Sampling Flavors of Snoqualmie Valley on Taste Washington Day

Taste Washington Day started seven years ago as a way for schools to work with local farmers to bring students a great meal made with locally grown ingredients.

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Riverview School District (WA) Supervisor of Food Services, Kaye Wetli, receives a package of local produce for Taste Washington Day.

In October, Riverview School District food services department in Duvall celebrated Taste Washington Day featuring foods grown and produced right in the Snoqualmie Valley.  Students from the Future Farmers of America also get involved in the day’s events, participating in educational activities, helping to promote recipes with local ingredients.

Local agriculture is vital to communities, including school districts, where local produce is often incorporated into school menus.  The district utilizes produce from Local Roots Farm, Full Circle Farm, Tractor Farm, One Leaf Farm, Steel Wheel Farm, Lettuce Love Farm and Carnation Farms, to offer a wide variety of foods grown just outside the students’ backyards.

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“I purchase about 450 pounds of fresh produce from local farms and we serve it on the salad bars in all seven of our schools that day,” said Kaye Wetli, SNS, Supervisor of Food Services at RSD. “Two days prior I spend time in the central kitchen with students from the high school – washing, chopping and bagging the products to be ready to distribute to the schools. On Taste Washington Day, the FFA students from the high school visit all of the schools and talk about local agriculture and serve samples to all of the students in the lunch room so everyone has the opportunity to sample the fresh, local products.”

This year, FFA members from Cedarcrest High School (CHS) worked to promote local agriculture and offer samples of the locally grown produce to students – including Asian Pears, roasted red and gold beets, radishes, mini sweet peppers, kale, banana peppers, etc.

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Schools across the state used this Taste Washington Day graphic in their cafeterias, but a included the name of the local farm where the produce was sourced.

Food samples also included jersey jack cheese cubes from Cherry Valley Dairy, located just down the road from Cherry Valley Elementary School. CHS students also helped in the cafeteria kitchen – washing, slicing and bagging the fresh produce that would be delivered district-wide.

The district worked in partnership with the Washington School Nutrition Association and the Washington State Department of Agriculture Farm-to- School makeProgram to make this year’s celebrations a great success!

 

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