Corvallis School District’s Garden to Cafeteria Program
The Garden to Cafeteria program is an opportunity for students in the CSD to grow fresh
fruits and vegetables in their school gardens with the intent of providing some of their
harvest to their school cafeteria for use during lunch service. The goal of the
Cafeteria program is to encourage more schools to use their gardens for this purpose
and to provide structure and guidance with the process of incorporating garden produce
The following protocols have been designed to
he food safety of the produce
harvested by the students.
have been adapted from Federal and State
guidelines for Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP).
How to enroll a school garden in the Garden to Cafeter
Visit the GTC website (
) and download the form “School Garde
Return the form to firstname.lastname@example.org
This registration information will be provided to the Corvallis School District’s
department of Food and Nutrition Services and the Corvallis Farm to School
ve from the school garden must be appointed GTC Leader. This person
will be in charge of communication with the Farm to School Coordinator (Sara
McCune) and the kitchen manager at the school.
The GTC Leader must thoroughly study the food safety protocols
provided by the
GTC program. They must sign a statement saying that they have read the rules and
agree to follow the protocol. This signed document must be returned to the Farm to
CSD Food and Nutrition Services will provide the name a
nd contact information of
the kitchen manager at the school. The GTC Leader must introduce themselves and
discuss the GTC program with the kitchen manager.
The GTC Leader should recruit a group of students for the
Only potable water may be u
sed to grow and rinse the garden produce used in
No pesticides or herbicides may be used to grow the garden produce used in school
Equipment List for Harvest Days:
(food grade hard plastic or food grade metal)
most CSD kitchens have a scale that may be used on Harvest Days. Please
work with the Kitchen Manager to coordinate use of the scale.
can be downloaded from the GTC webpage. This sheet can be
kept with either the GTC Leader or Kitche
Preparation for a Harvest with Students:
Schools can harvest as often as they would like and as accepted by the Kitchen
Manager. The GTC Leader should create a harvest schedule that they share with the
Kitchen Manager so that the Kitchen Manager knows when to expect them.
On the day of a harves
t, the GTC Leader should perform the following steps to prepare
for the harvest:
GTC Leader checks in the with Kitchen Manager to make sure they are on the
GTC Leader gathers the scale, harvest baskets, and recording sheet. (Harvest
should be kept
in the kitchen between harvests.
Harvest baskets should be run through a dishwasher or washed in a kitchen three
If there is a garden sink, the GTC Leader will pick up a sanitizer bucket and clean
cloth from the kitchen (
ppm) to sanitize the garden sink.
If there is a sink, the GTC Leader sanitizes it with the provided materials.
GTC Leader cleans harvesting tools (knives, scissors, etc.)
in the dishwasher or
three compartment sink
before and after each
The GTC Leader prepares the Recording Sheet for the harvest.
How to Harvest with Students:
GTC Leader gathers the students who have planned to harvest on that day.
sure that none of the students are showing any signs of illness or have ju
missed school because of an illness. If a student was absent for an
illness and was
displaying symptoms (vomiting,
within the last 24 hours
he/she can’t participate in the harvest.
Students and GTC Leader wash their hands with soap and water in a classroom
sink or bathroom.
GTC Leader shows the students what fruits and vegetables are ready to be
Harvest baskets are distributed and students begin to pick.
The vegetables are
washed in the harvest baskets, under potable running water
in the sanitized garden sink or under a hose.
This first wash is designed to
remove large, visible bits of soil.
Once all the produce is washed, it is weighed on the scale.
A student records the
following information on the Recording Sheet:
Weight of the produce
Names of GTC Leader and students involved in the harvest
Date and time of harvest
Students and GTC Leader take the produce to the Kitchen Manager.
Manager signs the Recording Sh
eet to acknowledge receipt of the vegetables.
school kitchen staff is not present to receive the delievery, the produce cannot be
GTC Leader rinses off any remaining soil from the harvest baskets with a garden
hose. The baskets are then washed in the kitchen in a dishwasher or three
Steps for Handling the Garden Produce in the School Kitchen:
After receiving the
garden produce, the Kitchen Manager must wash them and
refrigerate them to below 41
degrees F prior to serving:
Kitchen Manager or staff fills a sanitized vegetable prep sink with tap water and
thoroughly scurbs the produce to remove all remaining visibl
The vegetables are removed from the sink, rinsed again, and drained in a
The vegetables are placed in a separate, sanitized storage container that is
labeled “School Garden Produce” with the date of harvest.
The produce is stored in th
e refrigerator for one day to reduce
to below 41 degrees F.
The produce can be used
he day after the harvest if the temperature is below
41 degrees F.
In lieu of chilling the produce to 41 degrees, it can be served on the same day as
e harvest if it is consumed within 4 hours of being manipulated (chopped for
use). This produce must be time marked and discarded after 4 hours or when
serving is complete (whichever comes first).
How to Compost the Produce Scraps from the Harvest:
If the school garden has a compost system, the following procedures can be used to
compost the produce scraps:
At the end of the lunch period, a couple of students can get the Harvest Tub
from the Kitchen Manager that contains any of the vegetable scraps
Students will add these scraps to the compost pile and rinse out the tub with a
Students will return the tub to the Kitchen Manager . The Kitchen Manager or
other Food Service staff will clean the tub in the dishwas
her or in a three
After the tub drys, the kitchen staff will put the scale and harvest baskets in the
tub and place it in storage.
*** Garden to Cafeteria Guidelines adapted from Denver Public Schools and Slow Food
Denver Public School’s Garden to Cafeteria Program: School
Safety Tips for School Gardens
(adapted from USDA “Food Safety Tips for School
Site Selection, Materials, and Water:
Site garden away from potential contamination sources (i.e. garbage piles, water
runoff, septic systems, etc.)
Identify soil history. Have the soil tested to check the levels of contaminants such
as chemicals, pesticides, lead. This is particularly import
ant near high traffic
leaching materials for raised beds, containers, stakes, or
trellises. Do not use pressure treated wood, used tires, single use plastics,
railroad ties, etc.
Test all non
municipal water sources annually for
potentially harmful organisms.
Chemical and Fertilizer Use
Do not use any pesticides or herbicides.
Secure all ferilizers in a safe, locked location when not in use.
Clearly label fertilizer containers.
Compost and Manure Use
Avoid use of raw manur
e as it may increase risk of contamination from
Consider purchasing traceable, comercially prepared compost, if manure based
compost is desired.
Consider using worms to form vermicompost.
Only add plant products to a school compost pile.
not use animal products, animal waste to a school compost pile.
Locate the compost pile in a secure location away from potential contamination,
such as garbage and water runoff. Restrict access by animals as much as
Corvallis School District Food and Nutrition Services:
Farm to School: