By Rose Chavez
Food System/Food Equity Coalition
Mountain Garden to Table is an initiative of the Food Coalition with multiple lines of action helping to increase access to local produce in our community.
One of our current efforts is Chef on Wheels: Seasonal Food Demonstrations where we work with our six food pantries in Archuleta County to demonstrate how seasonal and local produce can be built into our daily meals.
The six food pantries (Community United Methodist Church, Amazing Grace Community Church, TARA Community Center, Pope John Paul II Catholic Church, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church and Restoration Fellowship Church) are part of the Food Pantry Network, an initiative of the Food Coalition. The produce for this effort is being donated from local commercial and backyard growers.
The Chef on Wheels demonstrations are taking place during August, September and October. The first demo was held this past Wednesday, Aug. 18, at the TARA Community Center in Arboles, where community members learned how to use seasonal and locally grown produce (kale and Swiss chard) in a new way when they prepared spaghetti glio e olio with lots of kale.
The next seasonal food demonstration will be Wednesday, Aug. 25, between 10 a.m. and noon at the Pope John the II Catholic Church food pantry, 353 S. Pagosa Blvd., and will include a tutorial on how to prepare tacos de calabacitas, a local Hispanic dish featuring the season’s finest squash, corn and optional chiles. This demo will include a tasting session. Participants who register will be given garden fresh food and food pantry staples to take home, along with a recipe and nutrition information. Please register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (401) 371-3227.
Please stay tuned for the announcement of the dates and times for the remaining demonstrations.