In 2011, members of the Winters community began the Winters Farm to School program. Initially, we focused on educating our children about the importance of eating healthy foods to boost long-term health and well-being. Our first event was a Summer Extravaganza at the Bobby Greenwood Pool. 150 children joined in, playing food-themed, interactive games and creating food-oriented crafts. Each child took home a big bag of fresh, garden vegetables to share with their families.
Later that fall, we had a face and pumpkin painting booth for children who attended the Winters October Harvest Festival. We wanted to do more.
We knew how important school gardens are in helping kids learn and grow. Learning comes alive and is so much fun in a school garden. Kids learn about science, math, nutrition and so many other subjects when they get the chance to turn the soil, plant seeds, water and weed the garden, and enjoy the taste of ripe, fresh vegetables that they grew themselves!
So we helped get the garden going again at Waggoner Elementary School. And then in 2012, with the help of community volunteers, we built 5 raised beds at Shirley Rominger School. Later that school year, experts from the UC Davis Student Farm taught our 4th and 5th graders about installing drip irrigation systems, composting and using worms in the garden. The kids loved it!
The Waggoner and Rominger school gardens continue to be a favorite part of our kid’s school day …where they learn to grow their own food and simply enjoy digging in the dirt.
Starting in 2012, the Winters Farm to School Board decided to begin fundraising. We selected a Bastille Day Feast as our signature fundraising event. Held in mid-July, over 200 guests sit at one, long table nestled under the canopy of 150-year old olive trees lining the drive at the historic Wolfskill Ranch in Winters. Guests enjoy a leisurely celebration of Yolo County agriculture featuring local meats, fruits, nuts, produce, beer and fine wines donated by local farmers, breweries and wineries. It is a wonderful gathering of interesting people, delightful conversations and a delicious meal prepared on site.