Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Watauga High School Goes Local with Apples

With fall in full swing here in the High Country, one of our area specialty crops is in full swing... APPLES. To promote local food awareness at the Watauga High School, Extension FCS Agent, Margie Mansure, helped develop a comprehensive program.

Students from Mountain Alliance, a culinary class, and a travel and tourism class learned a bit more about the importance of supporting local foods. On Monday, Todd Nolte and his Mountain Alliance students picked apples from over 150 varieties at Moretz’s Mountain Orchard in Todd. They delivered 21 bushels to ProStart, a culinary class taught by Family and Consumer Science teacher Tierra Berry. The culinary students prepared 4 different recipes that were judged by teachers on flavor, creativity and appearance. Health promotion professionals judged the healthfulness of the recipes as well. Alison Garrett’s Travel and Tourism class (which includes marketing), spread the word about the apple tasting that was held on Friday, right after school. The class organized an apple trivia contest, designed a t-shirt promoting local food, and encouraged students to attend the recipe tasting by passing out local apples for students to enjoy on Friday morning.

This project was supported with grant funding from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. One of the purposes of the grant is to reach and educate more consumers about the value of locally grown produce. Partner organizations promoting local foods include NC Cooperative Extension, New River Organic Growers, Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture, and High Country CSA. For more information about what you can do to support our local food economy, visit highcountrygrown.org

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