Food For Thought
Healthy Roots at The Unquowa School
The chaotic cafeteria environment at most schools doesn’t exist at The Unquowa School. Dining here—like everything else here—is a pleasure. The Unquowa School follows a system of student mentoring and family-style eating; plus, the food is simply delicious. Chef Peter Gorman pours only organic milk and cooks with cage-free organic eggs, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and local grass-fed beef, which is mainly procured from area farms such as Sport Hill Farm in Easton, Stuart Family Farm in Bridgewater, and Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain.
As part of the school’s Sustainable Education Program, Unquowa launched its Farm to Fork program in 2004 to immediate rave reviews. Since then all snacks and meals have been made from scratch in the school kitchen using fresh, regional and seasonal fare with very little packaging waste. Going the extra-extra step, Chef Peter opens each meal with a talk about the food’s origin and nutritional value. And the students compost the scraps from the kitchen and harvest produce from their small organic kitchen garden.
“Our goal is to be sure that our dining program—both snack and lunch—sets an example of sound nutrition, clear ethics and environmental awareness,” says Sharon Lauer, head of school. Unquowa students, therefore, spend time each year at Sport Hill Farm, an organic vegetable farm, planting and harvesting to learn firsthand where food comes from. “Unquowa is trying to model more sustainable behavior and to teach students to be stewards of a small part of the world that they can control.”