On Tuesday, August 28th Island Grown Schools (IGS) will be hosting an open house at in West Tisbury. This informational, informal and fun event, with refreshments provided by State Road, is free and open to anyone interested in finding out more about what IGS is doing to bring healthy food and garden-based learning to children on the Vineyard. There will be a short film about the program and a few brief comments.
Noli Taylor, Program Coordinator of Island Grown Schools, said, “Mary and Jackson from State Road kindly offered to host an open house and we've got lots of exciting plans for the year for Island Grown Schools." Plans include expanding their pre-school program from four schools to six, expanding their teen apprenticeship program and launching a pre-professional farm to school internship program for college students and graduates.
One of the programs IGS will discuss at the event is their new Harvest of the Month program. There are Harvest of the Month programs achieving great success in California and Oregon and Martha’s Vineyard will be the first school system in Massachusetts to pioneer Harvest of the Month starting in September 2012. The program will highlight a locally available crop each month of the school year in school cafeterias, restaurants, and grocery stores. “The goal is to help children, their care-givers, and the broader community experience healthy, seasonal, whole-foods based meals, while supporting local and regional farmers.”
IGS will also be branching out beyond our own Island borders and making their community mentorship program more official. “We've had the chance to lend our experiences and resources to support school garden and school food change efforts with people who've reached out to us from Virginia to Puerto Rico, and we're now focusing on supporting communities in our part of the state that are just starting their own farm to school programs,” said Taylor. IGS plans to share their model with others in our region and will hold a winter gathering to help build a Cape and Islands Farm to School network in January or February of next year.
As always, IGS will continue working to support the gardens and food and nutrition-based curriculum at all K-12 schools including the new and those wanting to get involved with the new garden at
The IGS Open House takes place at in West Tisbury on Tuesday, August 28th from 10 am – noon. For more information, see the Island Grown Schools Facebook Page or email Noli Taylor at email@example.com,