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What’s cookin’? Student-grown produce prepared into special dishes served to Mountain View students during lunch.

2016 more kale harvest1234

Above: Crittenden Junior High students harvest Kale on their school campus for their school lunches.

Living Classroom, in partnership with the Mountain View Whisman School District (MVWSD) and through a grant from the El Camino Healthcare District Community Benefit Program, has created a new “Farm to Lunch” program in Mountain View that combines the hands-on experience of growing food with the health benefits of better eating. Students from the Beyond the Bell after school program planted vegetables in more than 20 raised planter beds across several MVWSD schools, including Crittenden and Theuerkauf.

At a recent taste-test at Crittenden, almost 250 servings of kale chips and kale salad were consumed. An informal survey of the kids showed that many “loved it” and no-one “hated it”!

Ten winter vegetables will be harvested in coming weeks including broccoli, turnips, bok choy, Swiss chard, spinach, lettuce, beets, sugar snap peas, kale and potatoes.  The MVWSD Central Kitchen staff, including Chef Bob Mencimer, are up to the challenge of creating tasty and nutritious dishes that students will like and, through exposure to their own school edible gardens, connect more directly with the sources of healthy food.

The school-grown produce will be featured several times a month on menus at all schools on a rotating basis so that every student has the opportunity to try the dishes prepared from the Mountain View School’s garden produce.

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Ologo LACF TGCOPAur thanks go to the Los Altos Community Foundation and the Palo Alto Garden Club for their recent contributions to Living Classroom.
The $7,500 grant from the Los Altos Community Foundation will fund a portion of our Next Generation Science and Common Core alignment work to assure that all of our lessons are optimized to meet these new California State Standards. The Palo Alto Garden Club’s $6,000 grant will cover a portion of our school garden maintenance and materials costs for our five Palo Alto schools and cover the purchase, planting, and signage for additional California native milkweed plants (Asclepias fascicularis) which is locally native food for the caterpillars of the Monarch butterfly.

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