February 2022- Food Waste Reduction, Adopt a Cow, Ohio Carrots, and more!
Ohio Farm to School Monthly Newsletter
Cultivators + Classrooms + Cafeterias
Issue #4 | February 2022
Photo: Alumni Meghan Bartsch and Kyra Hanes demonstrate the Grind2Energy recycling system at Dublin Jerome High School.
Welcome to the February edition of the Ohio Farm to School Newsletter featuring an innovative Grind2Energy food waste system, Ohio grown carrots, the American Dairy Association’s Adopt a Cow Program, and a 2021 USDA Farm to School grantee update.
Want to be featured in the next monthly newsletter or on Ohio’s Farm to School Websites? Schools, childcare centers, and organizations can share their Farm to School stories and events with us here!
Farm to School in the Classroom
Dublin Jerome High School
According to the National Farm to School Network, public schools produce 1.9% of food waste in the U.S., amounting to 36.5 pounds of food waste per student each year. Per the most recent farm to school census, 17% of Farm to School programs report reductions in their food waste.
At Dublin Jerome High School, students learn first hand the importance of reducing food waste. Their innovative food waste system all started with two students’ big dreams! Graduates Meghan Bartsch and Kyra Hanes dedicated their ‘legacy project’ to reducing food waste within their alma mater. With guidance from their environmental science teacher, Ashley Dulin-Smith, the central Ohio high school received a $70,000 grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and a 25% match from the Dublin City School District to purchase the Grind2Energy system.
The Grind2Energy ™ system by InSinkErator™ grinds food scraps into an energy-rich slurry. This material is pumped to a holding tank that can be easily hauled away to an anaerobic digestion facility. From there, it is converted into renewable energy in the form of electricity, heat, natural gas or fertilizer for local farms. Dublin Jerome is the first public school in North America to get the Grind2Energy machine!
Top photo: Leftover food is added to the machine and gets processed into a slurry using InSinkErator grinding technology.
Middle photo: Dulin-Smith explaining the Grind2Energy system to the School Gardens of Ohio network.
Bottom photo: Dulin-Smith with food scrap tank.
Adopt a Cow
The American Dairy Association Mideast brought the Adopt a Cow program to more than 1,600 educators and almost 45,000 students in Ohio this year. The free, year-long program allows students to get an inside look at dairy farming. This fall, Ohio classrooms were paired with a calf from a dairy farm in Sugarcreek, Ohio. Throughout the program, students discovered where she lives and how the farmer cares for her to better understand where milk and dairy foods come from. During the school year, teachers receive bi-monthly progress updates, photos of the calf, student activity sheets, suggested lessons, and opportunities to virtually tour the farm and have live chats with the dairy farmer.
Top photo: Third graders at Ft Loramie in Shelby County pose with their adopted cow, Apple.
Bottom Photo: MVP Dairy milking parlor (one of the few carousel-style milking parlors in Ohio) as shown in the virtual tour.
MVP Dairy Virtual Farm Tour
American Dairy Association Mideast hosted a live video tour of MVP Dairy in Celina, Ohio. Students had the opportunity to peek into the free stall barns where the dairy cows live and see the milking process up-close, learning first-hand how dairy farmers care for their cows and the land. More than 400 classrooms representing over 8,300 students nationwide watched the 30-minute tour, including nearly 200 Ohio classrooms. Visit Drink-Milk.com to find dairy farm to school resources from ADA Mideast.
Farm to School Grantee Spotlight
St. Stephen’s Community House Urban Farm in Columbus, Ohio was awarded a $96,460 2021 USDA Farm to School implementation grant. Working cooperatively with the Linden McKinley Urban Ag Pathway Program, the grant supports the development of a shared use model that leverages community-based agriculture assets to support a continuum of STEM-based Farm to School experiences and learning activities for children ECE/pre-K through grade 12 in the Linden community of Columbus.
This project will result in sustainable, replicable practices that will increase students’ awareness of the importance of consuming nutritious locally produced food, increase students’ interest in agricultural careers and food science, and increase the amount of local food consumed by youth residing in this northeast neighborhood of Columbus.
Story Photo: St. Stephens Community Services Greenhouse
These Chinese-Style Vegetables have a variety of fresh vegetables combined with soy sauce and ginger.
Crediting Information: ¹⁄4 cup (No. 16 scoop) provides ¹⁄8 cup red/orange vegetable and ¹⁄8 cup additional vegetable.
Riehm Produce Farm L.L.C. is a diversified farm in Northwest Ohio operated by 4th and 5th generation farmers. The farm grows over 300 crop varieties, ensuring there is always something new for customers to try. Riehm’s products can be found in school systems and restaurants throughout Ohio and can be ordered through Local Food Connection.
Photos Courtesy of Riehm Produce Farm
Wayward Seed Farm is a certified organic farm producing heritage and heirloom vegetables in Fremont, Ohio. The farm offers unique carrot varietals such as Little Finger, Parmex, Red Dragon, and White Satin. Wayward Seed Farm also helps coordinate the Great River Organics Co-op, bringing five organic farms together to share resources and grow cooperatively. Contact the producer directly or purchase their products through the Oberlin Food Hub.
News and Events
School Gardens of Ohio Network will be hosting their next virtual meeting February 9th at 4:40 pm via Zoom. A Dublin Jerome student and a representative Grind2Energy representative will be guest speakers. Register here.
Save the Date
Save the date! 2022 Ohio Farm to School Network meetings:
State-level updates will take place 9:30am- 11am, with region-specific discussions 11am- noon.
The Ohio Farm to School Newsletter is created by authors Lauren Preston, Haley Scott, and Carol Smathers of The Ohio State University Extension, in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation will award a total of 150 programs $500 in funding to start or expand their youth gardens or greenspaces. The Grassroots Grants are part of Scotts Miracle-Gro’s larger GroMoreGood initiative, which aims to bring the life-enhancing benefits of gardens and greenspaces to 10 million children by 2023. Learn more.