by Anya Vollstedt, AmeriCorps Food Educator at Common Threads

When the time comes to cook with over 6000 kids, one of the big questions is, “Where will the food come from?”  For our first recipe (kale salad) for instance, we knew we would need to source 6000 kale leaves, 2400 radishes, 2400 chives, and 600 carrots…. Yikes! 

Thankfully, we live in a community of skilled and generous farmers.  Here’s a huge shout out to Cedarville FarmDandelion OrganicFoothill Flowers Farm, Foothills FarmHopewell FarmMariposa FarmNourish Craft FarmPollen Folly Farm, Rabbit Fields FarmSunseed Farm, Uprising Seeds, and Wanderwood Farm – all of whom have all donated key ingredients for use in our cooking classes this season at our 21 partnering schools.

The kids are loving the fresh, delicious kale, carrots, and radishes, and some are trying these vegetables for the first time. Sourcing produce from local farms provides a great opportunity for our AmeriCorps Food Educators to teach kids about food miles traveled, seasonality of different vegetables, and why supporting farms in our community is so important.

Common Threads educators have also been able to visit a few of these farms and offer hours of work exchange, further building connections with our local food system. We are excited to keep building these relationships throughout the year and are thankful to have a supportive community of farmers.