Harvest of the Month
Farm Fresh To You and Capay Organic announced today its partnership with Yolo County to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to Yolo County’s elementary and Head Start school lunch programs through Harvest of the Month (HOTM).
HOTM is a program that connects to core curricular areas and provides educators with materials and resources to motivate students to make healthy choices through hands-on experience with fruits and vegetables. Nutrition fact sheets will be made available to approximately 16,000 elementary and preschool students in Yolo County.
Farm Fresh To You is a local Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) that delivers organic produce to homes and offices. Capay Organic is the CSA’s farm that has been farming organically since 1976 in Yolo County.
The farm will harvest its own produce and partner with other Yolo County farms to meet the program’s produce needs. In addition, the farm will work with the county to disseminate nutritional education information to students about each month’s harvest item.
“Healthy eating has a profound impact on improving our children’s ability to learn. Getting involved in this program was a moral imperative for our farm,” said Thaddeus Barsotti, chief farmer and co-CEO of Farm Fresh To You/Capay Organic. “We want to connect people with the farms that grow their food, and we want to help young students develop healthy eating habits that will serve them well their whole lives.”
Harvest of the Month allows students to learn about a new fruit or vegetable each month, starting in October with sweet peppers. Sweet peppers will be part of salads, pizzas and other dishes in Yolo County schools. In the following months students will explore these items: November: persimmons, December: kale, January: citrus, February: broccoli, March: carrots, April: asparagus, May: strawberries.
Each month Yolo County student nutrition directors will buy these fresh produce items and include them in their hot dishes and salad bars. Students will receive monthly nutrition fact sheets about each Harvest of the Month produce item.
“We are fortunate to live in a county that grows amazing fruits and vegetables. It only makes sense to design a plan to get this produce in the hands of our youngest generation,” said Jim Provenza, Yolo County Supervisor, 4th district. “Harvest of the Month provides nutrition education, a direct connection to the farmers who grow our food and establishes healthy eating habits for our kids – a winning combination of priorities.”
“We are so glad that Farm Fresh To You and Capay Organic stepped up to the plate to help us provide produce to schools for this important program,” said John Young, agricultural commissioner for Yolo County. “Yolo County wrote the mandate of providing healthy produce to schools into its general plan, and we are fortunate to be able to take advantage of our county’s agriculture bounty to create lifelong healthy eating habits.”
“Fresh fruits and vegetables are so important for our students,” said Rafaelita “RC” Curva, student nutrition services director for Davis Joint Unified School district. “When produce is fresh and tasty from the farm, the kids will eat it because it tastes so good, and we also do our best to incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables in kid-friendly dishes. The Harvest of the Month campaign will reinforce healthy eating habits with our students.”
The Harvest of the Month launch coincides with National Farm to School month. Visit www. farmtoschoolmonth.org to find additional resources and materials.
Farm Fresh To You/Capay Organic will open its farm for its monthly farm tour on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests can harvest produce, picnic and listen to live music. See www.farmfreshtoyou.com for more information.
Davis Farm to School will be holding National Farm to School month events at the annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival on Oct. 6 at Full Belly Farm in addition to an activity at the Davis Farmers Market Fall Festival on Oct. 27. For more information, visit www.davisfarmtoschool.org.
About Farm Fresh To You/Capay Organic
Farm Fresh To You runs an organic farm, Capay Organic, and its Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) home and office delivery program connecting families to the source of their produce. Farming since 1976, this second-generation company that pioneered the organic food movement is owned by brothers Noah Barnes and Thaddeus and Freeman Barsotti. Growing up on the farm, the brothers were instilled with a good understanding of the shortcomings of modern agriculture and are excited to be changing the food system for the better.