Lopez School’s L.I.F.E. Garden Program receives national attention


It was a dark and stormy night when writer Michael Stone attended Lopez Locavores’ first-ever Evening Meals at School in January 2007.

Stone, on assignment for the Center for Ecoliteracy, was just beginning a year-long, nation-wide search for remarkable models of education in sustainability. Lines formed out the door as more than 300 souls, braving a rare snow storm, gathered at the Lopez school for a community meal of locally grown food. Michael Stone was astonished; he also found the White Bean and Pumpkin Chili with Lopez Lamb Sausage quite memorable.

After interviewing administrators, teachers, students, staff and community members, Stone selected Lopez Island School’s L.I.F.E. Garden and Farm Program as one of just twenty outstanding programs to be featured Smart By Nature: Schooling for Sustainability, a 2009 book published by Watershed Media (available soon at Islehaven Books, Lopez Community Land Trust, and the Lopez Library).

The Lopez story contains a description of Huck Phillips’ Middle School class studying “green building” methods. His students gained hands-on experience at Common Ground, Lopez Community Land Trust’s recently completed zero-net energy housing initiative, which has also received national recognition. For more information on the L.I.F.E. program, go to the new school website at www.LopezIslandSchool.org/programs/life/garden.

This Thursday, September 24, Lopez Locavores Evening Meals begins its third season. The event will be an evening of festive celebration, as the splendid foods of the harvest season once again become a meal to remember in the capable hands of inspired chefs Jean Perry and Kim Bast and their team of devoted volunteers.

Evening Meals, “A Moveable Feast” is this month’s name for the Lopez Locavores mostly-monthly event that takes place during the school year. While celebrating the installation of a new roof at the school, and acknowledging realities of the construction, this meal will be held at the Lopez Community Center, this Thursday, September 24, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

A medley of savory and satisfying entrée salads will feature a rich array of local produce for this month’s menu:

Greek Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Cucumbers; Green Gold Black and White Bean Salad with Garlic and Parsley; and Local Hearty Greens Salad.

Be sure to save room for dessert: Plethora of Plums Cake, accompanied by Lopez Fresh Herbal Tea.

Lopez Locavores mission is to promote a sustainable island food system and access to fresh local food. Inspired by the L.I.F.E. Garden and Farm Program, “Evening Meals” celebrates local, seasonal food, farms and community. Donations only – everyone is welcome! Join the celebration, and remember –the same great “Evening Meals” — this month only at the Lopez Community Center.