October Brings Local Taste To Washington Schools

A perfect kick-off to Farm to School Month, Highline Public Schools (WA) celebrated Taste Washington Day on Wednesday, October 3, featuring locally sourced foods on the menu and cafeteria visits from farmers and producers across the state.

Guests for “Taste of Washington Day” included local farmers, local celebrities, nutrition professionals from Highline Public Schools and representatives from the Washington Department of Agriculture, Washington School Nutrition Association and FEEST Seattle.

Working with the Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team (FEEST) program out of Seattle, Evergreen High School students created a blueberry vinaigrette using only Washington State ingredients. On Taste of Washington Day,  local white chili was made with Washington ingredients and a side salad featured the vinaigrette. Evergreen students made the recipe using carrots with tops from Ralph’s GreenHouse in Mount Vernon, cucumbers from Valley Pride in Mount Vernon, blueberries from Skagit Sun Farm in Mount Vernon, pears from Viva Tierra Organic, Yakima and Sedro Wooley. Also featured on the menu was a white chicken chili, with local Truitt Navy Beans and Washington onions. Rounding out the tray full of state pride, Washington sliced apples, Washington milk and grain/flour grown in Washington and used to make homemade rosemary rolls.

Each meal they were served was made primarily of ingredients and products locally grown and sourced in Washington. Various school nutrition and local farming representatives paid a visit to Highline elementary and high schools during lunch, hoping to showcase the best of what the state has to offer. Students learned about where their food comes from, who grows it, who prepares it and how does it get from the field to their lunch tray!

Visiting the school from Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), Director Derek Sandison, Farm to School Specialist Chris Iberle and Marketing Programs Manager Rianne Perry discussed the importance of the day. Also in attendance were members of the WA State Dairy Council, a SNAP Educator, nutritionist, and farmers from Shepard’s Grain and Ralph’s Greenhouse.

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