Dear Families,
Every fruit and vegetable has a season, and this is the time of year when locally grown options are easy to find with fresh flavors at their peak. Purchasing locally grown fruits and vegetables is good for local agriculture.

Our Kitchen Coordinator, Kelly Murphy, buys a lot of what hits our plates through Native Maine Produce, who believes in supporting New England’s vibrant and diverse food system. And thanks to volunteers Aaron and Liz Lichtenberg, owners of Winni Woods Farm, and former member and retired educator, Pam Hopkins, we once again have our own center garden, where garden-based learning connects our preschoolers and school age kids to agriculture and introduces them to new foods. Research has shown that when children are involved in the planting and growing process, they are more willing to taste the foods we serve.

If I have learned anything as a teacher, mom, and cook, it’s that the best ingredient that goes into a meal is love. However, it helps, too, if there are good, healthy ingredients, and if we know where our food comes from. In the case of The Children’s Center, we have all of this, thanks to Pam, Aaron, Liz, and especially Kelly. I know how much thought and care Kelly puts into each snack and lunch she serves. This year, Kelly is beyond thrilled that with Aaron’s expertise and a focus more on production, our garden is supplying lunchtime salads for the entire staff and all children enrolled. Formerly, our modest weekly harvest fed one classroom at a time.

Personally, I cannot wait to see what continues to be available at our local farmer’s markets and what comes out of our own garden here during the months ahead.

Here’s to a fresh and healthy summer!

Teri Ann

P.S. To learn more about our farmer friends, check out https://www.winniwoodsfarm.com/#/

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