Farm To School 

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       Prince William County School Food and Nutrition Services is actively seeking opportunities to bring fresh, locally grown produce to our school cafeterias. The past 4 years, our cafeterias partnered with Portwood Gardens in Dayton, Virginia to serve locally grown, hydroponic, bibb lettuce. The freshly harvested dark green, leafy lettuce provided more lutein, beta-carotene, potassium, iron and calcium than regular iceberg lettuce, without the stronger taste of some other dark greens. Over the past 3 years we also brought in a large variety of other local produce.
      This September look for the lettuce, as well as locally grown cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, nectarines, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon. In October and November, we are making plans to obtain Virginia apples, broccoli, fall squash and sweet potatoes. In the spring, we anticipate serving local blackberries, blueberries, sugar snap peas, raspberries, cherries and strawberries.
       Incorporating local products into our menus gives our students the opportunity to enjoy nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables, while learning about the seasonality of foods and how foods are grown.

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In September, we will bring in fresh, local corn for our second annual second grade corn husking contest! Second grade students will learn about the edible parts of plants, then cheer each other on as they race to shuck the corn, which will be cooked and served in their cafeteria that Friday!

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