Produce comes full circle at Trinity-Pawling School - CulinArt Group

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Produce comes full circle at Trinity-Pawling School

PAWLING, N.Y., Sept. 1, 2021—A bounty of produce grown on campus, including tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, eggplant, squash, and a variety of lettuces, awaits the students at Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, N.Y., when they return to campus this month.

Trinity-Pawling, like many independent schools, encourages its students to get involved in extracurricular activities. Many at this all-boys school in rural New York State near the Connecticut border take part in athletics, making the school an annual powerhouse in football, lacrosse, baseball, and other traditional sports. For students a bit more agriculturally minded, a farming program allows about a dozen of them to channel their physical energies into tilling soil, hauling and turning compost, and tending to produce, grown in campus greenhouses and gardens, that is then served in meals they and their classmates eat in the CulinArt-managed dining hall.

Dining services associates strive to reduce food waste in preparing students’ meals, resulting in a fair amount of raw compost material that students take to compost bins. Maintenance crews add leaves and grass clippings, and both students and maintenance workers spend time turning the compost until it is ready for blending into the greenhouse’s raised beds. Planting takes place in the spring, naturally, but then things slow down: seeds take their time to germinate, students take their final exams and leave campus, and the school enters its off-season, with a handful of teachers and school employees keeping an eye on the plants during the summer.

“Once we come back in August,” says Jason Swartz, dining services manager, “that’s when the foodservice piece comes into play.” The school gardens produce between five and 10 pounds of produce a week during the fall semester and serving line signage identifies the products being served. “This lets the students know that ‘this item just came from the gardens at your school, that your classmates worked on and put time and effort into,’” Swartz explains.

What begins, then, as kitchen scraps ultimately becomes fuel for students’ athletic, academic, or other pursuits. “We try to incorporate as much of the produce from the greenhouse as we can into our menus,” Swartz adds. “The composting is an educational tool for the boys as well. Instead of sending compost out, we use it in-house. We are not wasting it; it comes full circle.”

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  • September 1, 2021
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“Many, and I do mean many, thanks for a great Parents Weekend.  I heard from so many happy parents and you all work very hard to make it happen.  In gratitude and kindness…”

“Just came back to campus after a year of pandemic [and] just want to say that I can really tell the effort that both dining halls and all of the other locations are really putting in to make us students still feel like there is more than enough food available, good food, fresh food, healthy food. I don't think students are aware that there is such a food shortage/worker shortage and that what goes on behind the scenes must be a logistical nightmare. But I recognize it at least :) the staff was been so friendly and kind, even in the very rare occasion when something took longer than expected I could tell they were trying their absolute hardest to provide it fast and with great quality. Great job to all of them, this one student greatly appreciates the effort you all do. -Student, Stony Brook University”

“I will say that CulinArt has always been a very collaborative partner to T. Rowe Price, listening to our current needs and future goals and suggesting realistic and achievable strategies to meet those goals.  2020 was obviously no exception.  CulinArt also altered other areas of our OCS and pantry programs to create safer environments for all our associates. We can only thank you for your continued flexibility and innovative ideas through these difficult times.”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“I just wanted to touch base as another school year draws to end. I cannot thank you enough for how smoothly this year went. Chef Felix [Herrera] and his staff made it seamless in a year with lots of wrinkles.    ”

“The roasted tofu/noodle/edamame arugula salad with cabbage, carrots and red peppers was something that I would buy from a restaurant or food truck without question. It would win best school lunch in the U.S. without a doubt if there was such a competition! The textures and flavors were a perfect blend, tied together by an excellent dressing. I don't think anyone would be mad if that popped up on the menu every week. Thanks again to you and your staff for such high-quality food!”

“This has been a year of unprecedented uncertainty, but through it all, Denee, chef Darby, Samantha, and the whole CulinArt team, provided the best dining experience the school has had in my thirteen year tenure.  It was an absolute pleasure to work with them, and I can't wait for next year when the craziness of COVID brings everyone back into the dining hall for meals. We look forward to working with Denee, Chef Darby, Samantha, and the rest of the CulinArt team again next year.”

“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

“Thanks so much for a great week of food here at SCH to start off 2021. Everything has been fantastic. The kids were loving the Chinese food and boxes today. The Moo Shu Pork was amazing. Great work!”

“Just wanted to thank you and the team at Lake Success for taking care of us for my daughter's birthday. I figured the event was going to be straight forward, but it felt like the event was treated with just as much care and attention to detail as a wedding or other big event, which was very much appreciated. You anticipated everything that we needed and are so capable, bravo! The party was 10x more beautiful and lovely in reality compared to how I imagined it, thanks to you guys.”

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