Harvest Dinner 2019

Harvest Dinner 2019

Harvest Dinner 2019

Event Details

Oct 05, 2019 04:00 PM to
Oct 06, 2019 12:00 PM
North Cascades Environmental Learning Center
Institute staff
Triple Accommodations
Double Accommodations
Single Accommodations
Cost with no Lodging
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Celebrate the arrival of autumn with a special Harvest Dinner in our lakeside dining hall on Diablo Lake, a fascinating presentation celebrating the richness of Skagit Valley Latinx culture through food, and comfortable overnight accommodations at our Environmental Learning Center on the shores of Diablo Lake!

Harvest Dinner

The menu for the Harvest Dinner will be based around Latinx family celebration traditions. There will be an array of unique appetizers — like using squash blossoms as tamale wrappers — a lot of side dishes including Roasted Beets & Pepitas, Elotes salad and Hand-cut Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo, organic chicken from Osprey Hill and a homemade, traditional mole sauce made by Nelida Martinez from her family recipe! Nelida will also be providing corn tortillas made from Skagit-grown and milled corn. And we’ll keep what’s for dessert a secret until you get here!

Local microbrews, wine and kombucha will compliment the palette of autumnal flavors and are included in the registration cost.

After dinner, we'll enjoy an evening presentation that celebrates Latinx farmers in our Skagit Valley foodshed, hearing from some of the farmers we purchase food from about the challenges, and successes, of working in agriculture.

Harvest Dinner at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center

Why did we decide to create a dinner event around Latinx farmers and food traditions?

Here are some thoughts from our Chef Justin Daniels:

I've thought a lot about the intent of the Institute's popular fall-time Harvest Dinner and feel it's important that the focus of the event is on the famers that are actually doing the harvesting. I saw a statistic that 83% of crop workers in the US identify as members of a Hispanic group, but I don't see that demographic being represented in our community. Photos of Hispanic farmers in the produce sections of grocery stores and co-ops are rare.

These are hard-working people that are underrepresented in our society, and so this dinner is a great way for the Institute to acknowledge these folks and make their good work more visible.

This year, North Cascades Institute is establishing a base line of what percentage of our budget goes to socially-disadvantaged farmers within our local foodshed. Once we understand what we're doing now, we can strive to increase it next year, with the larger goal being that the the majority of our "foodshed dollars" will be spent with minority and socially disadvantaged farmers by 2021.

Having access to really amazing produce, knowing that the money were spending on that produce is a great value and knowing that we are supporting really hard-working people...that feels really good.

Our Presenters for the evening

Mauricio Soto is an owner of Arado Farms, specializing in locally-grown raspberries and strawberries. He has been with Viva since 2013. Mauricio is originally from Nayarit, Mexico and came to the United States in 1990. Before coming to Viva, Mauricio managed several large berry farms in Skagit, and is considered a pruning expert around the valley.

Soy una persona que le gusta la vida al aire libre. [I am a person who likes living life outdoors.]

— Mauricio Soto

Harvest Dinner 2019
Nelida Martinez owns Pure Nelida farm and began farming at Viva in 2010. She grows a wide variety of vegetables and berries. Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, she spent about 10 years in California before coming to Washington in 2008. 

Me gusta mucho crecer las plantas y producir bien alimentación para alguien más. ¡Me gusta mucho, este trabajo es mi pasión! [I like to grow plants and provide nourishment for everyone. I like it a lot, this work is my passion!]

— Nelida Martinez

Our presenters will be joined by Kate SmithKate is the Northwest Small and Latino Farm Educator at the WSU School of Environment at Skagit County Extension. Kate has worked on behalf of small farmers across Washington since 2012 and is passionate about providing opportunities to Latino farmers to connect to financing, resources, and networks.

Your registration includes the Harvest Dinner and beer or wine, presentation, overnight accommodations in our guest lodges and breakfast the next morning. Commuter option featuring dinner and presentation is available for $70.