Harvest of the Month

The Mother Nature Network listed BPS as one of the country’s 10 most impressive Farm to School Programs in a recent online article .  The article describes the BPS Farm to School Program’s progression –  from its incarnation in 2008 as a “Harvest of the Month” promotion in only 10 schools, to its expansion to all BPS cafeteria schools.  Edith Murnane, Director of Food Initiatives for Mayor Menino, said of the praise, “Not only are we one of the top 10 most impressive Farm to School programs, but we’re listed as No. 1.”

Read the full article HERE

Congratulations to the entire Food and Nutrition Services team on a job well done. 


Harvest of the Month Recipe for April

These roasted baby red bliss potatoes are a delicious, healthier alternative to french fries. When done perfectly, the cut halves turn golden brown and the skins shrivel slightly, creating a thin layer around a pillow-soft  interior. Delicious on their own, these potatoes are also a great start for potato salad.

Roasted Baby Red Bliss Potatoes
Yield: 8 servings


3 lbs. baby red bliss potatoes
2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 clove fresh garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Rinse potatoes and towel dry or let air-dry for an hour.
  3. Place dry potatoes in a large bowl and add the oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic.
  4. Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet and spread out in one single layer. Do not crowd the potatoes.
  5. Roast for 35-40 minutes until very soft on the inside.
  6. Serve immediately

Potatoes are April’s harvest of the month. Look out for roasted potatoes on the Local Lunch Thursday menu.

Potatoes hail originally from Peru where they have been grown in Peru for more than 8,000 years. A recent survey found more than 4,000 varieties of potato grown in Peru. Many farmers have specific potatoes for fields for different altitudes, different sides of the mountain, and different precipitation levels.

Potatoes eventually found their way to Europe and in Ireland overtook other staple crops such as rutabagas. By 1800 the potato made up nearly 90% of Ireland’s harvest. Most of the island grew only one variety of potato – the Lumper. Between 1845 and 1852, nearly one million Irish starved or died of malnutrition and another one million emigrated when blight struck the Lumper potato crop.

While the potato can provide calories and moderate nutritional value cheaply, Americans do not consume potatoes healthily. Americans ate 42.4 pounds of fresh potatoes in 2005 as well as 53.6 pounds of frozen potatoes and 16 pounds of potato chips. Moderate consumption of non-fried potatoes can contribute to a healthy diet, but not if potato consumption decreases the amount of yellow, orange, and green vegetables consumed.

Harvest of the Month Potato Poster

Harvest of the Month Recipe for March

These rutabaga fries are quick and easy to make. This is the recipe made in our cafeterias, but feel free to improvise on this basic structure. Use your favorite spice mix or add hardy herbs like rosemary or thyme. Students seem to like them best with ketchup.

Rutabaga Fries
Yield: 8 Servings


2 lbs of rutabagas
3 tbsp of vegetable oil
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste


  1. Peel rutabagas and cut int 1/4-inch fries using a sharp knife
  2. Toss rutabaga fries with oil
  3. Combine salt, black pepper and paprika and toss rutabaga fries with seasonings
  4. Roast in a single layer on a sheet pan at 400° F for 25-30 minutes in an oven or until well-browned
  5. Adjust salt to taste
  6. Let cool in a single layer to retain crispness

Rutabagas are March’s harvest of the month. Look out for rutabaga fries on the Local Lunch Thursday menu. Rutabagas are a subtly sweet root vegetable that are a cross between a turnip and wild cabbage. Due to their popularity in Sweden, they are sometimes referred to as Swedish turnips or simply “Swedes”. They can be stored for up to 4 months in ideal conditions, making them a perfect vegetable to enjoy throughout the winter.

Eating rutabagas can be quite beneficial to your health. They help to regulate digestion and high blood pressure and reduce the risk of cataracts. Additionally, rutabagas can reduce wheezing in asthma patients.

Harvest of the Month Rutabaga Poster