As the hours of daylight are increasing, NCAT's projects related to healthy, local food in Montana are picking up speed! We're pleased to share this update with you about how we're bringing local beef into school cafeterias, helping streamline our state's food safety regulations, and supporting Montana youth as they lead the way in creating community-based food systems. We're also excited to announce that the speaker videos from the 2013 Growing Leaders Youth Summit are now online. Watch now.
Thanks for taking the time to read this issue of The Dirt, and our team looks forward to sharing more good news in coming months!
National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
Montana Healthy Food and Communities Program Manager
Who Says the Growing Season Hasn't Started Yet? Montana is Growing a #YouthFoodRevolution.
Montana youth are changing the way they think about food and choosing to lead their communities toward a healthier food system. That, in a nutshell, is what we learned recently from 34 attendees of the 2013 Growing Leaders Youth Summit who took a moment to let us know what they have been up to since the summit. Want to hear some of the ways Montana youth are taking action? Read more.
Building Better Food Regulations, Together
Montana's food safety rules may finally be beginning to improve! The outpouring of public interest in helping to improve Montana's food safety regulations over the past few months has been remarkable. Thanks to this process, we are already seeing improvements happen, and more may be on the way. Want to hear more about the latest news from Montana's food safety front? Read more.
Montana Food News
Register now: Entering the Institutional Food Market
On April 25, NCAT is hosting a workshop for Montana farmers, ranchers, and food processors interested in selling to institutions. Participants will learn about supplier best practices, food safety regulations, and institutions' considerations when sourcing from local producers.
Featured organizations and speakers include Western Montana Growers Co-op, Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center Director Jan Tusick, Butte School District Director of Central Services Mark Harrison, and others. Participants will also work together to identify opportunities and barriers related to regional institutional food markets.
The workshop is Friday, April 25 from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at NCAT's Butte office. The $10 fee includes lunch. The workshop is supported by a USDA Farm to School grant.
Read more and register.
PLUS: Coming this summer! NCAT's Cover Crop Farm Tours. Learn more.
Beef. It's on the Menu
The hum of happily chewing mouths filled the Ennis School lunchroom on January 15 as students, for the first time in the school's history, enjoyed beef stroganoff prepared with local Montana beef. Not only is this sort of beef purchase good for the local economy, it has tremendous environmental benefits. Want to learn more about Ennis School's field-to-fork activities? Read more.
Featured Recipe: Beet Bruschetta
Recipe by Gregory Price, Manager of the Garden City Harvest's River Road Neighborhood Farm
Recently we attended the Wintergreens homegrown winter meal and celebration.Garden City Harvest, the organization that manages community gardens and neighborhood farms across the city of Missoula, hosts the event each winter to remind folks that it is possible to eat local even in the midst of a Montana winter. Garden City Harvest farmer Greg Price put on his chef's hat for the evening and served up a variety of delicious dishes using ingredients grown at Garden City Harvest's four farms. This simple recipe for Beet Bruschetta was a favorite of ours. Enjoy!
- 2 pound of beets, cut into cubes - the smaller you cut them the faster they will cook
- Medium sized red onion, finely diced - use half to whole onion depending on taste
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
- Baguette, sliced and toasted
- Toss chopped beets in olive oil and spread on a large baking dish or sheet.
- Roast beets in an oven preheated to 400 degrees. The beets will be finished roasting when they are soft, smell sweet, and can be easily mashed.
- When you think the beets are about half way or so done, remove from oven and add the onion and garlic as well as a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Mix the ingredients and finish roasting.
- After roasting, remove from oven and let cool slightly, then transfer to a bowl and mix in the balsamic vinegar and crumbled feta.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve on sliced and toasted baguette.