Harvest of the Month (HOTM) is the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program’s farm to school campaign to promote a different local, seasonal fruit or vegetable each month.
Harvest of the Month Goals
- Feature and promote a locally grown fruit or vegetable (“harvest”) on the school cafeteria menu each month.
- Encourage healthy choices and consumption of fruits and vegetables.
- Increase students’ access and exposure to local and seasonal produce.
- Educate students on nutrition, agriculture and healthy eating.
- Support local farmers and increase connections between schools and local producers.
Reasons to Participate
Harvest of the Month allows you to begin a farm to school program or to grow your existing farm to school program. It is an opportunity to generate excitement in students to try a different local product each month in their school meal, and to encourage consumption of fruits and vegetables. The campaign encourages collaboration between school nutrition program staff, teachers, farmers, and the community.
How to Participate in HOTM
- Purchase and serve the local produce item 1-2 times per month on the school menu or
as a taste test. Menu ideas include:
- Fresh, whole piece of fruit
- As a vegetable choice
- On a salad bar
- Added to a recipe (i.e. salad, smoothie)
- Taste test
- Promote the “harvest” item on your school menu, in the cafeteria, and throughout the school (i.e. morning announcement, bulletin board).
- Provide nutrition education (i.e. bulletin board promotion, fact sheet provided to students).
- Share resources with classroom teachers to encourage integration of nutrition education as part of classroom lessons.
How to Purchase HOTM Produce Items
- Through the DoD Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, vendor Royal Food Service
- Through a local farmer –
- Georgia Grown: https://www.georgiagrown.com/find/fruits-vegetables/peaches
- Georgia MarketMaker: https://ga.foodmarketmaker.com/
- Through your local produce distributor.
Harvest of the Month 2018-2019 Calendar (PDF) NEW!
Harvest of the Month Featured Local Foods – 2018-2019
Watermelon Tomatoes Peaches Vidalia Onions
Sweet Potatoes Citrus Apples Kale
Broccoli Strawberries Carrots Cauliflower
Bibb Lettuce Corn Green Beans Mushrooms Strawberries
Blueberries Cucumbers Vidalia Onions Blackberries Bell Peppers
Taste Testing Resources
A Guide to Taste Testing Local Food in Schools – from Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT FEED), a guide with tools and resources for implementing taste tests in schools.
Bright Ideas for Taste Test Success – From Georgia Organics, this video covers steps for making taste tests a success.
Farm to School Taste Tests in School Cafeterias – a quick guide for conducting a taste test in the school cafeteria, from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP).
Taste Testing Tool – a tool that integrates student taste test opportunities into the curriculum, from the Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Program.
Taste Test Guide – Created by Georgia Organics, this guide offers tips on how to implement a successful taste test event at your school to promote F2S efforts and the products the program is highlighting.
Try-Day Taste Testing Ballot – from USDA, Team Nutrition, Popular Events Idea Booklet.