November 2018
Farm Fresh Spotlight Story
New! Cooking for the Seasons Cookbook Now Available
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is excited to
 announce the release of Cooking for the Seasons. This new cookbook features four sections, one for each    sea son, to help TDA partners serve more fresh and local foods in federal nutrition programs. The recipes make it easy to k now when ingredients are most likely to be freshest in Texas. Recipes offer quantities suitable for federal nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program.

You can download the full resource as well as many other seasonally focused menu planning resources on .

New! Produce Safety Tips- Videos in English and Spanish

Whether you buy your produce from the farm, your local grocery store, farmers market, or you harvest it from your own backyard, it is important to wash it before you eat it. Texas farmers work hard to produce fresh food items under guidelines of the Food Safety Modernization Act's Produce Safety Rule. These two new videos provide important tips for practicing food safety everywhere fresh produce items are served.

Farm to School Spotlight
Farm Fresh Fridays
Farm to School Spotlight

Now Available! Grant Funding Available to Expand Farm Fresh Fridays in Schools

Research shows that children who are familiar with growing their own food tend to eat more fruits and vegetables! Public schools in Texas may be eligible to receive grant funds to support this kind of educational opportunity by expanding existing garden programs or creating new ones. TDA is offering the Expanding the 3E's Nutrition Education Grant (X3E) to help expand Farm Fresh Friday activities which include school gardens, taste testing, farmer visits, and much more! TDA is now accepting X3E grant applications. A pplications are due December 6, 2018.

For details, please visit the  3Es Grant Programs Web page. Learn more about Farm Fresh Fridays by visiting . Farm Fresh resources and success stories from past grantees are available at at the spotlight stories link.

Click to download the Copy Paste Promo Kit to help us share this Grant Opportunity

Farm to Child Care Spotlight
The Fall Spotlight on Pulses

Pulses include beans, lentils and peas. They're an inexpensive, low-fat source of protein.
Lentils in particular are a great choice because they're rich in protein, fiber, B vitamins and trace minerals: iron, copper, and zinc. Lentils can count as a vegetable or meat alternate, but not both components in the same meals.
Cooking lentils can be simple. Add 2 ½ cups of water to 1 cup dry lentils in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and lower heat to simmer. Cook until tender.
For more recipes that can be used in the CACFP meal pattern visit USDA's What's Cooking Website website.

Producer Spotlight
TDA's New Community Nutrition Conference Set for February 

When: February 11-13, 2019
Where: Georgetown, Texas

TDA's Community Nutrition Conference will offer Farm Fresh Network members a special opportunity to network and host one-on-one business meetings with sponsors in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the Summer Food Service Program.

Welcome to the Farm Fresh Network!
We would like to welcome the newest members of the TDA Farm Fresh Network - Pop's Place Farm, Oma and Opa's Farm, and ARTillery Avenue Farm!

Pop's Place Farm owner Cliff Notts specializes in growing lettuce varieties year-round in Sulphur Bluff.

The Ottmer family, owners of Oma and Opa's Farm , have been farming in Fredericksburg since 1970. They grow fruits and vegetables in all seasons, and raise chickens for farm fresh eggs.

ARTillery Avenue Farm, owned and operated by Rachel Mims, is located in Waco. Rachel harvests fruits, vegetables and honey, in addition to providing agriculture-based educational opportunities.

Visit  to check out the map of Farm Fresh Network members statewide. Texas farmers, ranchers and distributors can create a Farm Fresh Network profile online and get started connecting with schools, child and adult care centers and summer meal programs.
Contact TDA
Emilee Case
Coordinator for Farm Fresh Projects

Beatrice Watson
Farm Fresh Specialist

Email us or call
(877) TEX-MEAL
Connect with Others
Texas Statewide Network
This LinkedIn Group is an online network connecting schools, child and adult care centers, producers, support organizations and community members with important information about expanding local food efforts in Texas.
Join Today!

Texas Farm Fresh Network
Use this tool to connect with Texas food companies that currently sell or are interested in selling to schools, child care centers and summer meal programs. Company listings include contact information, product availability and distribution radius.
Funding Opportunities
Financial support from organizations may help establish or advance local Farm Fresh initiatives.
Go here  for a list of opportunities from TDA, USDA and other organizations.