Lawmakers to kick off ‘Jersey Fresh Farm to School’ week

Lawmakers will help kick off a weeklong celebration of New Jersey’s foods this week.

Assembly members John F. McKeon and Mila M. Jasey will help launch Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week at noon Tuesday at “Strawberry Fields,” the school garden of Seth Boyden Demonstration School in Maplewood.

The ‘Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week’ was established to focus attention on the state’s Farm to School Program, which connects schools to local farmers, encouraging schools to purchase local fare, which helps farmers stay on their land and provides a boost to New Jersey’s estimated $1.12 billion farming industry, according to McKeon’s office.

The school is named in honor of inventor and industrialist Seth Boyden, who owned the original property on which the school is built and cultivated the modern strawberry, McKeon’s office stated. After retirement, Boyden spent his time hybridizing strawberries and many of the strawberries eaten today originate from the seeds of his garden.

The Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week event at Seth Boyden Demonstration School is scheduled to take place at noon on Tuesday, 274 Boyden Ave., in Maplewood.

The Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week measure, (A2854), dedicates the last week in September to promoting the value and importance of New Jersey’s agriculture and fresh farm foods, including ‘Jersey Fresh’ fruits and vegetables, in schools and to cultivating healthier food choices for children.

More than 100 students from the 5th grade and Principal Mark Quiles at Strawberry Fields, will be on hand to help mark the weeklong celebration.

Lawmakers to kick off ‘Jersey Fresh Farm to School’ week