For FOOD SERVICE PROVIDERS:
Check out these ways to raise awareness of HOTM and get students excited about eating strawberries!
Blurb for your school newsletter or menu:
In the cafeteria this month we are featuring FRESH LOCAL STRAWBERRIES as the Harvest of the Month! Locally grown STRAWBERRIES will be featured in ___(dish)___ on __(date)______. To learn more about Harvest of the Month, visit http://www.massfarmtoschool.org/programs/harvest-of-the-month/.
Recipes for K-12 Schools:
- Star Spangled Pancakes (Kansas St. Dept. of Ed.)
- Greek Yogurt Parfait (John Stalker Institute)
- Strawberry Spinach Salad (New School Cuisine, VT)
- Fun Fruit “Pizza” (USDA)
- Strawberry Applesauce (WI Dept. of Public Instruction)
- Strawberry Romaine Salad (USDA)
- Sunrise Smoothies (Community Alliance with Family Farms)
- Berry Chicken Salad (Minnesota Schools)
For TEACHERS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS
Here are some ideas for how to integrate strawberry-themed activities into classrooms and school gardens.
Text for morning announcements
“Good morning, this is _____, with June’s Harvest of the Month soundbite. This month we are featuring fresh, healthy, LOCALLY GROWN STRAWBERRIES in the cafeteria. Look for Strawberries grown by local farmers (name the farm(s) you’re purchasing from, if you can) in school (breakfasts and) lunches this month. Can you taste the difference?”
- Strawberry Patch (Preschool)
- Berry Parfaits activity (Preschool)
- Strawberry Activities: Nutrition, Garden, Taste (K-2)
- In Strawberry Fields (Grades 6-8)
- Try making this Strawberry Salsa w Cinnamon Pita or Tortilla Chips in your classroom
School garden activities
- A guide to growing your own strawberry garden.
- A list of lessons and activities related to your strawberry garden.
For EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION (ECE) CENTERS
- The Strawberry Patch (Grow It, Try It, Like It)
Children learn about what strawberries look like (and taste like!) before learning how to grow them themselves. They then read about strawberries and learn about its nutritional merits while getting tasty recipes to try in class and bring home.
- Fruit Kebabs (Edible Schoolyard)
In this lesson, students learn about patterns and pattern recognition by harvesting and preparing seasonal fruit for fruit kebabs.
For FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS
Strawberries are the first locally-grown fruit of the year to ripen.
- Many Massachusetts farms offer pick-your-own strawberry opportunities which makes a fun, delicious, and affordable family outing. Search for a strawberry farm near you on this map.
- Download our family newsletter for fun facts and ideas about how to incorporate strawberries into your meals at home.
- Check out this flyer in English and Spanish from UMass Extension with some great information and ideas for enjoying local strawberries.
- Shopping and Storage Tips:
- Look for plump berries with a rich red color, bright green caps and a sweet smell.
- Store unwashed strawberries in the refrigerator for up to three days, but it is best to eat local berries as soon as possible.
- Before serving, use cool water to gently wash strawberries with green caps still attached.
- If buying frozen berries, look for those without sugar added.
- You can also freeze your own for use later: gently wash and dry the berries, hull them, spread them on a sheet in the freezer overnight and then transfer them to an airtight container.
- Learn about immune boosting smoothies from Georgia Organics.
- Try making a strawberry salsa using local berries!
- Add protein to your breakfast with a Strawberry Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
- You can even use the strawberry caps to infuse water.
Thank you to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources for helping to make Harvest of the Month possible.