Bite of Bainbridge, 11-29-12

On Thursday, November 29, the Bainbridge Island School District lunch program will be serving a special Bite of Bainbridge- locally grown, student sown potatoes cultivated by Wilkes, Ordway and Blakely elementary students though EduCulture’s Farm-School Program.

Organically grown German Butterball and Yukon Gold potatoes raised from seed to harvest by three elementary schools on two local farms will feed approximately 1100 Bainbridge Island K-12 students and teachers.  These potatoes were cultivated from seed to harvest through our farm-school partnerships at Morales Farm with all of  Wilkes Elementary (for the 6th year) and Ordway Elementary 1st Grade students (for the 1st year), and at Heyday Farm with students from Blakely Elementary grades K-3 (for the second year).   These potatoes were raised as san act of education, and have been donated to the school lunch program as an act of community service.

The 2012-13 Bite of Bainbridge Program began in late September when Bainbridge Island Farms Sweet Corn raised by Karen Selvar (BHS Class of ‘82) was served on Taste Washington Day.  For the second year, locally grown raspberries from historic Suyematsu Farm will served throughout the school year in a parfait with yogurt and granola.  Akio Suyematsu, who passed away this summer at the age of 90, was the last of the original Bainbridge farmers, and BHS Class of 1942.   Future meals will feature more locally grown-student sown potatoes.

For another school year, three generations of Bainbridge Island students, spanning nine decades, are having food grown on historic Bainbridge farmland served to their entire school district.  Place and taste continue to come alive in school lunch. Special thanks to our new director of BISD Food & Nutrition Services, Mark Sperazza and his talented staff for arranging and preparing these Bites of Bainbridge throughout the district’s lunch program.  

Our Edible Education program at Morales Farm is through a partnership with Butler Green Farms and Brian MacWhorter, Friends of the Farms and the City of Bainbridge Island – a model of public farmland, serving public education, to grow public produce. Our edible education program at Heyday Farm with Craig and Alice Skipton is a model of private historic farmland in partnership with public education to grow public produce.   Additional thanks to our many community partners, families and friends who are involved in supporting these edible education programs.  

And special appreciation and best wishes for our latest EduCulture intern, Britney Tonning, for her wonderful service learning with these farm-school programs, and for her constant source of attention to these potatoes from seed to harvest to distribution, and for making it a learning experience all along the way.  She will be using her experience with EduCulture and local farmers to serve her home community in Iowa to help start their own edible education program.

Here’s to the Bite of Bainbridge program, With deep gratitude and admiration to the students, teachers, farmers, parents, cooks, and other school-community stakeholders who make them happen!  Enjoy the roast potatoes and tasting where you live in your school lunch!

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