Farm To School
We believe all children in our community have the right to a healthy future. Our Farm to School program champions this belief through garden-based education, farmer visits to classrooms, farm field trips, and local food tastings. These activities promote healthy habits, support academic, social, and behavioral development in students, and build relationships between families and local food producers.
Farm to School supports long-term, positive change, and we see the impact of our work daily in our interactions with students and their families.
Garden-Based Education in Tillamook County
Food Roots has been developing school gardens and garden-based learning programs in Tillamook County since 2006, and now serves over 1,000 students. We provide garden-based curricula that give students hands-on lessons in science while promoting family and community engagement with local producers.
Each of the schools we partner with has a garden on site where students not only learn to grow vegetables, but to practice important skills that include:
Making, comparing, & communicating observations.
Asking questions and figuring out how to find the answers.
Taking content from the classroom and exploring it through hands-on investigations and experiments.
Working individually and with others to better understand the world around us.
Smiling, laughing, wondering, getting hands dirty.
Current school partners include:
Nehalem Elementary School
Garibaldi Grade School
Tillamook Junior High School
South Prairie Elementary School
Nestucca Valley Elementary School
Neskowin Valley School
Farmer and Family Engagement
Our Farm to School program shortens the distance between eaters and growers by offering students and their families the opportunity to eat local food and meet local farmers, fishers, and other food producers. We regularly host schoolwide Tasting Tables for students to sample local food: we’ve tried everything from salad greens to purple-fleshed potatoes to raw beets to collard green rapini, and we’ve seen student preference for this produce rise over time.
To connect students to where this produce comes from, we take field trips to local farms like Nehalem River Ranch, Alder Creek Farm, and Wilson View Dairy. We also bring farmers to the classroom, including Moon River Farm, Corvus Landing Farm, Zweifel Farms Eggs, and Leuthold Dairy.
We collaborate with schools to host district-wide Farm to School nights and other family-centered engagement activities where families can taste local food together and meet with Tillamook County farmers. We invite families to spend time in their school gardens to learn more about the benefits of gardening for social and emotional wellbeing.
Our Farm to School program is supported by:
Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization
Oregon Department of Education
USDA - Farm to School
Ford Family Foundation
Spirit Mountain Community Trust
Tillamook County Creamery Association
Tillamook School District #9
Nestucca Valley & Neah-Kah-Nie School Districts
Braemer Charitable Trust
Tillamook Kiwanis Club
Nehalem Bay Garden Club
And many individual donors & supporters