Though we are not the same school whose garden and livestock provided a good deal of the food consumed on the Mesa, our “self sufficiency” is a little closer to home than it has been for many years—Tim Fox, Executive Chef, is proud of the progress in Cate’s kitchen and Raymond Commons. In the fall of 2005, Cate began a partnership with local farmers through the Farmer’s Market Association. This program brings fresh, organic, locally-grown produce to area restaurants and food service companies and is part of the growing “Slow Food USA” movement. “The most wonderful aspect of buying foods from our local growers is the quality and freshness” says Tim. “Many of the items we receive are literally harvested and delivered to us within an hour or two of picking.”
Cate School was one of the first organizations in the area to join the Farmer’s Market Association’s program. More than 50% of the vegetables and fruits consumed by Cate students and faculty are locally grown and organic—a number limited only by market availability. Purple cauliflower, mung beans, brussel sprouts still on the stalk, garlic-roasted peanuts, dried fruits, and local wild flower honey are just a few of the products supplied by our local markets. Faculty member Ned Bowler '83 sums it up: “Having local organic farmers deliver fresh food to Cate is fantastic for our community. It helps spread an awareness that we desperately need in this country—organic food means sustainable agriculture, which means healthy soil and, in turn, helps foster healthy people.” Cate has also recently begun purchasing baked goods from “Our Daily Bread,” a bakery located in Santa Barbara. The School receives daily deliveries of freshly baked organic/vegan sandwich breads, ciabatta, and dinner rolls from this earth-friendly local business. In 2003, the kitchen also started passing all fruit and vegetable preparation scraps to Ned for use in the organic garden behind the tennis courts—a garden worked and supported on a volunteer basis by interested Cate students and faculty.