The Earth Task Force (ETF), a student led environmental action team at New Vista High School (NVHS) coordinated an annual event that provides a locally sourced lunch to staff and students. For the fourth annual Local Lunch, The Kitchen, a Boulder restaurant that works with local food producers, collaborated with ETF to create a gourmet menu and coach students on culinary skills. Students within the action team reached out to local farms to get donations of ingredients, and with the help of the culinary resources at The Kitchen, prepared the food. This locally sourced lunch was served to the NVHS community free of charge on Friday, September 20th, 2013.
The driving reason behind organizing the Local Lunch was to educate student peers and the community about the impact of local versus non-local food on the planet: eating locally reduces carbon emissions, fuels the local economy, lets you know where and who your food comes from, and gives eaters a chance to connect with growers. By making this a free event and having the students and staff bring their own plates and utensils ETF not only created an educational experience about local food, but also encouraged people to reduce their trash. This was a truly zero waste event.
Donations for the lunch were received from many local farms including Cure Organic Farm, Munson Farms, Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese, Oxford Gardens, and Red Wagon Organic Farm and for the first time this year NVHS used many ingredients from their own Learning Garden! The meat was provided by Cure Farm and Locavore, a delivery system that procures local meat from surrounding farms and sells it to customers in the Boulder area. Various other locations, such as 63rd Street Farm, offered to donate food, but were unable to due to the violent flooding of their location during the county’s recent wet weather. Despite the huge difficulty it presented to the providers of the local food, the aforementioned farmers still donated. The event would have been impossible without their help. It was an incredible opportunity to combine the voracious appetites of adolescents with delicious local food, farmers, and chefs in order to create an educational and fun experience.
The Local Lunch event was held on Friday, September 20th, 2013 from 12:05pm to 1:05pm for students and staff at NVHS. The local farmers who contributed to the meal were also welcome to come and enjoy the product of their donations. The sunny weather allowed the community to congregate on the grass by the NVHS Learning Garden, where students and staff sat on blankets eating the food served to them by ETF. The atmosphere of the event was amiable and relaxed, and the local food was well appreciated. Despite the evident lack of reusable plates brought by students, many individuals could not refrain from eating their lunch and so were served food on their binders and ultimate frisbees. Overall, the 2013 Local Lunch was a successful event and brought the community together through the delight of eating delectable local food.
About Earth Task Force:The Earth Task Force (ETF) is a Cottonwood Institute supported program at New Vista High School in Boulder, CO designed to give students an opportunity to take the lead to implement sustainability initiatives at their school.
Written by Juliet Luna and Cassidy Lam, ETF students