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Local foods showcased in Pride of the Prairie Fall Feast

Posted by Cassie Hall '14, Brookings, South Dakota on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009

On Tuesday, October 27, 2009, the University of Minnesota, Morris will host Pride of the Prairie Community Foods Day, an event that aims to connect area farmers, the community, and the campus in a local, sustainable, and delicious way—through food.

The Farmers Market, held in the Student Center’s Oyate Hall from 1 until 4:30 p.m., will provide an opportunity to purchase produce supplied by farmers from the surrounding area. Following the market will be the Pride of the Prairie Fall Feast from 4:45 until 7 p.m. in the Food Services building. The feast’s entertainment will be music by students Caitlin Lenox, Emily Smith, B.J. Flynn, and Craig Sandberg, as well as local band Home Made Jam.

The fall feast allows students and community members to come together in an autumn celebration, eating side by side with the providers of the meal’s ingredients.

The menu includes herb roasted chicken courtesy of Kadejan Farms, fresh green bean salad with a black tea vinaigrette from Axdahl Farms and the Pomme de Terre Food Co-op, and a three squash medley from Pahl’s Market. Also, there will be Minnesota wild rice from Native Harvest, fresh creamy mashed potatoes, and fresh stewed tomatoes from Minnesota’s Bushel Boy Farms. Desert is composed of raspberry short cake/compote and flax seed muffins from the West Central Research and Outreach Center and Dry Weather Creek Farm, respectively. Butter and milk will be provided by Pride of Main Street Dairy, honey from Honey & Herbs, and apple cider courtesy of Pepin Heights.

“Eating local foods is an easy, direct, and delicious way that we can contribute to having the least impact on the Earth,” says Brynn Stember, the Pride of the Prairie student coordinator, a Bemidji native from the Class of 2011. “So often, the connection is lost between where our food is grown and how it arrives at our dinner tables. Sustainability is one of the goals of the Morris campus, and this meal is one way that we are working to bring forth this goal.”

Since it was established in 2000 by Sandy Olson-Loy, vice chancellor for student affairs, the Pride of the Prairie Fall Feast has been extremely successful, thanks to community efforts: the cooks and managers who plan the menu with the farmers those who create the posters and farmers’ autobiographies and the musicians who provide entertainment. The event welcomes student participation, either as ticket sellers at the Student Center or as volunteers at the feast (in which case, the meal ticket is free!).

Tickets to the Pride of the Prairie Fall Feast are $10 for adults and $6 for children age six and over. Tickets can be purchased either in advance at the Student Center Information Desk or at the door. Students may use their meal plans.