Food Day is a nationwide event that celebrates healthy and sustainable food every year on October 24th. The five main goals of Food Day are: to promote safer and healthier eating, to support sustainable and organic farms, to reduce hunger, to reform factory farms to protect the environment, and to support fair working conditions for food and farm workers.
This year was Chewonki’s second year participating in this event and there was a lot of planning that had to be done. A group of about a dozen students divided up the tasks of planning a menu, creating information materials for the dining room and classes, and planning school meeting. The days leading up to the 24th were full of figuring out every last little detail and excitement leading up to the event.
On October 24th we awoke to a beautiful, crisp fall day on the neck. After enjoying a fantastic locally-gown breakfast, we gathered for morning meeting where a few students put on a funny little skit about milk. Case dressed up as Louise (the cow), and Savannah and Hannah dressed up as Megan and Caitlin (two of the farmers). They “milked” Louise and promoted farm milk over store bought milk. From there we went about our day as usual, absorbing information about food processes between classes.
At lunchtime we all wandered down to the farm where there were tables and chairs set up under the wind turbine. The sun was shining and Sal was frolicking about in her pasture. Students and faculty mingled and talked together under the clear blue sky. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. In the time between lunch and work program we listened to some of the OC staff playing the banjo while we wove the last of summer’s flowers into crowns.
At school meeting we were divided into “families” and given a weekly allowance for food. The amount ranged from $30 to $400 for a family of five for one week. Around the room there were posters listing different foods and comparing the prices of local, organic, and conventional food products. Each “family” had to see how much they could buy for that week without going over their budget. My family had $400 and was able to buy all local everything and still had about $100 left over. Other groups had less than $50 and could only buy the bare minimum of conventional food. After creating our grocery lists we circled up and talked about what we had learned.
On Wednesdays we usually dress up for dinner anyway, but this Wednesday was particularly special. The dining hall was decorated, and there were informational table tents on every table. The cooks had outdone themselves, for the third time that day, and cooked us a fabulous local meal. At the end of the day everyone was full of good food and knowledge.
-Grace Brown, Canton NY
And just to make all the folks at home a little jealous of how good the food was, here’s the menu:
Strata (vegetables and meat, local cheese, bacon), Eggs – Bowden’s Egg Farm, Waldoboro, ME. Cheddar Cheese – Pineland Creamery, New Gloucester, ME. Bacon – Salt Marsh Farm, Chewonki
Farm yogurt bar (maple and blueberry flavored, granola, fruit). Yogurt – Salt Marsh Farm, Chewonki. Maple Syrup – Maine Maple Products, Madison, ME. Blueberries – Bill Hinckley, Red House Farm, Waldoboro, Me
Apple Sauce- Biscay Orchards, Damariscotta, ME
Salad (apples, carrots, beets, corn, nuts). Greens, Carrots, Beets – Salt Marsh Farm, Chewonki. Maple balsamic dressing
Baked chicken (tofu) Tofu – Heiwa Tofu, Lincolnville, ME.
Chicken – Salt Marsh Farm, Chewonki
Mashed Potatoes – Maine-Grown
Parsnip soup. Parsnips, Leeks – Salt Marsh Farm, Chewonki. Potatoes – Maine-grown
Squash and kale pizza (with sausage). Cheese pizza (with sausage and tomato). Squash, Kale, Sausage, Tomato, Basil, Garlic – Salt Marsh Farm, Chewonki. Whole Wheat Flour – Aurora Mills, Linneus, ME. Feta Cheese – Pineland Creamery, New Gloucester, ME
Ice cream. Round Top, Damariscotta, ME.