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

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

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.

2016 more kale harvestAt 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.

See links below for articles about the Farm to Lunch program and Green Schoolyards

Below are garden beds from Crittenden School featuring broccoli soon to be harvested and kale after the initial harvest

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"Farm to Lunch" garden sign at Crittenden School (also one at Theuerkauf School)

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The goal of the program is to introduce students to a variety of fruits and vegetables, teach about healthy eating, and get kids outdoors to experience nature and move their bodies!

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Below:  Chef Bob Mencimer and The Lunch Trust consultant Adam Kesselman serve two types of Kale to Crittenden students.

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