Students and volunteers at Capt. Albert Stevens School prepared a meal March 27, intertwining locally grown food with an ongoing commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Malia Demers, FoodCorps AmeriCorps partner at CASS said, "our school is making a big effort to do more farm-to-school education and expand our garden program."

The meal, which was open to the community, also was a chance for parents and friends to view student artwork in the library associated with the school's composting and recycling efforts.

There were journals from Lisa Brita's first-graders about scientific observations from their weekly outdoor literacy class.

One display highlighted the school's efforts in reducing waste in their lunchroom. According to third-grade teacher Bill Meier, "Zero Waste Lunches" compare what the students have leftover with the goal to leave less waste each time.

Demers said students and staff are starting to daydream about the school's garden and have started looking through seed catalogs. In a few weeks, she said, once the weather warms up, the students will start to work outside, adding compost and preparing the beds for planting.

"We've had so many wonderful volunteers," she said, "so many people have come out of the woodwork to help."

Also, many community partners stepped up and donated produce for this event, dubbed March Maple Madness, she said.

The meal consisted of either plain, beet, carrot or gluten-free pancakes with maple syrup or honey, raspberry or strawberry sauce, yogurt and a Maine root veggie hash.

The "Maine Root Veggie Hash" included carrots from Bahner Farm in Belmont, potatoes from Bondeson Farm in New Sweden, beets from Dig Deep Farm in China, onions from 6 Acre Farm in Unity, celeriac from Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont, garlic and squash from the CASS school garden, maple syrup from Troy Howard Middle School, Frontier Sugarworks and CASS, and wildflower honey from Jonathon Lehr in Readfield.