'Tis the season of blanching and freezing, creative cooking, and long-term storing for the winter. Just as you've been busy preparing for the cold, NCAT's Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative has been busy preparing schools and other institutions to serve—and continue serving—healthy, local food. Over the past two months we've led National Farm to School Month activities, trainings for school food-service staff, a Farm to Healthcare Conference, and two youth-organized local food events. Read on to learn more about these initiatives, and please be in touch if you have questions about how you can be involved!

Nancy Moore
National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
Montana Healthy Food and Communities Program Director

farm to cafeteria logo

Farm to School Heroes: Boulder School Kitchen Staff Sharpen Healthy Cooking Skills

2013 Youth Summit

Following in the wake of National Farm to School Month in October, we want to take a moment to acknowledge some of the biggest heroes of the Farm to School movement: the hardworking staff in school kitchens across Montana who are responsible for feeding 80,000 kids every day. What a job!

On October 16, NCAT brought several of those school food-service staff together at a Montana Cook Fresh training in Boulder, Montana. The training promoted healthy, local food in school cafeterias by providing participants with helpful skills for preparing whole, raw ingredients in school kitchens and turning them into delicious meals that meet school nutrition guidelines (and kids' approval!). Read on to learn more about the tips shared at the Montana Cook Fresh training.

Montana Food News

Harvest Montana Conference: Growing a Regional Grain Economy

Are you a grain or pulse farmer looking to diversify the crops you grow and increase your profits? A value-added producer finding ways to use Montana-grown grains and pulses in your products? Perhaps a baker, brewer, student, or beginning farmer? If you answered yes to any of those, the Harvest Montana conference sponsored by Montana Farmers Union is for you. The conference will have 12 sessions in 4 topic tracks covering everything from soil fertility to custom malting. And the conference is capped off by a brewfest, featuring Montana microbreweries from across the state. NCAT will be in attendance with resources for farmers and ranchers and information about our Montana Healthy Food and Communities Initiative.

November 20-21, 2014
Heritage Inn, Great Falls

Register online for the conference and brewfest!

Please direct questions to:
Laura Ginsburg

grow montana logo

Grow Montana Food Policy Coalition Welcomes New Steering Committee Members

Since it was founded in 2005, the Grow Montana Food Policy Coalition has relied on a steering committee to make decisions and judgments about which food and agriculture policies the broadly based coalition will pursue. The steering committee, comprised of individuals representing Montana organizations and agencies, convenes monthly to identify and advance policy priorities that strengthen Montana's agricultural economy. Housed at NCAT, Grow Montana has recently added several new representatives to the steering committee. We're grateful for the time, expertise, and support these individuals contribute to the coalition's work, and we think you should meet them! To see a complete list of Grow Montana's new steering committee, click here.

Crunch Time
Food CorpsFoodCorps Montana: Ready to Get Our Hands Dirty!

October is National Farm to School Month and it is an exciting time to celebrate the connections made all over the country between children and healthy, local food. National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010 to demonstrate the growing importance of farm to school programs as a means to improve child nutrition, support local economies, and educate children about the origins of food.

Every day, NCAT's ten FoodCorps service members help build connections among students, teachers, food service staff, school administrators, volunteers, ranchers, farmers, parents, and chefs. National Farm to School Month is a special opportunity for FoodCorps members to join a larger movement of people who are building community through local school food and education all over the country. Read on to learn about the innovative ways four Montana FoodCorps members helped their schools celebrate Farm to School Month.

Featured Recipes: Hellgate Salsa & Flathead Cookies

This month we offer two recipes featured at the October youth-led Local Harvest events supported by NCAT through our Growing Leaders Youth Initiatives.

Ready to throw a Salsa Party? What's that? You can't dance? Well, take the lead from a group of students at Hellgate High School in Missoula who threw the kind of salsa party everyone can enjoy: the kind that features fresh salsa made from local ingredients. Want to learn about the Hellgate Rooftop Salsa Party? Read more.

Hellgate Salsa

YIELD: About 5 pounds of salsa — remember it's for a salsa party!


  • 14 cups diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups diced onion
  • 4 cups diced sweet peppers, variety of colors
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbl Kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup lime juice, adjust to taste

  1. Mix all ingredients together, cover, and refrigerate.
  2. Serve with (local?) tortilla chips or however you wish.
  3. Party!

This recipe was created by the Hellgate High School Culinary 2 Classes under the guidance of Cathy Semmelroth.

A: A local tree fruit that is plentiful in autumn in Montana.
Q: What are apples? Ding ding ding! Recently students at Flathead High School in Kalispell featured backyard apples along with other local delicacies at their Grand Opening of Growing a Better World Garden. Want to learn about their celebration that featured a homegrown game of Garden Jeopardy? Read more.

Applesauce Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

YIELD:About 4 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 local eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened local applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups local flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Cream together shortening and sugars, add eggs, applesauce and vanilla.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together, mix into batter.
  3. Add oatmeal and chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.
  5. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

This recipe came from and was brought to life by Flathead Culinary I, II, and III classes under the guidance of Maureen Fanion.

The Foundation for Healthy Montanans Logo
Thanks to the Foundation for Healthy Montanans for its support.
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Copyright © November 2014
The National Center for Appropriate Technology

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Butte, MT 59702

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