Decatur Farm to School (DF2S) is a Wylde Center program that works to improve nutrition, knowledge of where food comes from, hands-on outdoor education, environmental awareness, and appetite for fresh fruits and veggies by leading efforts in the classrooms, cafeterias, communities, and gardens of the City Schools of Decatur. The DF2S committee is led by parents, teachers, community members, Wylde staff members and has been active since 2010.
Sign up for the Farm to School newsletter!
The Wylde Center now offers a monthly farm to school newsletter for teachers, parents, and other stakeholders. This monthly update will offer helpful information for school gardeners, like seasonal gardening tips, curriculum ideas, and professional development opportunities for teachers.
In light of the Coronavirus outbreak, our team created a special edition of our Farm to School Newsletter. View the May 2020 newsletter here.
Decatur Farm to School High School Internships
Internship grantees will work with local farmers, chefs, restaurant managers, and market managers as they learn what it takes to grow, sell, procure, and prepare fresh produce and local foods. In addition to training in Farm to School concepts, grantees will work at two locations during the summer to gain exposure to both the agricultural and consumer sides of Farm to Table.
Internship hosts include Farm Burger, Leon’s Full Service, Love is Love Farm, Global Growers Network, Community Farmers Markets, and the Wylde Center.
Open Spots on the Decatur Farm to School Committee
Joining the Decatur Farm to School (DF2S) Committee is a great way to get involved with the work of getting our students outside in their school garden and making the connection to what they are learning in the classroom and eating in the cafeteria and at home.
We currently have the following spots on the DF2S committee available. Committee members are expected to participate in the DF2S meetings which take place in the evening and via conference calls. The DF2S committee meets nine times per year on the 4th Monday for 1.5 hours. Interested? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
DF2S Social Media Coordinator
DF2S is in need of a volunteer who would like to share news about Decatur Farm to School work being done in our district as well as nationally. Familiarity with graphic design apps like Canva is a plus. The Social Media Coordinator will need to be available to post at least once per week and more frequently around major DF2S events. Posts include, but are not limited to:
- DF2S in the classroom and garden
- DF2S garden coaching in the school gardens
- Related national content
- DF2S taste test and dine out content
- Schedule content especially as it relates to events
- Volunteer promotion for DF2S events
Interested? Please contact email@example.com.
DF2S School Representatives
DF2S needs an advocate in every school in Decatur that will help spread the news of what is happening at the school and district level to the parents and faculty of his/her school. The DF2S rep is expected to report in each month for the DF2S meetings, give updates on what is happening at his/her school, assist in recruiting volunteers for the taste tests (2x/year) at his/her school, attend at least 4x/year the PTA and SLT meetings to report out on what is happening with DF2S and specifically at his/her school, and contribute content to the social media coordinator and to the printed newsletter that highlights his/her school on a rotating basis.
At this time DF2S needs representatives at the following schools:
- College Heights
- Clairemont Elementary
- Glenwood Elementary
- Westchester Elementary
- Talley Street
- Renfroe Middle School
- Decatur High School
Interested? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Decatur Farm to School Grant Program
The Decatur Farm to School Executive Committee members would like to invite you to apply for a Decatur Farm to School Grant! Who can apply? Teachers, Administrators, PTA members, or parent volunteers on behalf of their CSD School.
Wylde Center’s Decatur Farm to School Grant Program was initiated to support the City Schools of Decatur (CSD) in their efforts to provide farm to school experiences to their faculty and students. Up to three $500 grants will be awarded to CSD per school year. Each school may only receive one grant per year. Funds may be used for garden support, field trips, teaching experiences, and/or materials, as related to farm to school education. Your application must be received no later than January 22, 2020.
The Decatur Farm to School Executive Committee expects to select up to three grant recipients by January 31, 2020. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision. If selected, the school is obligated to use the funds and complete the objectives by the 2019/2020 school calendar year. What funds are not used by the end of the school year will be returned back to DF2S. Decatur Farm to School requests that, upon completion of funded task(s), grantees provide a written summary, with photographs and additional documentation, as needed. Written summaries and/or any additional documentation, such as photos, may be included in a future DF2S school newsletter.
More about Decatur Farm to School
DF2S was introduced to teachers and staff at a district-wide professional learning day in January of 2010. Avalon Catering, a local gourmet catering business, worked with the district’s kitchen staff and high school culinary students to prepare and serve a delicious lunch made from fresh locally-sourced foods. Representatives from DF2S spoke to the group, and teachers and staff completed a survey to assess knowledge and interest in Farm to School concepts.
- Funded by a Kaiser Permanente grant received by the Decatur Education Foundation, the Wylde Center and Georgia Organics trained more than two dozen Decatur teachers in Farm to School concepts and helped them develop activities and curriculum experiences to bring Farm to School ideas to the classroom. Classroom activities have included taste tests (students taste new menu items, then graph and present data as a math lesson), video production (students wrote and produced a video commercial for vegetables), and studies of worms and compost.
- Activities developed in these teacher trainings are being compiled and shared so that other teachers can incorporate Farm to School concepts in their teaching.
- Students and teachers were able to attend the 2010 Georgia Organics conference funded by the Kaiser Permanente grant.
- In addition to the traditional lunch line at the middle and high schools, there is a new cafeteria line called “Fast ‘n Fresh” including a salad bar, and either a sandwich station, baked potato bar, or other specialty bar. This line replaces the “a la carte” line at the high school) where nachos, fries and other less healthy items were previously sold). Fries, ice cream and cookies are sold on Fridays only.
- Each month we spotlight one locally grown fresh fruit or vegetable and offer this item once a week on the lunch menu at all schools. “Produce of the month” has included fresh, local watermelon, tomatoes, apples, and greens.
- Volunteers have conducted taste tests of the “produce of the month,” asking students if they liked the new produce items and if they would try them again. Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
- In addition to the “Produce of the month,” we buy as much locally grown produce as possible.
- Cooks Warehouse, a local gourmet cooking store and school, has sponsored and led three hands-on cooking workshops for all school nutrition staff. Recipes focus on working with fresh produce, and some of these recipes have been incorporated in the school lunch menu.
Now that F.AVE has installed their garden, all of the schools in City Schools of Decatur have gardens! Six of the eight schools actively participate in garden-based education during the school day as part of the Wylde Center's Garden to Classroom program.