Development of Garden to Cafeteria Protocols in Denver Public Schools
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Development of Garden to Cafeteria Protocols in Denver Public Schools Andrew Nowak Slow Food Denver Slow Food USA. Minimizing Risks and Removing Obstacles in School Gardens Farm to Cafeteria Conference April 16, 2014 Austin, TX. Denver Public Schools- Jan. 2010.

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Minimizing Risks and Removing Obstacles in School Gardens Farm to Cafeteria Conference

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Minimizing risks and removing obstacles in school gardens farm to cafeteria conference

Development of Garden to Cafeteria Protocols in Denver Public SchoolsAndrew NowakSlow Food DenverSlow Food USA

Minimizing Risks and Removing Obstacles

in School Gardens

Farm to Cafeteria Conference

April 16, 2014

Austin, TX


Denver public schools jan 2010

Denver Public Schools- Jan. 2010

What was the status of Farm to School Programs in 2010?

School gardens

1) approximately 50 school gardens

2) Garden classes

3) Taste Education classes

4) Youth Farmers’ Markets

5) Supported by Denver Urban Gardens and Slow Food Denver


Denver public schools jan 20101

Denver Public Schools- Jan. 2010

What was the status of Farm to School Programs in 2010?

Scratch cook & Salad Bars

DPS School Kitchens

1) Started local procurement in 2009- FOCUS

2) Identified need for Scratch Cooking Training

3) Kitchen Facilities assessment- more produce sinks and increased refrigeration

4) Roll out of 80+ salad bars


Denver public schools staff training

Denver Public Schools: Staff Training

Scratch Cooking Training

Introduction of Salad Bars


Denver public schools cafeteria facilities

Denver Public Schools: Cafeteria Facilities

Produce Sinks

Refrigeration


Denver public schools march 2010

Denver Public Schools- March 2010

“We are purchasing fresh produce from local farms. Your school gardens grow lots of fresh produce. What would it take to put your garden produce in my kitchens?”

- Leo Lesh, Food Service DirectorDPS (retired)


Denver public schools march 20101

Denver Public Schools- March 2010

First thought: “What would the Health Department say to using school garden produce, grown and harvested by students, to be used in the school kitchens?”


Denver public schools march 20102

Denver Public Schools- March 2010

Contacted Danica Lee, Denver Department of Environmental Health:

“We would love to support the increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by children. We see school gardens as a great program to achieve this goal.”

“Our department has very little to say about how the produce is grown and harvested. Our jurisdiction starts the moment the produce crosses the threshold into the kitchen.”


Denver public schools march 20103

Denver Public Schools- March 2010

Second thought: “What are the existing food safety protocols available around growing and harvesting fresh produce from school gardens?”


Denver public schools march 20104

Denver Public Schools- March 2010

In 2010, we were not able to find any such protocols in the school garden or farm to school world.

In large scale agriculture, there are the USDA GAP and GHP protocols that are relevant to growing and harvesting fresh produce on farms.


Denver public schools march 20105

Denver Public Schools- March 2010

What are the concerns of GAP and GHP for large scale agriculture that make sense to design the protocols for school garden work?

1) Source of water for irrigation and field wash

2) Health and cleanliness of the workers

3) Cleanliness of the harvest gear

4) Transportation

5) Record keeping

6) Pest and weed management practices


Denver public schools march 20106

Denver Public Schools- March 2010

What are the concerns of GAP and GHP for large scale agriculture that DO NOT make sense to design the protocols for school garden work?

1) Availability of bathrooms

2) Raw Manure

3) Field packing

4) Water quality assessment

5) Sewage treatment

6) Animals, Wildlife and Livestock

7) Storage and transportation

8) Wholesale distribution center


Denver public schools june 2010

Denver Public Schools- June 2010

Final Garden to Cafeteria Protocols:

In the garden protocols:

  • Harvest baskets- Hard plastic Whole Foods shopping basket- sanitized

  • Organic practices in the garden

  • Students wash hands and need to be healthy

  • Field wash in basket with garden hose

  • Produce stays on school grounds- NO transportation


Denver public schools june 20101

Denver Public Schools- June 2010

Final Garden to Cafeteria Protocols:

In the kitchen protocols:

  • Recording sheet and scale- invoice

  • Only unblemished produce is accepted

  • Kitchen manager inspects and accepts

  • Garden produce is stored separately in cooler

  • Produce is refrigerated for at least 24 hours to at least 41 degrees.

  • Produce scraps can be composted in school garden.


Seed to table garden to cafeteria feeding the school

Seed-To-Table: Garden to Cafeteria“Feeding the School”

A morning harvest

Selling to the cafeteria


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