Berry Good Farms On The Go is a brand new food truck that you can feel good about…in more ways than one. The truck is part of the horticulture and culinary programs at the North Florida School of Special Education. The school, located right in the heart of Arlington, serves to educate students age 6-22 with intellectual disabilities. Among the programs the school offers, North Florida School of Special Education is home to a wide array of culinary programs that help teach students real-life skills and prepare them for job opportunities later in life. The school is also home to Berry Good Farms, a working farm that provides students hands-on experience with planting, growing, and harvesting all sorts of fruits and vegetables. The farm also provides fresh ingredients for the Berry Good Farms On The Go truck as well as to several local Jacksonville restaurants.
The Berry Good Farms On The Go truck is a relatively new venture and is another great way for students to gain hands-on experience and vocational training. Students are involved in all aspects of running the food truck…from menu planning to food preparation to working on the truck and serving customers.
We caught up with Berry Good Farms On The Go on the day that they made their debut at the Jacksonville Food Truck Food Court. We were greeted by the smiling faces of a few students as we walked up to the truck. Everyone was pleasant, helpful, and eager to tell us all about their school and their food. We were eager to try out a couple of things from the truck. The menu features a lot of healthy options made with fresh, straight from the farm ingredients. They offer a variety of sandwiches and wraps, salads, smoothies and a few different side items.
We were in the mood for just a light snack, so we got a Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie ($4) and a side that caught my eye right away…Mac N Cheese with a healthy twist ($3). Who doesn’t love mac n cheese? The “twist” was cauliflower (shhh…don’t tell my kids) and it was really good. It was creamy and filling, but still light and relatively healthy. It wasn’t as heavy as typical mac n cheese, which was nice, especially on a hot summer day in Florida. The smoothie was also tasty. It was really straight-forward…just strawberries and yogurt. It wasn’t too sweet and you could taste the fresh strawberries. It was a healthy, refreshing treat that even my kids loved!
After finishing our snack, we stopped back by the truck to check out what else the students were selling. Along with the healthy food being served on the truck, they also had fresh blueberries ($4 a carton) and bags of assorted fresh vegetables available to purchase ($15 a bag). Of course, we couldn’t leave without taking a bag of farm fresh veggies with us. And we got some blueberries to take home too. The blueberries were some of the sweetest and juiciest blueberries I’ve ever had. It was hard not to just eat them by the handful straight out of the carton. And my kids and I had so much fun exploring our bag of veggies and incorporating our fresh produce into our meals over the days that followed.
What a great experience for me and my family. My kids were thrilled to learn all about the school and the farm and to taste some of the food the students had helped prepare. They are already asking if we can go tour Berry Good Farms sometime this summer! Berry Good Farms On The Go is really a win-win. Not only can you get a healthy meal and fresh fruits and veggies straight from the farm, but you can also support an amazing local organization at the same time. Track down Berry Good Farms On The Go and you will see firsthand the valuable vocational training that these students are receiving by working on the food truck. And you’ll feel great knowing that 100% of the profits from the truck are reinvested back into the program to benefit even more students. If that’s not a meal you can feel good about, I don’t know what is!
For this review we welcome a member of our own JRR family: Rhonda Kovar is a former call center manager turned stay-at-home mom. She grew up in the heart of North Carolina and moved to Florida after getting hitched in 2002. She is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University and a lover of all things crafty, musical, or edible. Rhonda loves finding new and delicious ways to turn her two tiny picky eaters into future foodies. You can follow her on Instagram.