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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What our clients are saying

“Thank You! Chef Budd [and team], you overcame a new online ordering system (and hundreds of labels daily!), provided creative and healthy menus, continued to connect with local farmers to incorporate locally sourced ingredients, and worked tirelessly to serve the school community on three campuses.  While it feels like you are all a little like the Wizard of Oz right now, working behind a curtain in a kitchen far away, we sense your smiles and your passion to deliver the best possible service during these trying times. We are all so grateful!”

“I ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

“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.”

“I’m the GM for Branson [Ultrasonics] and based in the Brookfield office.  This is the first week that the café has been up and running in our new headquarters and just want to acknowledge the great job Adam Schnittert and the CulinArt staff onsite have done.  Our employees’ feedback thus far has been very positive.  The expanded options and menu quality have been very well received.  Just want to send you a quick note of thanks.”

“I will say lunch was pretty awesome today.”

“I wanted to recognize the individuals at the Valley Forge Site Café who have been supporting us throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.  I have been onsite at least a few days every week since June 2020 and I noticed that the team continued to provide quality and timely service for breakfast and lunch.  They effectively packaged the food to maintain CDC guidelines. Thank you!  ”

“Even though we see challenges every day, each one of you rises to the occasion and makes it seem so easy. I cannot express how impressive it is to see you all work in such a fashion. You are true professionals.”

“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…”

“You know that I haven't been home (India) for a long time now.  I miss my mama, I miss the food, I miss the smells, I miss the people. Starting yesterday, I started to smell my mama's kitchen at Parker.  I KNEW something Indian was brewing; I could smell the garam masala!  Thank you for the delicious tofu curry.  It made my belly and soul happy.”

“Thank you and your staff for all the care and thought you give CSW adults and students. You approach events with such care and elegance- I don’t know how you do it! Especially day after day. Please thank all your staff for their wonderful work and kind manner with all of us. Here is to a great year!”

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