September 21, 2012

Improving School Nutrition with Harvest of the Month


In a recent documentary, Capital Public Radio explored  "What's for Lunch? The Move to Improve School Nutrition." and featured a program very important to us, Harvest of the Month (HOTM).  As part of this program, our farm will provide fresh, organic fruits and vegetables to school districts in Yolo County.

First Harvest of the Month:  Sweet Peppers!

HOTM is a program that connects to core curricular areas and provides educators with materials and resources to motivate students to make healthy choices through hands-on experience with fruits and vegetables. Nutrition fact sheets will be made available to approximately 16,000 elementary and preschool students in Yolo County.  We are so proud to be a part of Harvest of the Month and aim for this to be a model for healthy eating in our schools.

“Healthy eating has a profound impact on improving our children’s ability to learn. Getting involved in this program was a moral imperative for our farm. We want to connect people with the farms that grow their food, and we want to help young students develop healthy eating habits that will serve them well their whole lives." - Thaddeus Barsotti, chief farmer and co-CEO of Farm Fresh To You/Capay Organic

Harvest of the Month allows students to learn about a new fruit or vegetable each month, starting in October with sweet peppers. Sweet peppers will be part of salads, pizzas and other dishes in Yolo County schools. In the following months students will explore these items: November: persimmons, December: kale, January: citrus, February: broccoli, March: carrots, April: asparagus, May: strawberries.

Farm to School
Photo by Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio
Our farm will harvest our produce and partner with other Yolo County farms to meet the program’s produce needs. In addition, we will work with the county to disseminate nutritional education information to students about each month’s harvest item.

Each month, Yolo County student nutrition directors will buy these fresh produce items and include them in their hot dishes and salad bars. Students will receive monthly nutrition fact sheets about each Harvest of the Month produce item.
Farm to School
Pictured: John Young - Photo by Capital Public Radio

“We are so glad that Farm Fresh To You and Capay Organic stepped up to the plate to help us provide produce to schools for this important program,” said John Young, agricultural commissioner for Yolo County. “Yolo County wrote the mandate of providing healthy produce to schools into its general plan, and we are fortunate to be able to take advantage of our county’s agriculture bounty to create lifelong healthy eating habits.”

To read the Farm To School article and listen to the Capital Radio documentary, visit

For more information on Harvest of the Month, visit and

The Harvest of the Month launch coincides with National Farm to School month. Visit to find additional resources and materials.