Today was Taste of Washington Day in cafeterias all over the state. Over 300 schools and at least 30 local farms will participate in Taste Washington Day to celebrate the state’s agricultural diversity and encourage healthy eating habits.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and the Washington School Nutrition Association (WSNA) are partnering with local schools to feature Washington-grown foods in their school meals.
“We encourage students and school representatives to try a variety of locally grown foods, support growth and appreciation for Washington agriculture and enjoy Taste Washington Day,” said Tricia Kovacs, a WSDA outreach and education specialist. “Schools from Walla Walla to Bellingham are participating by partnering with farmers to serve the freshest foods during the current harvest.”
Schools across Washington are serving up local fare from entrées of roasted chicken, homemade local beans and beef chili, potato leek soup, to sides of garden salads, carrots, cucumbers, apples, pluots, peaches, and locally produced milk.
I joined my daughter for lunch today and enjoyed the delicious fresh local variety. I don’t think I’ve eaten that well, at lunch, in a long time! The children and adults seemed to really enjoy the special day and were pleased to see such a variety of yummy foods.
On the menu:
corn on the cob from Walla Walla Produce Co., Taruscio’s Farm and Zerba Farm
pluots from Key farm
carrots from Welcome Table Farm
assorted varieties of sweet peppers from Walla Walla Produce Co.
fresh tomato from Edwards Farm
apples from LeFore’s Farm
rotini pasta with tomatoes, olives, parmesan with light vinaigrette
Her lunch. with pluot, cucumbers, peppers, carrots and chicken.
If only lunch could be this way everyday! We would be one healthy community!
I was glad to see most of the children with at least two fruits or vegetables on their plates. and by choice. I heard no adults saying anything about what to eat, except for me encouraging her to take a few more veg and a few bites of my pasta.
Here’s my plate, with a bit of everything, minus drink. I loved the sweet creamy corn on the cob and fresh rich flavor of the rosy tomato slices. The peppers each had their own unique flavor and carrots, organic sweet. The pasta, well made with simple oil-vinegar dressing, with the perfect amount of parmesan-y goodness.
Well done Walla Walla School District and local farms! It was a great delicious success. Hope this inspires more connections between farms and schools in our community. Walla Walla is an amazing food forest, with all the small local farming families. It only makes sense to take advantage of that, supporting the community at the same time.