Steele Garden – News

Home Programs Volunteer News Contacts
YFM References Gallery

Steele School Garden News 2014:

Check out the Steele Garden in this Denver Post article. How wonderful that Steele teaches its kids that real food can be grown and eaten in their own school cafeteria!

From the Garden – February 2014

From the Garden – March 2014

Steele School Garden News 2013:

From the Garden – October 2013

From the Garden – September 2013

From the Garden – May 2013

From the Garden – April 2013

Steele School Garden News 2010:

  • DPS Pursues Local Fruits, Vegetables, and Meat for Meals
  • DPS Names Steele One of 30 New Scratch Kitchens
  • Steele Students Get a Salad Bar This Year
  • Steele Gardens Contribute Produce for the Salad Bar
  • Mr. Andy and Mr. Boyer Go to the White House

DPS is sourcing CO-grown produce, meat and dairy products for meals
For the past two years, DPS Food Services has participated in a Kellogg Foundation grant called School Food Learning Lab whose goal is to transform the procurement process that districts use to purchase their food.  Through this project, DPS is targeting 5 areas of their food purchases to get as much CO grown and produced food as possible.  These areas include: Fruits, Vegetables, Meat, Dairy and Whole Grains.  Slow Food Denver has been the community partner in the Learning Lab and has assisted in identifying new sources for locally grown fruits and vegetables and locally–raised meats for the school meals.  Each month this year, DPS will feature a “CO Proud Meal” that will feature all CO products on the menu.  Although the project just started last year, DPS was able to purchase 27% of all its fruits and vegetables from CO farms.  This school year the purchases from CO farms will be much greater as the program is in full swing.

DPS commits to scratch kitchens; Steele is one of first 30 sites
Leo Lesh, director of DPS Food and Nutrition Services continues the transformation of school meals by announcing the commitment to converting all school kitchens to scratch cooking within three years.  The goal of this program is to train DPS cooks so that they can handle all the whole, fresh and raw ingredients that are coming into the District.  This past summer 120 DPS cooks went through a 3-week training session called “Back To The Future With Scratch Cooking”.  The cooks received training in 3 main areas: Cold Prep (salad bars, prepared salads and sandwiches), Hot Prep (casseroles, sauces and raw meat handling) and Bread Baking (quick and yeast breads).  Slow Food Denver assisted in the scratch cooking training by bringing 8 local chefs to work with the DPS cooks.  Both Mr. Andy and Chef Krista from Slow Food Denver served as instructors for the training.  Steele’s own Matt Salis (Great Harvest Breads) also participated in the Bread Baking classes as an instructor.  Steele’s kitchen staff of Dixie and Regina and new hire Ashley all were trained, received their chefs coats and will help open the Steele cafeteria as a scratch kitchen this fall.

85 New Salad bars in DPS cafeterias; Steele to get one also
Leo Lesh has ordered 85 new salad bars for DPS cafeterias.  Training for the new salad bars started this summer during the Scratch Cooking training.  The goal for each salad bar is to have a green salad, several choices for fresh vegetables and even more choices of fresh fruit.  The salad bars replace the individually portioned fruit that the students have seen before.  Students will get to go through the salad bar as part of the hot lunch service.  Kitchen Manager Dixie and Mr. Andy worked together to find the proper placement for the salad bar in the cafeteria.

School Garden produce to be used in new salad bars; Peaches to be on menu
DPS Food and Nutrition Services and Slow Food Denver will launch the Garden to Cafeteria program, the first of its kind in Denver, this fall.  School gardens can contribute salad ready vegetables to the school cafeteria to be used in the salad bars.  Mr. Andy helped to write the food safety protocols with DPS and Denver County Health Dept to assure the safe handling of the food from the school garden to the school kitchen.  Approximately 15 schools have signed on to allow students and garden leaders to safely harvest produce once a week and to hand it over to the kitchen manager.  At Steele, the school peach tree is ready to harvest so fresh peaches will be on the salad bar when school opens on Thursday.  Students will help keep track of the weight of the produce from the school gardens.  Leo Lesh will pay students for the produce with the proceeds going back into the garden program.

Mr. Andy and Mr. Boyer go to the White House in June
What a way to kick off the summer!  Mr. Andy received an invitation to go to the White House in early June to help kick off the “Chefs Move To Schools” campaign.  Earlier in March, Mr. Andy was one of 6 chefs invited to meet with White House chef Sam Kass to help work on the details for CHTS.  When the launch was announced in June, Mr. Andy was asked to bring a principal to DC so that they could show case how schools and chefs can work together.  So of course, Mr. Andy chose Mr. Boyer to go with him.  The morning of the BIG day, Mr. Andy and Mr. Boyer spoke to a crowd of 500 chefs about how they work together to bring healthy messages to the students.  Mr. Boyer had the chance to meet Arnie Duncan, Secretary of Education at breakfast while Mr. Andy spoke to many chefs.  Then they marched together to the White House on a VERY hot DC day.  About 700 chefs participated.  At the White House we saw the vegetable garden on the South Lawn and were in the second row when Michelle Obama spoke to the crowd.  She delivered a very inspired speech on how students can benefit from lessons delivered by chefs.  That evening, Mr. Andy and Mr. Boyer joined 6 other chefs for a fabulous seafood dinner to celebrate the BIG day.  Can you believe that the trip was the first time Mr. Boyer had been to our nation’s capital?

Seed-to-Table Program in the News