Nebraska Farm to Preschool Toolkit
- Farm to Preschool Fact Sheet: Farm to Preschool – Local Food and Learning in Early Child Care and Education Settings
- What is Farm to Preschool: a new link will be added soon!
- Getting Started With Farm to Preschool: Getting Started with Farm to Preschool
- Getting Started with Farm to Early Childhood Education: https://www.farmtoschool.org/our-work/early-care-and-education
- Farm to Early Childhood Programs; A Step-By-Step Guide: http://foodsystems.msu.edu/uploads/files/Farm_to_Early_Childhood_Guide_2015_Feb.pdf
- Grant Funding Available: http://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/farm-school-grant-program
- Find Farmer’s Markets/Produce Vendors near you (Nebraska Farmer’s Markets/Produce Vendor Search): https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-ag-farmers-market/
- Nebraska Food Cooperative: https://www.nebraskafood.org/
- Where Can I buy Drinks and Food that is Nebraskan (Nebraska Access): http://nebraskaccess.ne.gov/nebraskafoods.asp
- Food and Meat Directory (Nebraska Department of Agriculture): http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/publications/promotion/food_meat_directory.html
- Local Procurement for Family Child Care Providers: https://www.farmtoschool.org/resources-main/farm-to-early-care-and-education-local-food-purchasing-resources
- Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs: https://www.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Buying-Local-Guide_FINAL_August-2015.pdf
- Nebraska MarketMaker: a new link will be added soon!
- UNL Online Food Guide: http://buylocalnebraska.org/online-food-guide
- Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska: Connecting Nebraskans to Local Farms and Food: https://buylocalnebraska.org/
- Nebraska Produce Availability: Resource Seasonality Crop Extension Storage Guide
- Find a Farmers Market or Produce Vendor: https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-ag-farmers-market/
- Seasonal Produce Guide (USDA): https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce
- Seasonal Food Guide by State: https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/
Winter Squash is in season in Nebraska August through November. Popular varieties in Nebraska are Sweet Pumpkin, Acorn, Butternut, Buttercup, Banana, Delicata, Hubbard, Kabocha, Spaghetti, Turban and Sweet Dumpling.
Fun Facts about winter squash: Did you know? …
- Squash are uniquely an American crop bred by the Indigenous people more than 10,000 years ago and then spread worldwide in the 1500’s.
- There are two types of squash: summer and winter.
- Summer squash are picked when immature and the skins can be eaten; winter squash are picked when completely mature and have hard thick rinds.
- Most winter squashes are harvested in the fall but get their name because they have long shelf lives and can be consumed during the winter months.
- Squash is in the gourd family and related to melons.
- Squash is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
- One cup of cubed butternut squash has more than 100 percent of daily recommended value of Vitamin A for people ages 51 and older.
- A one cup serving of butternut squash contains almost 500 mg of potassium, which can help decrease your blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium in your diet.
- Squashes are inexpensive, versatile, and easy to prepare
Winter Squash is featured in the Nebraska Harvest of the Month curriculum along with other produce available seasonally in Nebraska. The curriculum includes newsletters, posters, recipes, taste tests, coloring sheets and other activities. Click on the link to download materials.
Storage: store in a cool dry place
Ways to Prepare: grill, roast, sauté, steam, air fry, instant pot, and puree.
Other Uses: soups, stews, sauces, casseroles, in hash, baked items, baked seeds
- Rinse off dirt
- Can soften skin by microwaving whole squash for 3 minutes, flip halfway through
- Use a sharp chef’s knife
- Peel skin for slices or cubes; leave skin on if baking quarters or halves
- Cut off top and bottom of elongated squashes and then halve horizontally
- Cut stem off round squashes and then halve horizontally or vertically
- Scoop out seeds
- For slices or cubes: chop elongated quashes lengthwise for slices; chop slices horizontally to make cubes
Easy Grilled Squash
Pumpkin and Chicken Sausage Hash
WG Pumpkin Pancakes
Orange Honeyed Acorn Squash
Butter Squash Soup
Butternut Squash Bread
Central Valley Harvest Bake
Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash
Butternut Squash, Chickpea & Lentil Moroccan Stew
- Grow It, Try It, Like It! Nutrition Educational Tool Kit (Team Nutrition Resource Library):https://pueblo.gpo.gov/TN/TNPubs.php?PubID=15038 Or download available: https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/grow-it-homes
- Nebraska Harvest of the Month – Recipes, Taste Test Guide, posters, coloring sheets and more (click on the link and scroll down to download materials).
- National Farm to School Network, Farm to Preschool/Early Care : https://www.farmtoschool.org/resources?2df7000d_page=3&resource-settings=preschool-early-care
- Safety in the Little Gardener’s Garden: https://learningstore.uwex.edu/Assets/pdfs/A3905-07.pdf
- ASAP Growing Minds a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project: https://growing-minds.org/farm-to-preschool/
- A Guide to using the Creative Curriculum for Preschool to Support Farm-to-ECE Models: https://www.farmtoschool.org/resources-main/a-guide-to-using-the-creative-curriculum-to-support-farm-to-ece-models
Lesson Plans and Activities
- Nebraska Department of Agriculture Kids page: http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/kids/index.html
- Harvest for Healthy Kids- Free Activity Kits: http://www.harvestforhealthykids.org/?page_id=291
- Farm to Preschool on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/janamarie76/farm-preschool-theme/
- Local Foods in CACFP Policy Memo: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/f2s/CACFP11_2015_Local%20Foods%20in%20CACFP_03%2013%202015.pdf
- USDA – Community Food Systems: https://www.fns.usda.gov/cfs
- USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 Final Rule: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/04/25/2016-09412/child-and-adult-care-food-program-meal-pattern-revisions-related-to-the-healthy-hunger-free-kids-act