

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