Farm-to-table lunches at Nevada Union High School

From the blog of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine:

We ran into our friend Malaika Bishop, co-director of Sierra Harvest, at Three Forks Bakery and Brewing Co. in Nevada City on Sunday. We attend some of their “potlucks” during the growing season Their goal is to educate, inspire, and connect Nevada County families to fresh, local, seasonal food.

We talked about “back to school,” including the unimaginative meals that most school children eat from the cafeteria.

But Nevada Union High School is going to buck the trend. This year, it is closing the campus during the lunch hour and improving the cafeteria menu to include fresh, local food. It includes a salad bar filled with fruits and veggies from local farms, and bread that is delivered daily from Truckee Sourdough Company.

The school district is partnering with other local businesses including Culture Shock, Carolines Coffee Roasters, Sierra Harvest, and Nevada County Grown. We applaud this effort and hope more schools will participate. It could become a regional model.

“The Nevada Joint Union High School District would like to introduce you to the exciting changes being made as we work toward our goal of preparing fresh, cooked-from-scratch meals created entirely on-site in our school kitchen,” as the school’s website reads.

“This year, students will have the chance to create their own salads with local produce in our all-new build-your-own-salad bar at Nevada Union.

“We are working closely with local farms to secure produce that is grown locally and regionally; this means students can expect colorful summer vegetables when they begin the school year, crisp apples as they enter autumn and savory root vegetables as they turn the corner into winter.

“Freshly made prepared salads will also be available, including one featuring raspberries, walnuts and feta.

“Also new this year is our build-your-own-sandwich bar, where students can add fresh produce and condiments to their sandwich that is made with freshly baked bread from Truckee Sourdough Company.

“Made from scratch pizza dough will be used to create cheese and pepperoni pies which will be offered daily, and a different specialty pie each day of the week, including Hawaiian, BBQ chicken, and Mediterranean with feta, sun-dried tomatoes, and artichokes.

“Freshly made hot sandwiches on Truckee Sourdough bread will also be offered, including pulled pork, southwest chicken, and pesto chicken.

“We are working closely with local non-profits Sierra Harvest and Nevada County Grown to move toward a completely fresh, cooked-from-scratch food program.

“Check back with us often to see our new farm partners and changes as our program progresses over the next few years.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

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