"Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth."
- Walt Whitman
|| Maine Harvest Lunch / Farm to School
Every fall, school districts across the state celebrate Maine Harvest Lunch - a celebration of the bounty of Maine's harvest featuring local foods on the school menu. Many resources are available to make this not only a tasty, but also an educational and community-building annual event. As an outgrowth of this event, many schools are now purchasing food from Maine farms and other food producers year round!
Download the Maine Food for Maine Kids Curriculum (1MB pdf)
Download the Maine Harvest Lunch Local Foods Cookbook (192KB pdf)
Statewide Resources: (back to top)
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, www.mofga.org
The association's website has a searchable database of MOFGA certified organic farms, a complete listing of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms, and links to other local food sources.
- Chef Cheryl Wixson, 367-5003, firstname.lastname@example.org. Available to help develop or improve recipes and source local foods.
- Heather Omand, Organic Marketing Coordinator, 207-568-4142, email@example.com. Available to help source local food and connect with other Maine Harvest Lunch resources.
- Amanda Beal, firstname.lastname@example.org. Former president of MOFGA's Board of Directors. One of the Maine Harvest Lunch founders. Has expertise in developing curriculum around the event.
Maine School Food Service Association, www.mainesfsa.org/maine_harvest
This page on the Maine SFSA website has a number of documents available for download to help organize a Maine Harvest Lunch including sample menus, a task list, and sample press release. These documents originated from the Maine harvest Lunch Committee of Gorham, organizers of an annual Maine Harvest Lunch since 2001.
Maine Nutrition Network, www.maine-nutrition.org
The Maine Nutrition Network has developed a nutrition education program, "Cooking Maine Foods from the Ground Up". It is available for download and includes lesson plans and recipes on different Maine grown foods.
Maine Department of Education, www.maine.gov/education/sfs/farm.html
This page on the Department of Education's website lists a variety of resources for Farm to School and Maine Harvest Lunch efforts.
Maine Department of Agriculture's Get Real, Get Maine Campaign, www.getrealmaine.com
This site has a variety of search options for finding Maine food and farms.
Healthy Acadia Coalition's Farm to School Initiative, www.healthyacadia.org/initiatives/farm_to_school.html
Hancock County Farm to School Directory is available for download. The directory has a listing of farms, local food distributors, and a few seafood companies that are interested in selling to Hancock County schools as well as information for schools including tips for working with farmers.
- Katie Freedman, Hancock County Farm to School Coordinator, 207-288-5331, email@example.com. Available to help link farms and schools in this region; including assistance with School Supported Agriculture agreements, help arranging meetings, & links to external resources.
Focus on Agriculture in Rural Maine Schools (F.A.R.M.S.), www.farmsforme.org
A grassroots community organization working to connect classrooms, cafeterias, local farms, and communities. Have identified 4 Essential Steps to a Harvest Lunch and developed a Harvest Lunch How-To.
- Amy Winston, Director, Lincoln County Economic Development, 207-882-7564, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Franklin, Somerset & Oxford Counties
Western Mountains Alliance's Eat Smart, Eat Local Initiative, www.westernmountainsalliance.org/eatsmart.html
Franklin and Somerset county local food guides are available for download and include lists of farms interested in supplying schools. Paper copies can be requested by contacting: (207) 778-3885 or email@example.com
National Farm to School Network, www.farmtoschool.org
Offers a broad spectrum of resources on farm to school topics.
Vermont Food Education Every Day (FEED) Program, www.vtfeed.org
Offers a broad range of tools, information and resources on farm to school, including RECIPES and Tips for Beginning Local Food Purchasing in Schools.
NH Farm to School Program, www.nhfarmtoschool.org
Offers a broad range of tools, information and resources on farm to school.
When contacting any distributor specify that you are looking for MAINE grown products!
Farm Fresh Connection. Martha Putman, 939-4748, Martha@farmfreshconnection.org. Specializes in Maine-grown produce, both organic and non-organic. Distribution area includes Waterville, southwest to Rangeley, south to Alfred, and up the coast to Boothbay Harbor.
Crown of Maine Organic Coop. Marada Cook, 1-800-743-7783, 207-316-5295 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org, www.crownofmainecoop.com. Specializes in certified organic, Maine-grown organic produce & many other value-added products. Statewide distribution.
Native Maine Produce LLC. Joe Pizzo, 1-877-343-7848, www.nativemaineproduce.com. A conventional distributor with a Maine line of products. Specify that you are looking for Maine grown products.
Luce’s Meats, Maine Farms Brand. Arnold Luce, 207-635-2817, email@example.com, www.mainefarmsbrand.com. Maine Farms Brand product line is Maine-grown with no additives and raised naturally. They can link buyers to grass fed and/or organic products. Products include: chicken, beef, pork, sausages, lamb, venison (red). Specify that you are looking for Maine grown products.
Farm2Chef.com. George Carpenter, 207-351-5405, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.farm2chef.com. Based in Kennebunkport. Specializes in distributing southern Maine and New Hampshire farm products.
Nova Foods. Claude or Mark Dupuy, 1-800-794-8224. Based in Ellsworth. Specializes in Maine value-added products: Seal Cove goat cheeses, Raye’s mustards, Nervous Nellie’s jams, Mainstay Pasta, Sullivan Harbor smoked seafood, Mitchell’s dressings.
The Turkey Farm. Bob Neal, 207-778-2889, email@example.com, www.theturkeyfarm.com. Specializes in turkey & turkey products.
ASK YOUR PRIMARY VENDOR(S) WHAT THEY CARRY THAT IS MAINE GROWN. LET THEM KNOW THAT BUYING LOCALLY GROWN FOOD IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT AND YOU WANT MORE MAINE PRODUCTS AVAILABLE FROM THEM TO PURCHASE!
- Build relationships with food service personnel
- Plan Menu
- Engage volunteers
F.A.R.M.S.' Harvest Lunch How-To:
1. Form a Farm to School Committee
A. Set a monthly meeting time
B. Build relationships
2. Plan Menu
A. Decide on menu
B. Calculate amount of food/Cost
C. Decide on farms/farmer’s market
D. Schedule pick up and delivery of food
3. Engage Volunteers
A. Schedule volunteers for prepping food/set up/clean up
A. Write press release
B. Newsletter/send flyers home
C. Circulate posters
A. Classroom connections
What is Local?
The True Cost of Food (older students)
Generate fact sheets on tables in cafeteria
Promote healthy community
Promote sustainable agriculture
A. Build relationships with farmers
B. Field trips to farms
C. Bring farmers to classrooms and cafeteria
D. Student Garden Project supported by local farmers