OKANOGAN — Okanogan County students are going to get a little more gardening in next year thanks to a two-year $100,000 USDA Farm to School Grant received by the Okanogan Conservation District.
The district, in partnership with Winthrop-based nonprofit Classroom in Bloom, will work with school districts, organizations and community members to expand school gardens and ag education.
The funds will be used to add garden teacher hours, expand ag education, develop curriculum, and expand local food procurement efforts.
Classroom in Bloom, which has been operating since 2009, has a 1-acre student-led garden hosted at the Methow Valley School District property. It produced 3,000 pounds of produce last year that was donated to school cafeterias.
The Okanogan County grant was part of $12.1 million in USDA Farm to School funding announced in July, and one of seven grants awarded in the state.
The state Department of Agriculture also received a $98,709 grant to develop and deliver three "scratch cooking and farm to school institutes" for cross‐disciplinary district teams.