Well before becoming an independent non-profit on Sept. 8 2015, our director, Beth Thiel, began work as a volunteer that eventually led to that point.
In 2007 a core group of volunteers built a school garden at Sharpstein Elementary and immediately began working with school teachers to implement its use for students.
Over the ensuing years, this work blossomed to encompass many more aspect: supporting school gardens at five elementary and two middle schools; supporting classroom lessons as well as garden clubs at all gardens; taking students on farm field trips; implementing cafeteria fresh food tastings known as “Harvest of the Month”; recipe development and trainings for school nutrition services; holding cooking classes at both middle schools; building relationships with farmers to increase school district use of local foods and participating annually in Taste WA Day.
Much of this work was made possible through a two year USDA Farm to School grant awarded in 2012. At the conclusion of the grant’s funding period, a group of community volunteers formed Walla Walla Valley Farm to School (WWVF2S), which has subsequently gained non-profit status in order to sustain the myriad programs and activities begun.
Primary work is now focused on building sustainable school garden programs that maximize school garden use, providing after school gardening/cooking classes for middle school and elementary school farm field trips.