Chili with beef from James Ranch. Salad from Turtle Lake Refuge. Corn-green chile chowder with Olathe corn. Organic apple sauce from Wacky Apple Snacks in Hotchkiss.
All ages and interests participated in Local Food Week on Wednesday, ranging from students in Durango School District 9-R to community fundraisers and young families.
Guests at the Community Taste Dinner on Wednesday evening put on by the 11-year-old Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado came for one of two reasons. Some came because they are believers in the local food movement.
I grew up on a farm, local lawyer Mike Chapman said. I grew up on whole foods.
Others came because they are involved with the foundation, which administers several family funds, nonprofits funds and miscellaneous monies for grants, scholarships and other community needs.
Carol Clark (of Buy Local) asked us to do this: local foods, a community dinner and we support local nonprofits. It seemed like a great idea, said foundation board member and founder Molly Martin.
Durango School District 9-R designated Wednesday as Colorado Proud School Meal Day, serving about 2,200 students a baked potato bar with local Colorado potatoes, James Ranch chili, mixed green salad and greens from Farm I and the Gardens at James Ranch and Wacky Snacks apple sauce and fruit juice.
Meanwhile, about 150 guests braved heavy rain to attend the dinner under a tent in the Coldwell Banker parking lot off 8th Street.
Food purveyors, including the Red Snapper, Poppys, Natures Oasis, Cyprus Cafe, Steamworks and Carver brewing companies, the DoubleTree Hotel, Ninis Taqueria, The Palace Restaurant and Cake Café, pulled ingredients from all over the area for their dishes.
On the menu were Foxfire Farms lamb, Sunnyside Farms Market beef and produce from Sunderland Farms and Southern Roots Farm. Baskets of sliced bread from Bread, Blue Lake Ranch lavender jelly and Chip Peddler chips were placed on every table.
Its great that moms values are now being valued and that people are taking an interest in wherever good food comes from, Chapman said.