How You Can Participate
Louisiana Harvest of the Month. Learn, Join, Engage.
- Join the Program! Register your team free of charge at any point during the school year to receive printed Harvest of the Month posters, “I Tried It!” stickers, and more! In addition to receiving Louisiana Harvest of the Month materials in a printed packet, registered sites will have access to professional development opportunities and technical support.
Although a team is not necessary, it helps to have great partners. Consider partnering with food service staff, administration, and educators such as extension agents.
- Find and integrate Louisiana Harvest of the Month foods into at least one activity or taste test per month. Ideally, we love to see Harvest of the Month foods in school meals or snacks, and our recipes and menu templates make them easy to showcase. Attempt to cover more than one aspect of farm to school such as a combination of a taste test, a school gardening activity, and an educational activity. Most importantly, start small and make it manageable.
For more information on how to purchase local foods, see our School Guide for Local Food Purchasing.
- Search for local food and producers on Louisiana MarketMaker. This website is a network that connects farmers and other producers with food retailers, grocery stores, processors, caterers, chefs, and other buyers including schools. Use the searchable database to find farmers and food producers near you and across the state.
- Involve parents and community members. Louisiana Harvest of the Month is the perfect way for parents or other community members (such as Master Gardeners, extension agents, nonprofit organizations, ranchers, farmers, food businesses, grocers, etc.) to be involved.
Let parents, caregivers, and community members know that your school or district is participating by sending out a letter to make them aware of your participation in Louisiana Harvest of the Month. Send recipes and Harvest of the Month handouts home with students to share with parents. All materials are found on the Materials Page.
- Display the posters in the cafeteria or on a bulletin board. You will receive four of each of our Harvest of the Month product posters so they can be posted in several areas, such as the school office, cafeteria, classroom, or other popular gathering site. You could even share a set with your local grocer to display in the produce department!
- Share your stories! Promote the program monthly using social media, newsletters, announcements, websites, etc. Use #LAHarvestoftheMonth on social media sites. Take pictures and share success stories about your Harvest of the Month activities and meals by submitting your story at https://lsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4HqZbQw1xxFKhb7.
Materials and Resources
Louisiana K-12 schools and after-school programs can register for free at any point during the school year to receive printed materials. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request any additional or replacement materials.
HARVEST OF THE MONTH 101:
Everyone within the school community plays a role in encouraging healthy eating habits. By involving others in the process, you can gain program support, which will lead to a more successful implementation.
- HOM 101 | Cafeteria – Food Service
- A guide to using Harvest of the Month in cafeterias.
- HOM 101 | Classroom – Educators
- A guide to using Harvest of the Month in classrooms.
- HOM 101 | Extension – Extension and Nutrition Educators
- A guide to using Harvest of the Month in extension programs.
- HOM 101 | Producers – Food Business
- A guide to using Harvest of the Month with producers.
- HOM Resource List
- An introduction to the Louisiana HOM suite of materials available.
- Harvest of the Month Tool Kit
- This tool kit will help guide you to use the resources available to implement a successful Louisiana Harvest of the Month program. Learn how to integrate Harvest of the Month into curriculum, engage families and the community, and spread the word about what you are doing.
- Louisiana Harvest of the Month Posters
- See all of our posters available through LSU AgCenter Publications.
- What’s in Season? Louisiana-Grown Produce Seasonality Chart
- This chart features the peak availability for all fruits and vegetables typically grown in Louisiana. For child nutrition staff, vegetables are separated by the vegetable subgroups to aid in incorporating meal pattern requirements.
√ Distribute materials to appropriate team members each month, which will help remind them and others at the school. All materials are available on the Materials page.
- Give menu templates for each month to the food service director or staff as well as offering access to posters.
- Provide classroom lessons for each month to participating teachers and after-school educators. Explore classroom resources with lessons linked to Louisiana student standards, activities, books, and much more! Get started on the Seeds to Know tab, or create an account here to bookmark and save them to your account. It’s quick and easy!
- Recipes and handouts are intended to be sent home with students or shared with parents, so make sure they go to a teacher, secretary, or after-school educator who will copy and distribute them.
√ Plan to serve your selected Harvest of the Month items as a meal, snack, or taste test. For help purchasing local foods, go to the finding local food page.
√ Facilitate activities using the lessons and handouts provided. Review the lessons, and plan when to use them.
√ Conduct a taste test. Review the Taste Test Guide and determine where, when, and how the taste test will be conducted. There are many ways to conduct taste tests, so set up a system that works best for your program.
Harvest of the Month Calendar
The Louisiana Harvest of the Month product cycle calendar can help you choose a product to suit your needs and match the availability of items available across the state. Although we recommend following this calendar, your school or program can change the calendar to suit your needs and match the availability of items each year. None of our materials are printed with a designated month. The calendar will likely change each school year to allow for new harvest foods.