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N.H. Preschools Embrace Local Food Movement

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(credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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DUBLIN, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire preschool teachers are exploring how to bring the state’s growing local food movement to its youngest eaters.

The University of New Hampshire Sustainability Institute co-hosted a day-long “Farm to Preschool” forum Saturday at the Dublin Consolidated School. The goal was to give participants tools for engaging children on a farm or in a garden, and helping them bring agriculture into the classroom.

Workshop topics ranged from how to start a school garden, art and music projects that incorporate gardening themes and already established curricula for encouraging preschoolers to eat more vegetables by growing, harvesting and preparing organically grown foods. Key players from successful farm to preschool programs also gave presentations, including the Sandwich Children’s Center and the Otter Brook Farm.

In the afternoon, participants took field trips to nearby farms for hands-on activities. At Stonewall Farm in Keene, participants learned about the farm’s educational programs, including its Wild Roots Nature School and Budding Explorers program.

The forum was run by the Sustainability Institute’s Farm to School program and the Farm-Based Education Network. The Farm to School program is a statewide effort to connect New Hampshire farms and schools by enabling schools to serve locally grown foods in their cafeterias and integrate farms, food and nutrition into their curriculum.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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