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Our staff is working every day to promote resource conservation, efficient and renewable energy production, and healthy foods grown with sustainable techniques. We've had a busy fall making a difference across Montana, and we hope you enjoy the following articles about our efforts.

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Clark Fork School in Missoula Celebrates Harvest of the Month

Kale taste test whiteboard

Eight early childcare centers across the state are participating in the new Montana Harvest of the Month program. Each month, participating childcare centers, K-12 schools, and afterschool programs are showcasing one Montana grown or raised food by serving it in a meal or snack, offering taste tests to children, and doing educational activities.

The primary goals for this program are to expose children to new, healthy foods and to support Montana's farmers and ranchers.

Clark Fork School, an outdoor-based preschool in Missoula, celebrated kale month in October by featuring several different recipes including kale chips and kale salad on the lunch menu. Teachers also conducted taste tests each month in which children shared whether they tried it, liked it, or loved it. The artwork the children made to celebrate local kale, including their kale paper bunches, are on display at the school. The kale served was both grown in the school's outdoor learning garden and greenhouse and donated by local farmers.


Energy Services Helps UM Western

U of M Western ~ Main Hall

A crew of NCAT energy engineers, program specialists, and Energy Corps AmeriCorps members headed to the University of Montana Western campus in Dillon recently to conduct a campus-wide audit of lighting. The team members assessed interior and exterior lighting in more than 20 buildings and common areas. The goal of the project is to convert all existing lighting to all LEDs, which will result in significant energy and cost savings for the school, while providing a better quality of light for years to come.

NCAT's partners on the project include the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) energy program, the Montana Resource Efficiency Program, and the Business Partners program of NorthWestern Energy

This project will re-light the UM Western campus with quality lighting that will reduce the energy usage of the lights by over half," said Stacie Barry Peterson, NCAT's director of energy services and team leader of the NCAT group. "In addition to a large reduction in energy costs, the project will include rebates from NorthWestern Energy that should bring the project costs to a less than five-year payback."

In addition to Stacie, NCAT team members include Megan Aniss, Emily Caponi, Alison Lunde, Emilia Emerson, Danielle Miska, Tristan Payne, Debbie Rask, Cathy Svejkovsky, and Shyla Wesley. David LeMeiux of the DEQ energy program also joined the team.

For more information about NCAT's energy services program and how it could assist your business or organization, contact Stacie at stacieb@ncat.org or call 406-494-4572.


Montana Crunch Time: A Bite of Success

Montana Crunch Time banner

On October 24 at 2 p.m., students and adults across the state took a bite into a locally or regionally grown apple to celebrate Montana Crunch Time. The annual event, part of a greater movement of National Farm to School Month activities, was a success in the Polson School District for the sixth year.

FoodCorps AmeriCorps service member Mary Auld and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Coordinator JB Capedeville organized this year's event, purchasing 1,800 apples from Campbell's Orchard on Finley Point to distribute among the school's students for the big crunch. Click here to read more.


Featured Recipe Celebrates Winter Squash

winter squash

December's Harvest of the Month item is winter squash. Schools, early childcare centers, and hospitals across the state are celebrating this hearty vegetable by integrating it into their menus and sharing nutritional information and recipes with their staff, students, and patients.

Click here to learn more about the Montana Harvest of the Month program.

Spaghetti Squash & Chicken with Avocado Pesto
Source: www.eatingwell.com

Serves 4
Nutrition highlights: Winter squash is loaded with vitamins A and C and provides approximately the same amount of potassium as bananas. It's also a source of vitamin B, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

  • 1 2½ pound to 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  • ¼ cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces


  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Place squash, cut-side down, on one side of the prepared pan. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine avocado, basil, pistachios, lemon juice, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add 4 tablespoons oil and process until smooth.
  • Ten minutes before the squash is done, toss chicken, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Spread the chicken in an even layer on the empty side of the baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake until just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Using a fork, scrape the squash from the shells into a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss gently to combine. Serve topped with the pesto.


Montana Healthcare Foundation Special thanks to the Montana Healthcare Foundation for its generous support.

A portion of the work about which this newsletter reports is funded, in whole or in part, through a grant awarded by the Montana Healthcare Foundation. The statements and conclusions of this newsletter are those of the Grantee and not necessarily those of the Montana Healthcare Foundation. The Montana Healthcare Foundation makes no warranties, express or implied, and assumes no liability for the information contained in the succeeding text.

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Copyright © December 2017
The National Center for Appropriate Technology

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