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Taste Washington Day 2013 - Wednesday, September 25th!

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La Conner School District's Taste Washington Day menu featured broccoli from Hedlin Farm in Mt. Vernon

Taste Washington Day 2013 was a popular event once again! Please let us know about your event, and help us improve our resources for next year by filling out this brief survey.

The WSDA Farm-to-School Program and the Washington School Nutrition Association (WSNA) partner to sponsor Taste Washington Day, an annual celebration of Washington grown foods served in school meals.

Schools connect with local farms to make the most of our bountiful fall harvest, and use Taste Washington Day to launch into October—“Farm to School Month”.

Participating schools around the state engage in all sorts of ways including:

  • Serving a locally-sourced meal
  • Providing education and activities to recognize the region's agricultural bounty
  • Inviting farmers to lunch
  • Arranging school visits to area farms
  • Connecting Future Farmers of America high school students with elementary students

Check out these sample menus for 2013 Taste Washington Day and additional promotional materials at the bottom of this page. We encourage you to adjust the menu to reflect seasonal availability of products grown on farms in your area. Last year schools reported serving carrots with the tops, fresh melons, cheese from a local creamery, beef from a local farmer (processed in a USDA approved facility) and fresh corn on the cob.

2013 Sample Menu 1

Arroz con Pollo - Spanish rice with local chicken (recipe available on our WA Grown Food Kit)

or BBQ Lentil loaf (recipe available on our WA Grown Food Kit)

Roasted Veggies Grown in Washington (veggies to roast include carrots, zucchini, red peppers, and summer squashes)

Whole Wheat Dinner Roll or Breadstick

Yogurt Parfait with seasonal fruit - apples, pears, peaches, nectarines or berries - and granola (recipe available on our WA Grown Food Kit)

Low Fat Milk


2013 Sample Menu 2

Roasted Chicken (tenders or pieces) with lemon and herbs

Moroccan Carrot Salad (recipe available on our WA Grown Food Kit)

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) with Morrocan Seasoning (recipe available on our WA Grown Food Kit)

Sliced Fresh Veggies (e.g. local tomatoes, sweet peppers, and cucumbers)

Yogurt Parfait with seasonal fruit - apples, pears, peaches, nectarines or berries - and granola (recipe available on our WA Grown Food Kit) 

Low Fat Milk

*Read more about Taste Washington 2013 in the WSNA Apple Press Spring 2013 Issue.

 Find out which fruits and vegetables are in season from Washington farms right now!  WA-Grown Seasonality Chart - Vegetables  and WA-Grown Seasonality Chart - Fruit and Herbs

"Taste Washington Day offers our kids a chance to establish a deeper connection and develop a better understanding of our state's food system, from farm to fork and each step in between. The more opportunities our children have to learn about the people, time effort and resources necessary to turn a seed into a crop, the more they will appreciate the food on their plates. As the next generation, it will be up to them to continue our state's agricultural heritage and history."

Excerpted from the Congressional Record of the 111th Congress
introduced by Hon. Jay Inslee
[link to full text]

 
Wenatchee Taste Washington Day

Wenatchee School District Taste Washington Day, Farmer Ken Toevs offers students roasted squash

Taste Washington Day Success in Past Years
Taste Washington Day originated as a Washington School Nutrition Association program in celebration of the diversity and abundance of Washington's harvest season, and to share this with school children and school communities across the state.  The WSDA Farm to School Program and the Washington School Nutrition Association (WSNA) first partnered together to develop seasonal menus featuring Washington-grown food and to bring together farms and schools for Taste Washington Day 2010.

 Click here for a list of Participating Farms and Schools.

Since that first Taste Washington Day in 2010, the WSDA Farm to School Program has helped school buyers source Washington produce, develop purchasing relationships with farms, and request Washington-grown produce from distributors.  We have also helped schools add educational activities to the day, from hanging posters in the cafeteria and inviting a farmer to lunch to visiting a farm, farmers market or school garden. Here are a few ways schools participated in Taste Washington Day in past years:

In Riverview School District, “high school Future Farmers of America (FFA) club members visited each school in the district during lunch and handed out samples of locally grown produce and talked with students about their products. They were a very positive representation of agriculture and really helped to make the event a success at each school.”
– Participating School Nutrition Director

La Conner School District put together this delicious meal on Taste Washington Day:

  • Locally grown russet baked potatoes and ham julienne
  • Cheese sauce made with cheese from Golden Glen Creamery
  • Green onions, broccoli florets, and other produce from Hedlin Farms and Swanson Brothers Farm
  • Jonagold apples from Gordon Skagit Farm
  • Chocolate cake with raspberry butter cream, using raspberries from Swanson Brothers

Follow-up surveys from the event indicate that $17,000 were spent on Washington grown products for that day’s lunch, and schools anticipated spending approximately $90,000 on Washington products in the following six months.  Individual farms reported sales as high as $8,250 on the single day.

At Wahluke School District in central Washington, Fresh Food in Schools partner Joan Qazi helped to bring Cloudview Ecofarm to Mattawa Elementary, where farmers conducted a tasting of their sweet heirloom and cherry tomatoes while talking to students about farming.

 

Participating Farms declare Taste Washington Day a satisfying way to bring the fruits of their labor to their communities and children around the state:

“We are proud to be able to serve our school districts. We are an apple farm and they are the perfect market for our small apples.”
- Eastern Washington Apple Grower

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Last Updated: 11/8/2013