We have been having a great time showing visitors from Denmark some of the best farm to school and school garden programs in the region. The Danish study tour group, organized by Life Lab, is composed of eighteen government ministers, university faculty and graduate students, school gardeners and chefs, and farm to school support professionals.
Day one started with breakfast at a UCSC dining hall and a discussion with Tim Galarneau, co-founder of the Real Food Challenge, Director of the UCSC Food Systems Working Group, and leader of the Central Coast School Food Alliance. UCSC is national leader of the sustainable school food systems movement and Tim obviously had lots to share.
Next stop was Pacific Elementary. The Danes observed Food Lab students preparing lunch, dropped in on garden lessons, sampled passion fruit and nectar, and had a great school lunch while engaging with 5th/6th teacher Mr. Preston.
Next was a quick stop at a road side farm stand. They were quite impressed by the size of the pumpkins and the trucks that people in the U.S. drive.
Then on to Gateway school where they sat in on a solar project lesson and were toured around by students.
Day one ended with a visit with Life Lab's FoodWhat Youth Program Director Doron Comechero. An ice-breaker was followed by discussions on how our organic farm is used as a vehicle for youth empowerment.
Day two continued at the Garden Classroom where the group learned about Life Lab's field trips and camps with Garden Educator Emily Mastellone-Snyder; teacher trainings and publications with Education Director Whitney Cohen; and movement building with Outreach Director John Fisher. Everyone enjoyed singing the six plant parts song and touring the farm and garden.
And that was just the first day and a half!
Visits to the Stanford Teacher Education Program's garden, St Anthony's School Farm, Slide Ranch, Edible SchoolYard, Berkeley USD Central Kitchen, Willard Middle School's garden and cooking program, and a half day visiting with Oakland Unified School District's Farm to School Program are also on the tour.