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Chester Progressive
Chester , California
November 1, 2017     Chester Progressive
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November 1, 2017

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8A Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017 Chester Progressive, Westwood PinePress Roni Java Staff Writer Thanks to a creative array of local partnerships with farmers, the Plumas Unified School District has harvested a bounty of success with its dedication to teaching students the importance of good nutrition and knowing where their food comes from -- two goals that are highlighted in October's National Farm to School Month program. "The district is committed to having gardens on campuses because we want kids to see their school gardens as a learning experience," said Paul Mrowczynski, a U.C. Master Gardener and retired Education staffer. Mrowczynski coordinates the PUSD's elementary school garden sites and said the district is in the second year of its five-year plan to build its thriving K-12 school garden education project. An avid gardener, he authored the PUSD Farm to School plan and writes grants to benefit the program that focuses on teaching students where food comes from, how to make healthy food choices, the value of team work, and applying math, reading and writing skills to hands-on growing experiences at all four of PUSD's elementary schools, plus the junior and senior high schools in Portola, Quincy and Greenville. The elementary site gardens have been developed to support short-growing-season vegetables like summer squash, lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, potatoes, garlic, onions, beans, peas, cucumbers, corn, winter Little bodies from teacher Inge Stock's PCS kindergarten kept still in the cornfield for a lesson on how plants like corn grow on Five Foot Farm. squash and some early Toward those ends, such as year-round or as much as nutrition and the tomatoes, according to the Mrowczynski is working toFive Foot Farm, Sundberg PUSD can use year-round."importance of locally Farm to School plan. bring together Plumas Growers, the Follow Your But he's working on that.sourced foods are lessons All lessons are aligned to County farmers and, Heart Farm, Sierra Valley"We're trying to get morethat will stay with kids for a Common Core and the Next eventually, area ranchers, to Farm and others. Beef from farmers interested in ourlong time. Generation Science increase the amount of the Thompson Valley Ranchprogram, working with them The district's plan for the Standards. locally grown produce, meat has also been purchased, to see what kinds of crops next few years calls for According to the Center and other foods available for Mrowczynski would like tothey might be able to commit continued efforts to provide for Rural Affairs, 2017 marks the PUSD school nutritionsee the options expanded to to growing for the schools," standards-based instruction the seventh year that program, include things like spaghetti he said, adding that he's in through garden activities. Congress has designated "As of June 2016, two squash, w!nter squash andcontact with ranchers in the Additionally, integrating October as National Farm to percent of the school pumpkins, to name a few. region, as well, hoping to K-12 nutrition and wellness School Month, a time to district's food services The effort is not withoutwork out future standards is a priority. recognize the importance of budget was spent on locally some challenges, arrangements for supplies of Along the way, fun is a improving child nutrition grown foods," Mrowczynski"It's been a rough year for locally raised beef and other necessary part of the and supporting local said. "Our goal over fiveour local farms --a frost hit products district's approach to economies. The program is years is to get to 25 percent one of our partners pretty The benefits to students go hands-on garden education. designed to help provide spent on local produce and hard," Mrowczynski beyond delicious school "We have had our students access to more fruits and other foods." explained. "Many area farms lunches, though, meet their local farmers, use vegetables. It's also an For a variety of salad are really, really small Mrowczynski and PUSD's special 'farm bucks' to buy avenue for rural schools to vegetables, strawberries and operations -- like one toteam of school garden things at the farmers' keep spending within their other produce, the district three acres. At this point, educators hope that learning markets and tell their communities with purchases partners with small-scalethere isn't the capacity to the science of how food is made from local farms, growers who are part of grow enough produce grown, the value of good See Farms, page 9A I ! r I II I InLJl I I _ ]]l~]111]1]]1]] ]]1] ]ll]lllllrlll]l]mml ! | .... II 11111 III III f~ ..... ASSISTANCE FOR YOUR SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE WHEN YOU EVERY HOMEOWNER - SINGLE OR MARRIED- SHOULD ATTEND THIS SEMINAR = Create new or replace old, outdated documents - Keep your affairs private and out of the courts - Guardianship issues for your children * What happens without a Living Trust -Provisions for your grandchildren * Danger of Joint Tenancy TO ATTEND ONE OF THESE FREE SEMINARS Round Table Pizza Best Western Lassen Sr. Center 60 E. 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