October is National Apple Month and National Farm to School Month. Every October schools, preschools, workplaces, and individuals across Utah celebrate by crunching into Utah-grown apples. The Apple Crunch is a way to get excited about delicious local produce, help students understand where their food comes from, and support local farmers. Across the state, students taste-test different apple varieties, take field trips to local farms, and participate in other apple-themed learning activities.
Utah competes with other states in the Mountain Plains Region (Montana, Wyoming and Colorado) to see who can get the most crunches per capita.
Utah Farm to Fork, Utah State Board of Education, Utah Department of Health and Utah Department of Agriculture and Food are partnering to expand the Apple Crunch beyond schools and preschools to other organizations for an even bigger crunch.
Register Your Crunch-- Register for Apple Crunch here
Assemble a Team—The more people you have working together, the easier it will be to pull off a fun and exciting event. Invite teachers, school nutrition staff, administrators, parents, and local businesses to get involved.
Find Your Apples—Purchase your apples from local farmers as well as other sources for local apples.
Expand the Adventure—In addition to crunching into apples, there are many other activities you can plan for a full day of apple-related fun! Consider using some of these activities.
Crunch Even Louder—Farm to Fork activities benefit the whole community, so let the community know what you’re doing. Share your story to spread the word and build excitement, fund raise, or find volunteers. Use a press release to publicize your event to local media. Use the hashtags #UTAppleCrunch, #farmtoschool, #utahfarmlife to celebrate on social media.
Keep the Momentum Going—How will you continue to include local apples and other Utah food in your school after the apple crunch event is over? Were there parents or community members involved in the apple crunch that might be interested in helping start a school garden? Do teachers want to organize virtual or small group farm field trips or include more ag-related lessons in their classrooms?
PURCHASE YOUR APPLES
Remember the goal of Utah Apple Crunch is to support your local farmers by purchasing the (literal) fruits of their labor! Always inquire about buying apples but be open to donations if they are offered.
How Will You Define Local?
Your Apple Crunch should feature local apples, but you have some flexibility as to how you define local. Depending on where you are located, you may be able to purchase apples grown in the same town or county, or you may have to expand your definition to the state of Utah. Make sure you communicate your definition of “local” to the person who will be purchasing/donating the apples.
How Many Apples Do You Need?
For adults and older students, plan on one apple per person. For younger students who may not be able to eat a whole apple, consider slicing them and offering half an apple per student to reduce food waste. Applesauce made from local apples may be the most appropriate option for toddlers and preschoolers.
How Much do You Plan to Spend?
Apple Crunch can be relatively inexpensive depending on the activities you choose to do and whether the apples are donated or purchased. The Ag Promotion County $200 Grant would be ample for this activity.
Where can I Find Local Apples?
You have several options for sourcing local apples:
Ask your distributor if they can supply you with local apples.
Reach out to a grocery store that sources local apples. They may be willing to provide a discount.
Contact a Utah Apple Grower directly.