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Bringing the farm to the classroom

"The real food that's really good for you just does not get marketed, so it gets forgotten," said Shaw. "We really wanted to get other things in their [students'] hands, so they got to have that really fun experience with a broccoli head or a beet."

Some schools held tasting events, where students will get an opportunity to eat fresh foods they might not always be exposed to. Indian Ladder Farms donated bushels of apples to some schools to have on hand for snacks, and students were encouraged all week to bring their own healthy snacks from home.

And the best and most convenient places to get such local, healthy foods is a farmers market. The Delmar Farmers Market has been involved in the planning Farm to You week, and on Saturday, the last day the market was held outside for the year, students could participate in a farmers market scavenger hunt, finding new foods and learning about them. Those who participate were entered into a raffle for prizes from market vendors.

"It gets the kids and families out to the farmers markets," said Shaw, who is also on market's board of directors. "The farmers have been really generous and really sweet about it."

The Delmar Farmers Market also paid for licensing of the documentary "Fresh," which was screened Tuesday evening at the BC Middle School. The film focuses on sustainable innovation to the food system, and a number of local experts held a discussion after the screening.

But Farm to You Fest also took place in classrooms across the district. Budget cuts have in recent years eliminated school field trips, but Farm to You organizers are circumventing that problem by bringing the field trip to students whenever possible.

At Eagle Elementary, classes last year took advantage of the proximity of Sunnyside Farm to take tours of a working dairy farm operation. It's an excursion the school hopes to make a recurring feature, said Principal Dianna Reagan.

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