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My name is Lin Ann Perry and I am the cook and food service director here at Sharon Elementary school. I have worked in the school for 12 years, seven of those in the kitchen. I grew up in Sharon on a farm where we raised our own food from vegetables to meats; we canned and processed all of our own food.
I have taken great pride in supporting our local farms and business over these years growing good relationships between farm and table. I recently contacted Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company in Woodstock VT about their cheeses and we now get many varieties for the kids to try and for me to use in my homemade meals. The company is very excited to join up with us and promote our farm to school program.
I purchase local foods from the following farms:
Cream cheese – Vermont Creamery www.vermontcreamery.com
Butter, sour cream and cottage cheese – www.cabotcheese.coop
Apple sauce – Vermont Village Cannery www.vermontvillageapplesauce.com
Milk – Sprague’s Dairy (for 30 years)
Vegetables in season come from:
Cedar Circle in Thetford – www.cedarcirclefarm.org
Lincoln Farm in East Randolph – www.lincolnfarmproduce.com
Peter Chap for potatoes in South Royalton
Ainsworth Farm for corn, tomatoes and squash, in S. Royalton/Sharon Champlain Orchards and Sunrise Orchards for apples
Sam Mazza for tomatoes – www.sammazzafarms.com/
I own Layed Back Farm. I donate up to 80 lbs of my squash and pumpkins every year to use in the holiday meals. I raise pigs and I donated 200 lbs of sausage last year for the school to enjoy for breakfast and many other meals. the money we raised at the markets paid for the USDA butchering cost.
Local vegetables except potatoes and lettuce that are not eaten fresh I process from August to November.
I have a kitchen production garden which I process fresh vegetables to make homemade sauce from the tomatoes and homemade salsa, I process the zucchini and squash and onion by freezing and using throughout the school year in soups, sauces, muffins, and much more. I have done fundraising with bulbs for two years – the first year we raised $1,075.
Every month for the past three years we have done Sprouts Farmers’ Markets and craft fairs. Our school gardens are funded by our Sprouts Markets. Donna Foster organizes everything. I sell my art work and give at least half of the money to Sprouts. I make maple wheat bread to sell, maple mustard dressing, and I make a local lunch. We have homemade breakfast treats along with coffee and local cider and all the money from tables and donations and what I sell goes to Sprouts. This enables Sharon Elementary to continue to buy local foods and equipment to use in the kitchen and in the classrooms. I make many of my meals from scratch. With the new USDA guidelines we have to use whole wheat or whole grain, low salt, low fat, more fruits and vegetables. We are doing very well with these changes. I started a year ago to prepare for the upcoming changes and the kids are trying new things through our monthly cafeteria taste tests. The kids prepare the meal, serve it at lunch time, and create a survey asking how many likes/dislikes, and if 50% of the students like it then I put it on the menu. We have been doing this for over seven years and it has proven to work very well with the kids and staff.
If you have any questions please feel free to drop by the kitchen or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org