Fifth Season bounty fills F2C freezer

F.E.A.S.T. students preserved summer produce to be used all year in the cafeteria. - Madie Murray photo
F.E.A.S.T. students preserved summer produce to be used all year in the cafeteria.
— image credit: Madie Murray photo

The first Fifth Season project of the Farm-to-Cafeteria, F2C, program began with a lot of slicing and dicing on Monday, Aug. 17. At the cafeteria Kari Schuh led eleven F.E.A.S.T. students to prepare fruits and vegetables for freezing.

The summer produce arrived that morning fresh from the fields of local farms including Maple Rock, La Campesina, Morning Star, Black Dog, and Goldeneye. The Fifth Season bounty included organic plums, raspberries, Walla Walla onions, russet potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, squash, and green beans. F2C processed the produce to be served at the cafeteria throughout the year. This school year will be the first implementation of the Fifth Season project.

“This is an historical event,” said F2C committee chair Madie Murray.

The day began with some classroom instruction by F2C Coordinator Bruce Orchid, who demonstrated the difference between the fresh food they would process that day and processed foods which are packaged with preservatives and chemicals. Orchid demonstrated the superior taste, color, and appearance of the fresh, organic produce.

“The differences were startling,” said Murray.

Orchid explained how each item needed to be prepared to be frozen and assigned teams of two students to each task. F.E.A.S.T. students Kathryn Tidwell, Huxley Smart, Sofie Thixton, Seabern Gieser, Lee Gibbons, Alex Brown, Cameron Smart, Iris Parker Pavitt, Megan Corbett, Claire O'Neill, Halley McCormick were assisted by Kari Schuh and Ezekiel Barr.

By the end of the day, F.E.A.S.T. had filled the freezer with with 32 gallons of summer squash, 11 gallons of green beans, 20 gallons of plums, three gallons of raspberries and 12 gallons of cut potatoes for French fries.

The remainder of Monday’s crop was finished on Tuesday by sauteing before freezing Walla Walla onions that will be served on pizzas or in soups. Tomatoes were pureed into sauce. Basil and garlic was bagged and frozen also.

“A group of us first got enthused about the possibility of our doing what is called ‘Fifth Season’ on Orcas when we attended the Farm to School conference last March in Portland,” Murray said. “With the support of everyone on the F2C Committee, the F.E.A.S.T. kids, coordinator Bruce Orchid, and the community pitching in with labor and funding, it really happened.”

“There will be a lot of changes in the look, feel, and taste in the cafeteria this coming school year,” said Orchid.

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