Austin ISD is taking an important leadership role in the school garden movement by partnering with students, community members, teachers, and administrators to develop a Garden to Café program that extends the lessons learned in the garden to the school café. Garden to Café is about serving healthy, fresh garden grown foods to students through school meal programs.
The Austin ISD Garden to Café Program will provide guidelines for schools to help gain approval to serve produce grown on campus, in the cafeteria. Schools requesting this approval will be required to designate a Garden Leader, who will follow the necessary standards and protocols to ensure the garden meets health regulations.
Ensuring the safety of the food supply is critical to student health. School and retail food facilities regulated under the Texas Food Establishment Rules are required to obtain their food from an approved source. Schools requesting to serve food grown in their gardens in the café will be subject to evaluation as outlined in the Austin ISD School Garden to Café Conditions for Use of Garden-Grown Produce in School Kitchens.
Gardens will be reviewed on:
- Water quality
- Protection from contamination
- Sanitary practices
- Harvesting procedures
The Fall “Call to Plant” will start in September, asking schools to plant any variety of greens, to be used in a braised greens recipe, appearing on menus in November.
Campuses requesting to participate in the Garden to Café program can begin the process by submitting the following document:
Please allow 1-2 weeks for processing and approval.