Farm to School Recipe Manual shared with Brainerd lakes area school districts

Sprout MN works with numerous restaurants, food cooperatives, hospitals, long-term care facilities and manages a direct-to-consumer Community Supported Agriculture Program.

Sampling of Minnesota-produced winter squash.

LITTLE FALLS — Alongside Brainerd and Crosby-Ironton School District food service directors, Sprout MN launched a Farm to School Recipe Manual that has been distributed to all school districts in Cass, Crow Wing, Todd, Morrison and Wadena counties.

Through this U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grant funded program, Sprout MN led this collaboration with area school districts to develop, test and implement new recipes that feature often underused produce, including beets, carrots, rutabaga and squash.

A core team consisting of food service directors, head cooks and food service staff created, developed, critiqued and adjusted the recipes. Students participated in six sensory exploration tasting events. The core team then completed Train the Trainer sessions of more than 24 additional food service staff.

Sprout MN is focused on strengthening the local food system in central Minnesota by connecting growers, eaters, creatives and economic developers to increase healthy food access, encourage entrepreneurship and cultivate creativity.

Sprout’s story is deeply rooted in supporting farm to school initiatives and its pioneering spirit has helped school districts and growers around the state create farm to school networks of their own.


People in a kitchen preparing food to cook.
Crosby-Ironton School District Food Service Director Scott Skinner leads staff on recipe development on Sept. 16, 2021.

Sprout specializes in working with small family farms to aggregate locally produced fruits, vegetables and shelf-stable items that are 100% produced in central Minnesota. Sprout works with numerous restaurants, food cooperatives, hospitals, long-term care facilities and manages a direct-to-consumer Community Supported Agriculture Program.

The farm to school network creates immeasurable positive impact on both producers and school districts nationwide. For Sprout and central Minnesota districts, the initiative has been instrumental in education of students and staff about the origins of the produce on their plates.

Sprout seeks opportunities to support small family farms in central Minnesota through the longstanding relationships with food service directors and to advance efforts on innovative ways to continue to introduce locally grown, nutritious foods onto the plates of school-aged children.

The Farm to School Manual, with 30 recipes highlighting Minnesota grown products, is publicly available and can be accessed at: .

To learn more, visit and follow the Sprout MN on Facebook.

Related Topics: FOODFARMING
Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "Pineandlakes Echo Journal." Often, the "Pineandlakes Echo Journal" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Send us your news or story ideas by emailing or calling 218-855-5877. Be sure to leave a message!
What To Read Next
Scarlett Langenfeld selected for position
Photographs from historic Brainerd events will be on view
Schedules listed for the food shelf, CommUnity Meals, family planning and more
The donation will assist with the on-going medical expenses the family is experiencing.