March 2023: Turning the Corner
Dear Wisconsin Farm to School and ECE Community,

At this time of year I am reminded of one of my favorite Frog and Toad stories, "The Corner," by Arnold Lobel. In this story Frog tells Toad about the time he went looking for spring around every corner but doesn't find it until he turns the corner of his home and discovers his parents working in their garden.

While it may be hard to see past the blanket of snow still covering the ground, spring officially arrives next week bringing with it a sense of renewal and a flurry of activity, including Wisconsin School Garden Day! We are so excited to be celebrating this fifth annual event on Thursday, May 18, which brings recognition to the people and programs giving Wisconsin's youth access to innovative, hands-on educational opportunities. 
Check out the Announcements & Highlights section below for more information.

Happy spring,
Erica Krug
Director of Youth Garden Support, Rooted/ WSGN

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Throughout the newsletter, you will see these icons after descriptions of resources, funding opportunities, and more to help you find information that is right for your program:
Announcements & Highlights

Wisconsin School Garden Day 2023

The 5th annual Wisconsin School Garden Day is coming up on May 18, 2023. It's never too early to think about how to celebrate! Wisconsin remains the only state with our own day to celebrate the people and places offering garden-based learning opportunities to thousands of kids. Check out the link for more information and activity ideas.
Joke of the Month
Click the green joke of the month button below to see the answer to this month's joke and to see Wisconsin School Garden Network's library of past jokes.
Have a farm to school joke to share? Email Rooted's Director of Youth Garden Support Erica Krug at
Joke of the Month: What grows under your nose?
Tools & Resources

Meadowscaping Guides

With a bit of knowledge and creative thinking, meadowscaping allows us to transform lawns, playgrounds, empty lots, unused paved spaces, and patios into havens for plants and animals.  View resource.

Apply to be a Host Site for DPI AmeriCorps Farm to School Program 

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is accepting applications for new partner sites across Wisconsin for the 2023-2024 grant year. Notice of intent to apply due by March 17. Apply here.

DATCP Recruiting Students for Next Agriculture Youth Council

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting applications for the next Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council. Learn more here. 

Study on Accessing Farm-to-School Markets (deadline extended)

The University of Wisconsin is conducting a study, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin Extension and REAP Food Group, to understand how food producers across the state of Wisconsin are participating in the Farm-to-School market. View Study.

Webinars, Conferences, Events & Trainings
SGSO Network Webinar: Non-Linear Garden Design as an Identity Affirming Garden Practice
March 15, 2023, 1:00 pm CST// Virtual
 Join the Academy for Global Citizenship in a conversation on exploring nonlinear garden designs as a way to re-center the practices of ancestral growers and invite conversations about identity and heritage into our garden programs. Learn more.

Denver Urban Gardens: Soil as the Cycle of Growth- Activities with Young Children
March 15, 2023, 5;30 pm CST// Virtual
Begin the cycle of growth by focusing on soil. This webinar will focus on activities, ideas, and gardening tips on what is right underneath your feet. Learn more.

Kids Gardening: Cultivating Resilience in Youth with Deep Nature Connection
March 16, 2023, 6:00 pm CST// Virtual
Honoring nature as both teacher and guide, horticultural therapist JoAnn Yates will explore specific activities that are fun and engaging, as a way to cultivate resilience in ourselves and those we serve.  Learn more. And for more great upcoming events, see KG's list here. 

Funding Opportunities
State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program (SPAN 2023)
Deadline: March 28, 2023
CDC announces the availability of fiscal year 2023 funds to implement CDC-RFA-DP-23-0012: The State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program (SPAN 2023). This program works at the state level to implement evidence-based nutrition and physical activity strategies that address health disparities related to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, and/or obesity. Informational call will be hosted February 15, 2023 at 3pm EST. Learn more here.
Go Outside Fund
Deadline: Next round of applications due March 31, 2023
The Go Outside Fund provides funding that helps connect youth to outdoor, nature-based learning experiences.Teachers or partner organizations may apply for funding to cover costs that facilitate getting kids outside and hands-on with nature, such as purchasing field supplies, or paying for transportation, substitute teachers, or educator costs.  Learn more here.
Job Opportunities
Summer Camp Garden Instructor
Deadline: ongoing
Lake Valley Camp, located in the beautiful Driftless region near Boscobel, WI, seeks a Garden Instructor to lead a robust garden-based program serving inner city youth from Milwaukee, WI, ages 9-17. The Garden Instructor leads this special educational program, including basic gardening skills and ecological principles, healthy eating, simple food preparation and leadership skills that enrich students' lives into their futures.  Learn more and apply here. 
News & Inspiration

Elementary School Kids Get Healthier When Gardening Is on Curriculum

Davis suggested that the take-away is very clear: “Teaching children to grow and prepare their own vegetables will increase intake of vegetables, which can have effects on lowering disease risk.” 
Read more.

From Microgreens to Meadows

At Mannsdale Upper Elementary School (MUES) in Madison, Mississippi, third- to fifth-grade students work together to grow and sell produce in a multitude of ways. Read more.
Feature Story
March 12- 19 is AmeriCorps Week! A huge shout-out to Wisconsin's wonderful team of Farm to School Specialists. Check out their video here! To learn more about what it's like to work as an AmeriCorps Farm to School educator, read this month's feature story from AmeriCorps member Lindsay Larson who works with the Bayfield School District. 
Food and Culture at Bayfield School District
By Lindsay Larson

I write this reflection on the shortest day and longest night of the year; Winter Solstice. Biboon (Winter in Ojibwemowin) is a season for rest and contemplation; therefore, a perfect time to look back at my last few months as an educator at the Bayfield School District. Fond memories of elementary students picking cherry tomatoes off the vine and popping them into their mouths, harvesting, processing, and reseeding manoomin (wild rice), preparing herbal tea daily for staff and students, and taking the ferry across to LaPointe elementary all come to mind. I also reflect on the role I play in making this programming available. 
My name is Lindsay Larson and I am an AmeriCorps Farm to School Educator. I work with students K-12 and teach nutrition and gardening lessons with a focus on traditional foods. In my adulthood, I have focused most of my career in the realm of food and medicine: managing and tending numerous gardens and farms, working in food service, spending many years as a baker, and starting my own herbalism business. But, nothing has been quite so rewarding as encouraging food sovereignty to the youth of our community. Seeing a 5th grader inoculate shiitake mushroom logs or having a kindergartener ask me if they correctly identified milkweed makes it all worthwhile.
A majority of students in the district have a connection to the Red Cliff Nation, and with that, integrating Ojibwe culture into the curriculum is encouraged in every grade level and discipline. In elementary gitigaan (garden) lessons this looks like using Ojibwemowin to explain the life cycle of a plant and name vegetables, as well as sharing the story of the three sisters and how they grow together. Traditional plants are also cultivated in the gitigaan like gete-okosomin (old squash). There are also opportunities for harvesting and/or processing of traditional, wild foods like manoomin, ziinzibaakwadwaaboo (maple sap), giigoonh (fish), wazhashkwedoons (mushrooms), mawinzwaan (berries), waawaashkeshiwi (venison), and mashkiki (medicinal herbs). This education has the intention of food sovereignty first and foremost. Giving youth the space to practice traditional harvest and growing methods is an ongoing process, and as a non-native educator I’m looking forward to learning more so I can continue to teach culturally for the students.
Again, as I sit here on the Solstice with chilly toes and a warm heart, I think about the Spring Equinox - direct seeding root veggies and herbs, the Summer Solstice -  tending the garden, eager for students to return, and one year from today, reflecting on all that has been carried with students through this programming and beyond, helping them connect with themselves, the earth, and the living beings we share it with.
If you would like to share a story about your program with Wisconsin's farm to school community, please email
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Copyright © 2023, Growing Together: Wisconsin's Farm to School/ECE and School Garden Newsletter, All rights reserved.


Growing Together: Wisconsin's Farm to School/ECE and School Garden Newsletter is a collaboration of Rooted and Wisconsin School Garden Network. Growing Together is published and distributed by Rooted.

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