Northshore Magazine

March 2016

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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52 | MARCH 2016 Gloucester public schools partner with Backyard Growers. Left, Phil Padulsky at Gloucester High School Every other Friday, students at Gloucester High School feast on fish caught perhaps just a few miles from the cafeteria. A partnership with Cape Ann Fresh Catch, the Gloucester–based community- supported fishery, brings haddock, cod, sole, or other local delicacies to the school, where they are simply prepared—and popular. It just makes sense, says Phil Padulsky, food service director for Gloucester public schools. After all, the city was built on the fishing industry. What's more, "the kids love it," Padulsky says, adding that at the middle school, where the fresh fish is an occasional offering, students seek him out, asking when it will reappear. With such an abundance from sea and land, the North Shore has a leg up on what is quickly becoming a na- tional movement to get more fresh, local foods in front of kids. Orchards, farms, and parent groups are part- nering with school administrators to encourage kids to "eat a rainbow" of colors and flavors. Boosted by every- thing from Try It Tuesday, an event that awards stickers to elementary school kids who taste a new food, to veggie trading cards and school gar- dens, the next generation is becom- ing more adventurous, as cafeteria cooks work hard to craft enticing entrées with limited resources. At Andover public schools, for example, students are trying (and liking) roasted local delicata squash, cut into half circles that look like smiles and glazed with honey. In Gloucester, elementary school students can choose teriyaki chicken on a bed of fresh greens alongside lunchroom standards like French toast sticks. And across the board, everyone is enjoying that trendy powerhouse vegetable, kale, which is turning up in salads, as chips, and even in smoothies. "I could never grow enough to support the kale habit these kids have," says Laura DeSantis Wood, chef/nutrition director at Marble- head Charter Community Public School (MCCPS), which serves fourth through eighth grade. But she tries. The vast campus gardens, tended by Wood and her staff, supply a lot of the food that is served in the cafete- ria each day, from 30 different varie- ties of tomatoes to colorful carrots. Wood, whose background is in fine dining, says changing habits is often as simple as exposing students to new things. "They see it and they want to try it," she says. Especially if photographs courtesy of Backyard Growers (above), by Doug Levy (left)

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