Recent initiatives have developed a better connection between the local residents and their food sources. Our local Yuba Environmental Science Charter Academy invited North Yuba Grown to provide fresh ingredients for the children’s school lunches. This project came together in October of 2013, with weekly deliveries on Monday morning. Do kids eat salads? The school principal, Kathy Smith, related this to the Appeal-Democrat newspaper in an article about the school lunch program: “We used to have the store-bought iceberg with a little romaine. They didn’t really eat it. Now, with these amazing greens, the kids just eat it up. We’re having it every day now.”
The school lunch program has expanded in 2014 to include four key farms providing year-round produce. The Grimm Farm in Loma Rica, Ridgetop Garden in Brownsville, Robertson Family Farm in Marysville, and Spring Valley Strawberry Farm in Browns Valley are the key contributors to the school lunch program. Olive Oil comes from Bisonte Olivo in Loma Rica, the budding bison and olive ranch. The work-in-progress crop planner calendar worked out with the school gives the farms a roadmap to children’s food preferences over the seasons.