From Farm to Local Schools
This week has been a busy one for Full Circle, with two deliveries to local schools and lots of fresh food from the farm to share with the children. Partnerships with local schools are an important part of Full Circle’s mission to spread awareness, educate and make healthy food more accessible to everyone, and this week was all about the kids!
Our final deliveries before summer break were delivered Thursday morning to the Beacon Hill Elementary, and Thursday afternoon to Montlake Elementary. We were eager and excited to pack both with an abundance of greens picked fresh that day.
At Beacon Hill Elementary, where we were delivering the second round of food as part of a Farm to Table initiative led by Puget Sound Food Network (program details in my previous post on the project), the kids eagerly sat around the table where the boxes were being opened. Full Circle’s Bill Brown was obviously excited to show the kids what they were getting for lunch. “Have you ever had beet greens?” Bill asked. One girl, in shrill happiness, said “my daddy grows beets in our garden!” Beet greens, spinnach, rainbow chard, arugula and bright red and purple radishes were in the hands of the children before Bill could even explain what they were. The radishes were eaten like apples, without the slightest hesitation.
Full Circle and Beacon Hill were pleased to welcome Mayor Mike McGinn to the event as well. After our first delivery to the school several weeks ago, McGinn expressed interest in attending to help spread the awareness and support for the program. Although he was hesitant to taste the raw chard one girl handed to him, he was happy to share the freshly baked egg tart that was made with Full Circle greens right there in the school’s kitchen. (See the Seattle Times article on McGinn’s visit)
Community, health and education were McGinn’s central focus as he stood before the classroom to speak after the commotion of the delivery died down. Full Circle’s owner and founder, Andrew Stout, was happy to tell McGinn about Full Circle’s mission and background in creating community awareness around local and organic food. The two had grins like the cheshire cat as they watched the pure joy each child had for the simple fresh food.
At Montlake Elementary, Full Circle’s delivery marked the last “Salad Day” of the year. For several months, Full Circle has been delivering baby greens to Montlake Elementary, where kids on the “Green Team” coordinate a lunchtime buffet of greens. Thursday’s line for salad wound all the way through the playground where the kids enjoyed the sunny afternoon.
As part of a recent renovation to the school, several raised gardens, an outdoor classroom and a large greenhouse now grace the grounds around the school. Kids volunteer to help keep the gardens looking nice and teachers have integrated the gardens into many of their lessons. With stalks of corn higher than those on Full Circle’s farm in Carnation, raspberry buds already starting to ripen and an abundance of chard, herbs, lettuces and peas, the students clearly demonstrated that the gardens were not just for show.
Each week some of the lettuces from the garden are harvested and mixed with Full Circle’s greens and the kids take turns organizing the salad event. Mom’s who had volunteered to help were astounded by the number of children willingly lining up for bowls of salad and were exited to announce that their own children were asking for more salads and vegetables when eating at home too.
Salad Day at Montlake Elementary, and the Beacon Hill delivery with the Mayor were both exiting and successful events that Full Circle is thankful to have had the opportunity to take part in. We hope to continue to make an impact, help educate and spread the word about good food, good health and support for local farms and producers like us!
See video clips and more pictures from both events on our Facebook page.