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We're finally putting winter behind us and heading into spring. Read on to see what our staff has been up to over the long winter months.

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NCAT's Montana Staff

Micro but Mighty

  micro greens

Microgreens are very young plants that are harvested for their cotyledons, the first two leaves that emerge during germination. For some microgreens, harvesting when the plant is just past the cotyledon stage and have their first "true" leaves is desirable. Sprouts are plants that have barely sprouted and are harvested a tad earlier than the cotyledon stage. The primary difference in microgreens and sprouts is that sprouts do not need any sunlight and typically grow in water, and microgreens, since they have a slightly longer lifespan, require sunlight and grow in a soil medium. Click here to learn more.


MT Harvest of the Month Pilot Program for Business and Community

local food sign

The Montana Harvest of the Month program showcases Montana grown foods in Montana communities with the two main goals of exposing children and adults to new, healthy foods and to support Montana's farmers and ranchers. The program is a great way to provide nutrition education, promote healthy meals, and grow a team for supporting wellness initiatives within your community. The program was originally developed for K-12 audiences in August 2016 but launched for early care and healthcare audiences in August 2018. Now, we are piloting the program in grocery stores and in food pantries in Livingston, Helena, and Great Falls. These sites will assist in the development and evaluation of the current program by utilizing program materials and providing feedback. The pilot program will run from March to July and will prepare us for a state-wide launch in December 2019. Click here to learn more.



Pulse of Montana Recipe Contest

  recipe book

Are you a Montana Harvest of the Month registered-site looking for a way to celebrate our state's beating heart? Take part in the "Pulse of Montana" recipe contest! This is an opportunity to test and submit Pulse recipes for a chance to win one of six $100 prizes for your site. The recipe contest is open to individuals representing any site that is registered for and participating in the Montana Harvest of the Month program during the contest period. Hurry – the deadline to submit is May 31!

Learn more here


NCAT Commercial Energy Services

energy tree

Business Partners Energy Services is a program that helps Montana customers reduce energy use and save on energy bills. Led by Program Manager Stacie Peterson, NCAT energy analysts can also assist you in every part of the utility incentive and rebate process. Call or email us today to get your project on the fast track to maximum savings. NCAT's toll-free number is 866-723-8677 and our email is You can also learn more here.



Montana Craft Malt Plant

Craft Malt Plant

NCAT Energy Services staff visited the under-construction Montana Craft Malt plant, which boasts access to one of the world's best barley-growing regions and the state's top independent growers, enabling a diverse selection of classic and artisanal malts. The Montana Craft Malt Plant, based in Butte, is a $15 million, 30,000 square foot facility that has the ability to produce 10,000 tons of malt from Montana-grown barley per year. The malt will be used for craft brewers and can be produced in small, custom batches. NCAT's staff conducted an assessment of the plant and its energy needs and have made recommendations about energy efficient lighting, HVAC equipment, and more. Our staff also are assisting the plant owners to access rebates and incentives from the utility company.

Click here to visit the Montana Craft Malt website.



Featured Recipe


Celebrating Montana-grown chickpeas!

Bistro Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Courtesy of Idaho Grown Legumes Cookbook

Servings: 6


  • 3/4 cup Celery, chopped

  • 1/3 cup Green peppers, chopped

  • 1/3 cup Green onions, chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups Dried chickpeas

  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise, reduced calorie

  • 1 Tbsp Sweet pickle relish

  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

  • 12 slices Whole grain-rich bread

  • 1/4 lb Spinach


  1. Cook dried chickpeas: One cup of dried chickpeas in equivalent to two cups (11.6 oz.) cooked chickpeas. First, soak dry chickpeas using one of two methods: A) Overnight soak: cover pot of water and beans. Place in the refrigerator and soak overnight. B) Quick soak: Bring beans to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and cover the pot to allow the beans to soak for 1 hour until the beans expand to two to three times their dry size. Second, add soaked chickpeas to water (1 cup chickpeas per 3 cups water). Bring to boil and simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until tender. When chickpeas can be mashed by a fork, they are done. Drain.

  2. Chop celery, green peppers, and green onions.

  3. In a bowl or mixer, add mayonnaise, relish, and mustard. Stir in celery, green peppers, green onions, and chickpeas. Mix well.

  4. Assemble sandwiches by placing 3/4 cup chickpea mixture onto slice of bread, top with 1/4 cup spinach and add second slice of bread. Serve chilled


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Copyright © May 2019
The National Center for Appropriate Technology

NCAT Headquarters:
P.O. Box 3838
Butte, MT 59702

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