Harvest of the Month

Our Harvest of the Month program showcases Montana-grown foods in classrooms and cafeterias.

45011761_2282461195128868_7186845003476369408_o

 

Each month, we coordinate with school food services to promote one locally grown item (e.g. kale) by serving it in a meal, offering taste tests, and delivering educational lessons.  These lessons include activities surrounding both the nutritional and agricultural aspects of the food.

The three primary goals for this program are to:

  • Expose students to new, healthy foods

  • Develop new school food service recipes

  • Support Montana farmers and ranchers


As one of the Harvest of the Month exercises, students are asked to taste and rate the food.  The ratings are “TRIED IT” or “LIKED IT” or “LOVED IT”.  Here is a sample ratings summary:summer 2017 taste test

IMG_2943


Now THIS is a zucchini!!!

IMG_1590

Here is a gratifying message from the father of one of our kids about our September 2018 Harvest of the Month featuring zucchini:

As the father of a very picky eater, I was shocked to hear my 8 year old son tell of the Farm to School program at Pine Creek School, today.

This kid has never met a vegetable he didn’t absolutely hate!  Seriously, we have to hide spinach in everything so he doesn’t develop scurvy.

So, when he came home raving about zucchini roll ups, and how he’d eat them everyday, I nearly fainted.

If it is at all possible, I would love to have a copy of this recipe.

We are so thankful to live in Montana, and to have these types of programs available to our children.

Keep up the good work!

Thank you,

Jason Conrad

Here’s the recipe for Zucchini Roll-Ups:

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium zucchini or other summer squash — Cucumber works great too!
  • Hummus or Pesto (homemade or from the store)
  • Any veggies you’d like to put inside (e.g., shredded carrots, bell peppers, red cabbage, avocado, etc.)
  • Fresh herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, etc.), chopped or torn from stem.

Directions:

  1. Use a vegetable peeler or mandolin to slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4″ thick strips.
  2. Spread hummus or pesto thinly and evenly on each strip.
  3. Lay the cut vegetables and herbs on top of the hummus or pesto.
  4. Roll up zucchini tightly, and secure with a toothpick, if necessary
  5. Serve immediately.  Best enjoyed fresh!
  6. Below is the recipe for Basil Pesto

Makes 15 – 20 roll-ups


Here’s the recipe for Basil Pesto:

Ingredients: 

  •  2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (can substitute half the basil leaves with baby spinach)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano or Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (can substitute chopped walnuts)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times.
  2. Add the garlic and Parmesan or Romano cheese and pulse several times more.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
  4. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady small stream. (Adding the olive oil slowly, while the processor is running, will help it emulsify and keep the olive oil from separating.)
  5. Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
  6. Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  7. Toss with zucchini noodles, or pasta for a quick sauce; dollop over baked potatoes, or spread onto crackers or toasted slices of bread.

Makes about 1 cup of pesto

 


One more benefit of Farm to School of Park County programs: The people who work in our schools’ food service departments are gratified to have students eat and enjoy more fruits and veggies:

PTO2

More Farm to School means more children understand healthy food choices. Salad bar and fruit/veggie consumption in the elementary schools has increased threefold! Our kitchen staff is eager and willing to incorporate more fresh, local foods!

–Leslie Ammerman, Lead Cook for Livingston Public Schools