September 2017

Plant Now for Bountiful Fall Harvests!
 
While the rest of the country gears up for winter, Texas is entering one of its most bountiful seasons. It may be hot outside right now, but it's the perfect time to begin fall weather seedlings indoors near a sunny window or in a greenhouse if one is available.
 
Aggie Horticulture provides great advice for Growing a Fall Garden . One important tip provided by Aggie Horticulture is to clear out any remaining summer plants and return some nutrients to the soil using compost or fertilizer. This provides the fall garden a clean slate so it can be just as successful as previous plantings.
 
Starting a garden in a school or child care center? Don't forget to visit TDA's Garden Web page at SquareMeals.org/Gardens for information about planning, harvesting, safety, and sharing your story. 


Farm to School Spotlight
Build on the momentum   of the National School Lunch Week (NSLW) celebrations in October by incorporating additional activities to celebrate Farm to School Month!
 
National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010 to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies and educate children about the origins of food.
 
It's never too early to start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations. Download a few key resources
to celebrate at your school!


Don't Miss the Opportunity: Participate in the 2017 Local Products Challenge!

TDA challenges schools to use more Texas products in cafeteria meals during October, and will recognize participants that complete the challenge. 

Participating schools will receive a toolkit of Farm Fresh Fridays supportive materials, including buttons, stickers and static clings. There are many resources available online to help you plan and implement successful Farm Fresh Fridays activities and participate in the Local Products Challenge. 


Farm to Child Care Spotlight
 
Align Farm to Child Care projects and ideas with one of the most widely used early care curricula - The Creative Curriculum for Preschool. The guide explores how educators can use the curriculum as a foundation to embed the tenets of farm to child care into existing programming and lessons.
 
Upcoming Conference: Texas Association for the Education of the Young Child (TAEYC): The Joy in Learning, San Antonio, October, 19-21
 
Join TAEYC for the 53rd Annual Conference this October 19-21 in San Antonio. This year's conference theme is The Joy in Learning. Click here to register.  


Farm to Summer Spotlight
Successful Garden Education at Smithville ISD
Smithville ISD's garden keeps the learning going all summer long. Site leaders taught students how to lightly process excess garden produce during the summer so they could make the harvest last even longer. Students learned how to properly wash and freeze produce items and then they were able to enjoy items like tomatoes and squash even when they were no longer available in the garden. 
 
Share you Success!
Celebrate your success by sharing highlights with TDA's Farm Fresh Team. Email LocalProduct.SquareMeals@TexasAgriculture.gov to share highlights that helped connect program participants to Texas Agriculture. 


Contact TDA
Emilee Case
Coordinator for Farm Fresh Projects

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.