The Montana Food CorpsWelcome to The Dirt,
NCAT's e-newsletter with fresh updates from our food and agriculture programs in Montana.

We hope you'll keep growing with us! There are two easy ways to keep receiving The Dirt. You can click here to sign up for the Montana Food and Ag. Listserve to get the newsletter and also connect to folks working across Montana to build a better food system. Or, if you want to only keep receiving The Dirt, you can click here to subscribe. Enjoy!


Food Corps

Are you ready to go back to school?
We sure are!

The beginning of September and going back to school is an exciting time for everyone. It's a time of change, bringing new routines, new friends, and new learning experiences. In the spirit of change and new experiences, I'd like to introduce myself as the new Montana FoodCorps Fellow, as well as our 2013-2014 team of ten Montana FoodCorps service members! Continue reading »

Grow Montana

grow montana logo

Tell us what you think!
Grow Montana supports a vibrant Montana food system by looking at on-the-ground challenges and bringing people together to find solutions and create opportunities. Now, Grow Montana needs to hear from you: what should we work on next? Your voice matters to us, and we want to work alongside you to help make sure that our state's policies align with your vision. Tell us your thoughts, and help us grow! Visit our website to take our quick survey today!

Farm to Cafeteria Network

farm to cafeteria logo

"Diversifying the Future of Food" Youth Summit

Registration is open for Farm to Cafeteria Network's Growing Leaders Youth Summit!

Held October 6-8 in Missoula, Montana, the event is open to 150 teenagers and educators who care about sustainable food, healthy living, and vibrant community-based food systems.

The summit's theme "Diversifying the Future of Food" will form the foundation for dynamic tours, interactive workshops led by youth and adults, and keynote presentations delivered by young innovators from California, Massachusetts, D.C., and Montana—all experts in youth leadership, food justice, and local food systems.

Participating teachers will receive up to 13 OPI renewal credits.

Deadline to register: September 20
Cost: $85
More info about schedule and online registration at

Montana Food News
From our friends at AERO

Join us for AERO's 39th Annual Meeting.

Policy to Practice: Bringing Food & Energy Down Home

October 25-27

Bitterroot River Inn
Hamilton, Montana

Featuring: Energy & Ag/Farm tours, presentations & roundtable discussions, displays, demonstrations, folk school (new this year!), live and silent auctions, dancing, music, delicious local food, and more!

Keynote Speakers: Wenonah Hauter from Food & Water Watch & Gwen Lachelt, Founder of Earthworks' Oil & Gas Accountability Project.

To register,
visit or call the office at (406) 443-7272.

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We hope to see you there!

Featured Recipe: Preserve the taste of summer in your freezer!

Blanching and freezing produce is a great way to eat local through the winter. Blanching—boiling or steaming for a brief period of time before quickly cooling in ice water—stops enzymes that would break food down, and is a must when freezing most vegetables.** It's an easy way to keep food fresh and nutritious for months.

Some innovative businesses and institutions in Montana are using this process on a larger scale to serve their customers local produce, even in the snowiest months of winter. Follow this link to read about how Missoula public schools are preserving the harvest.

If you want to give freezing a try, there are lots of great resources to get you started! Montana State University Extension has a PDF guide to freezing and blanching available here. Putting Food By, by Ruth Hertzberg, Janet Greene, and Beatrice Vaughn is an excellent reference as well.

Green Beans**Great tip: Peppers can be frozen without blanching—just remove seeds, cut them into whatever size pieces you'll want to cook with later, and freeze. Most fruits and berries don't require blanching either.

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Copyright © September 2013
The National Center for Appropriate Technology

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Butte, MT 59702

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