5th annual Vermont Stone Soup Summit offers professional development opportunities

On March 27, 2014, the central Champlain Valley’s school community will come together for a day of inspiration, celebration and networking at the 5th annual Stone Soup Summit. Students, teachers, parents, administrators, farmers, food service managers, nurses and community volunteers will share stories of challenge and triumph and work in diverse groups to address the issues facing farm-to-school programs and school nutrition in our region.

 ----------   register today: http://acornvt.org    ----------

      5th Annual Stone Soup Summit

    March 27, 2014, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Bicentennial Hall, Middlebury College

Professional development certificates, scholarships and team discounts are available. 


Early bird registration ends Friday, March 14

The Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN), Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) and Vermont Food Education Every Day (VT FEED) will present the conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Middlebury College’s Bicentennial Hall, and the Hannaford Career Center’s student restaurant, the Glass Onion, will prepare a local foods lunch using recipes from New School Cuisine Cookbook. Kathy Alexander, director of the Addison Northeast Supervisory Union Food Service Cooperative, will deliver the keynote at 9 a.m.

Emily Hoyler, Addison County Farm to School Network Program Director and Curriculum Specialist at Shelburne Farms, emphasized the diverse applications for farm to school principles.

“Farm to school provides such an engaging and relevant opportunity to use food, which is already part of the school day, to cultivate an understanding about economic systems and the community,” Hoyler said. “[Farm to school] goes beyond carrots in the cafeteria to building sustainable communities, and it offers a rigorous platform to dive into core academic content.”

This year Stone Soup will offer 12 hands-on workshops, including K-12 curriculum connections, composting, school garden maintenance, funding and sustaining a farm to school program, Harvest of the Month integration, planning community dinners and harvest festivals, and more. A series of TED-style talks in the afternoon will inspire with the “Next Big Idea in Farm to School” from our home-grown visionaries.

“The ‘next big idea’ is Stone Soup—I’m excited about this conference,” said Ethan Bodin, Shelburne Farms Educator and Vermont FEED Professional Development Coordinator. “There’s wonderful grassroots energy here in the Champlain Valley, and coming together to discover the exciting new trends in farm to school is a powerful tool for investing in the future.”

Professional development certificates, scholarships and team discounts are available.  Early bird registration ends Friday, March 14 and regular registration ends March 25. A limited number of lunch tickets will be available at the door. Register online today at http://acornvt.org!

“It’s not only about sharing the best of what we do right now, it’s about visioning where we want to take this work,” said Hoyler. 

ACORN (Addison County Relocalization Network) is a non-profit based in Middlebury whose mission is to promote local businesses and agriculture in pursuit of a sustainable regional economy and healthy communities. For more information, please visit: http://acornvt.org.

RAFFL (Rutland Area Farm and Food Link) works to expand availability and access to locally produced foods, bolster the greater Rutland region's agricultural economy, and increase community appreciation and understanding of the positive impact of farms and farmers on the Rutland region. For more information, please visit: http://www.rutlandfarmandfood.org/