October’s Harvest of the Month: The Brassica Family!

This year Cornell Cooperative Extension’s (CCE) Farm to School Educator will be giving monthly updates on Farm to School programming in the region tied to the Harvest of the Month. Each month we’ll highlight the local food and farms’ involvement within the cafeteria and the classroom.

October in the North Country typically means colder temperature, the first frosts and an abundance of cruciferous vegetables from within the Brassica Family. These vegetables love a hard frost, as many of them actually get sweeter after they’ve been exposed to a frost. Some of these vegetables include; broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, and radishes. Kale was the most frequently featured vegetable within the brassica family.

Kale is very versatile and can be prepared in a number of different ways in the school lunch program. We saw it featured in salads, soups, and cooked up into chips! Kale also found its way into the classroom as students harvested kale out of their school gardens and learned about its plant parts in science classes.

Boquet Valley Lake View Campus first graders after harvesting kale and the last of the summer squash out of their school garden. This kale was used later that week for taste-testing in the cafeteria prepared as kale chips.

Ticonderoga Elementary School students raise their hands if they liked the kale chips they tasted in the cafeteria. 27% of students liked them and 38% of students loved them!