Cordley students savor fall flavors, learning about local foods

Trenton Snyder, left, and Silas Kriner, both third graders, ham it up for a picture during lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, at Cordley School. Snyder helped pick radishes and tomatoes at local farms for the salad bar that was served as part of lunch that day.

Trenton Snyder, left, and Silas Kriner, both third graders, ham it up for a picture during lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, at Cordley School. Snyder helped pick radishes and tomatoes at local farms for the salad bar that was served as part of lunch that day. by Karrey Britt

Eight-year-old Silas Kriner took a bite of homemade chili.

“It’s so good,” he said with a big grin.

On Wednesday, Silas was eating his school lunch at Cordley with extra enthusiasm. That’s because he knew most of the food on his tray was made with ingredients from area farms.

Silas was sitting next to Trenton Snyder, 9, who helped pick tomatoes and radishes a few days before at local farms for the salad bar.

Was it fun? “Yep.”

How many tomatoes did he pick? “About 20.”

Third-grader Jackson Rogers also helped harvest tomatoes. “I picked this many,” he said holding his hands about a foot apart and making a square shape with them. “It was fun.”

It was the third Farm-to-School Lunch event at Cordley School, 1837 Vt. The first one was organized by Linda Cottin, a local food enthusiast, in May 2010. The entire menu — lasagna, bread sticks, salad bar and rhubarb crisp — was locally grown or produced.

“She kind of took an idea and ran with it,” said Jackie Stafford, a Cordley parent. “She organized the whole thing.”

The second event — held a year later — was a scaled-down version with local produce being offered on the salad bar.

On Wednesday, the event went back to the full menu: A cheesy pasta dish, chili, salad bar and homemade applesauce. Third-graders described the food as “good,” “delicious” and “yummy.”

Stafford said a committee of eight people helped organize the event, and at least 30 people were involved in some way.

“We are very culinary rich here at Cordley. We have a lot of families who are in the restaurant business, and so they have been very generous in helping to provide a meal,” Stafford said.

The food came from 715 restaurant, Global Café, Aimee’s Cafe and Coffee House, local farms and The Merc. Students and their families picked 10 pounds of lettuce, 13 pounds of cherry tomatoes and 5 pounds of radishes at local farms for the lunch.

“A lot of kids have no idea where their food comes from, and they don’t have the same kind of access as some of our children do because of time or financial situations, so we just wanted to make sure that all kids in the school are a little more connected to where their food comes from,” Stafford said.

Before students entered the cafeteria, there was a table full of vegetables so they could see some of the ingredients being used in the day’s food: butternut squash, apples and radishes.

And when they were finished, Principal Scott Cinnamon handed them small bags of produce to take home. It was a gift from the Leavenworth Penitentiary Community Service Farm.

Mikah Beaty looked in her bag and pulled out a little radish: “Isn’t it cute?” she asked.

Stafford said organizers are talking about how the event might be replicated at other schools. The ultimate goal is for more local produce to be served in the cafeteria more often.

“We would love to see this be more than a one-day event,” she said.

Alejandro Martinez-Diaz, a third-grade student at Cordley, checks out a table of produce Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, before entering the cafeteria for a "Farm-to-School Lunch." The dishes that were served that day were locally grown or produced.

Alejandro Martinez-Diaz, a third-grade student at Cordley, checks out a table of produce Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, before entering the cafeteria for a "Farm-to-School Lunch." The dishes that were served that day were locally grown or produced. by Karrey Britt

Giovanni Ventello, left, and Alejandro Martinez-Diaz, both third-graders, enjoy their "Farm-to-School Lunches" Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, at Cordley School. Giovanni picked radishes, lettuce and tomatoes at local farms and they were served on the day's salad bar. His mother, Jackie Stafford, helped organize the school's third "Farm-to-School Lunch" event.

Giovanni Ventello, left, and Alejandro Martinez-Diaz, both third-graders, enjoy their "Farm-to-School Lunches" Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, at Cordley School. Giovanni picked radishes, lettuce and tomatoes at local farms and they were served on the day's salad bar. His mother, Jackie Stafford, helped organize the school's third "Farm-to-School Lunch" event. by Karrey Britt

Mally Nowlin, left, and Calah Hunt, both third-graders at Cordley School, enjoy the fall flavors of their locally-grown and locally-produced lunches. The girls said they really liked the homemade applesauce.

Mally Nowlin, left, and Calah Hunt, both third-graders at Cordley School, enjoy the fall flavors of their locally-grown and locally-produced lunches. The girls said they really liked the homemade applesauce. by Karrey Britt

Wheeler Battaglia-Davis, left, and Jackson Rogers dig into their locally-grown and locally-produced lunches at Cordley School on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011. Rogers picked tomatoes at a local farm that were served on the salad bar.

Wheeler Battaglia-Davis, left, and Jackson Rogers dig into their locally-grown and locally-produced lunches at Cordley School on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011. Rogers picked tomatoes at a local farm that were served on the salad bar. by Karrey Britt

Third-grade students at Cordley enjoy their "Farm-to-School Lunches" on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011. The lunches were made with food that was locally grown or produced. Some of the students picked produce that was served on the salad bar.

Third-grade students at Cordley enjoy their "Farm-to-School Lunches" on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011. The lunches were made with food that was locally grown or produced. Some of the students picked produce that was served on the salad bar. by Karrey Britt

Cordley School third-graders, from left, Guthrie Bricker, George Dobson and Patrick Soo pose for a photo after eating a lunch of locally-grown and locally-produced foods. At left, Principal Scott Cinnamon hands out small bags of produce to students to take home. The produce donated by the Leavenworth Penitentiary Community Service Farm.

Cordley School third-graders, from left, Guthrie Bricker, George Dobson and Patrick Soo pose for a photo after eating a lunch of locally-grown and locally-produced foods. At left, Principal Scott Cinnamon hands out small bags of produce to students to take home. The produce donated by the Leavenworth Penitentiary Community Service Farm. by Karrey Britt

Mikah Beaty, a third-grader at Cordley School, holds up the pepper and radish that she received from the Leavenworth Penitentiary Community Service Farm.

Mikah Beaty, a third-grader at Cordley School, holds up the pepper and radish that she received from the Leavenworth Penitentiary Community Service Farm. by Karrey Britt

The Cordley PTA had a special "thank you" sign on display at the third "Farm-to-School Lunch" event, which was Oct. 19, 2011.

The Cordley PTA had a special "thank you" sign on display at the third "Farm-to-School Lunch" event, which was Oct. 19, 2011. by Karrey Britt

Tagged: Farm-to-School Lunch, Cordley School, local food

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