In observance of Taste Washington Day, on October 4, Clallam Farm to School and the Port Angeles School District kicked off the first of many local food taste testing events in Port Angeles Schools.
According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, Taste Washington Day is an annual celebration of farm to school connections and provides Washington’s children with the opportunity to enjoy and learn about the bounty and diversity of healthy and delicious Washington-grown foods.
For Taste Washington Month, WSU Clallam Extension Farm to School Consultant Stacey Larsen and Stephanie Bry, Port Angeles School District’s new Sodexo food service director, have been working hard to bring local and fresh foods into school meals. On Taste WA day, they prepared carrots and bell peppers from Chi’s Farm for the following day’s sampling and salad bar offerings. Stacey, who is the former Food Service director for the Port Townsend School District, whipped up a homemade ranch dressing that had students returning for seconds and even thirds!
After prepping veggies, Stephanie joined WSU Clallam Community Health and Farm to School Program Manager Danielle Carson to glean apples from a home nearby the school so she could offer sweet, local apples during lunch service at two Elementary Schools in the District.
Schools will be flooded with local apples this month, as WSU Clallam Extension Farm to School Educator Amelia Depue organizes cider pressing events with schools across the Port Angeles and Crescent school districts.
Thanks to help from Sallie Constant, our Farm to Community coordinator, Stacey will be sourcing products from local farms every week for “Taster Tuesdays”, where students will sample new items and give their feedback after tasting. Taster Tuesdays will officially kick off next week at Port Angeles High School, then later in the year at Stevens MS and PASD Elementary schools. Many thanks to the Port Angeles Food Bank for allowing us to use refrigerator space for locally sourced apples and veggies.
Meanwhile, students are taking this survey to tell us what they like and don’t like to guide Stacey and Stephanie’s recipe development and sampling schedule. The survey is open to all students, teachers, parents and community members interested in seeing PASD schools serve healthier and more local food. Feel free to take the survey or invite others to do so if you are interested in providing your input!
To learn more about WSU Clallam County Extension’s Farm to School program, visit our website.