Harvest of the Month

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.

Harvest of the Month Overview (PDF)

How to Purchase HOTM Produce Items

Calendars:

Harvest of the Month 2018-2019 Calendar (PDF) NEW!

Harvest of the Month 2017-2018 Calendar

Harvest of the Month Featured Local Foods – 2018-2019

                         July                                                               August

       Watermelon                Tomatoes                                         Peaches                  Vidalia Onions                                                           

                  September                                                           October

       Watermelon                  Zucchini                                 Apples                Butternut Squash          Cabbage                              

                    November                                                   December

     Sweet Potatoes                 Citrus                                                Apples                            Kale                                                                     

 

                      January                                                    February

            Broccoli                  Strawberries                                   Carrots                    Cauliflower                                                             

                                    March                                                                     April

       Bibb Lettuce                    Corn                      Green Beans                          Mushrooms            Strawberries                

                                    May                                                                         June

        Blueberries              Cucumbers               Vidalia Onions                       Blackberries            Bell Peppers                           

Georgia Grown Resources

  • Classroom Resources: Resources include downloadable coloring books, bulletin board kits, commodity fun facts, Georgia Grown videos and more, from Feed My School, Georgia Grown.

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.

Host a Taste Test – Tips and resources for hosting a taste test at school, from Action for Healthy Kids.  Below are sample taste testing surveys:

Try-Day Fridays: It’s Fun to Find New Favorite Foods – A guide for holding a taste-testing event, from the Team Nutrition Popular Events Idea Booklet, United States Department of Agriculture.

Try-Day Taste-Testing Ballot – A sample taste testing ballot, from Team Nutrition, Popular Events Idea Booklet, United States Department of Agriculture.