Local Food Demonstration Kit & Recipe Cards: A Local Food Resource for Agents and Beyond

— Written By Grace Baucom and last updated by
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FCS Agent stands beneath a tent while providing a local food preparation demonstration

The Local Food Preparation Workgroup of the Local Food Program Team has created a variety of local-food-focused recipe cards and accompanying food demonstration guides and materials for Extension Agents to use in their local foods programming efforts. This compilation of resources, referred to as the Local Food Demonstration Kit, is a comprehensive, user-friendly toolkit designed to assist Agents as they implement local food preparation demonstrations in their county programming. The kit is versatile and can be adapted for use in a variety of settings, including farmers’ market tastings, kitchen garden workshops, cooking classes, and even virtual demonstration settings such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube, and Zoom (all virtual venue options that allow for physically distanced programming)!

The Local Food Demonstration Kit includes:

  1. A Local Food Demonstration Guide for each of the kit’s 13 recipes to help Agents as they prepare for and implement their demonstration.
    • Each guide includes a list of ingredients and supplies, an outline of the recipe, suggestions on demonstration activities, notes regarding good food safety practices, and talking points for use during the demonstration.
  2. A Local Food Recipe Card for each of the kit’s 13 recipes.
    • Each recipe card is available in English and Spanish. The cards are easily printable and great for distributing to demonstration attendees! Agents who have used the kit in settings such as farmers’ market tastings have shared that they enjoy having several different recipe cards (not just the one recipe they are demonstrating) available for those passing by to read through and choose from – audience members might just discover a new favorite local food recipe!
  3. A Printable (and Customizable) Table Top Marketing Display that Agents can use to share and promote the recipe being demonstrated.
    • Great for setting up outside a workshop classroom or posting at a farmers’ market booth to help attract market-goers!
  4. A Dot Survey Guide to help agents administer an interactive evaluation to demonstration attendees.

Example of a demonstration table setup  Dot survey board during a local food demonstration  FCS Agent serves samples as part of a local food demonstration

While the complete Demo Kit is only available to Agents (via the Local Food Program webpage ‘Agent Resources’ menu tab), all recipe cards are available to the public! They are an incredible resource for families looking to spice up their meals and use local ingredients. All recipes are available in both English and Spanish, and accessible via the Nutrition & Health Local Food Program webpage (scroll down to “Local Food Recipe Cards”). ¡Todas de las recetas de comidas locales están disponibles por el público! Se pueden acceder a todas en esta página de web (desplácese hasta la sección llamada “Local Food Recipe Cards”). 

The complete Demo Kit is available to all NCCE Agents via the Agent Resources tab of the Local Food Program webpage homepage menu; log in with a Unity ID and look for the “Guides & Toolkits” subheading. The entire kit is contained within a GoogleDrive Folder, making access and download of all materials simple and convenient.

What Agents have to say about the Local Food Demo Kit:

  • “Demonstration worked great and the recipe received excellent remarks.” -Nash County FCS Agent – Spinach and NC Strawberry Salad
  • “The recipe was simple and delicious!” – Stanly County FCS Agent – Sweet Summer Peach Salsa
  • “Participants enjoyed new ways to prepare seasonal fruits and vegetables”. -Northampton County FCS Agent – Minted Watermelon Salad, Spinach and NC Strawberry Salad, and Sweet Summer Peach Salad
  • “The demonstration was a hit with all ages. Many kids liked the taste.” -McDowell County FCS Agent- Sweet Summer Peach Salsa
  • “Great recipe and the farmer’s market visitors loved it.” – Rowan County FCS Agent- Greek Tomato Salad
  • “I really like the survey sheet and recipe cards. The guide also helped to make sure all ingredients were available.” – McDowell County FCS Agent
  • “The demonstration guide was helpful in providing information about the produce used in the recipe. The tabletop easel and writable poster is awesome; it’s eye-appealing and professional looking. The half-sheet recipe card works well for printing and distribution.” – Rutherford County FCS Agent

Complete list of Local Food Recipes Currently Available in the Local Food Demo Kit (more to come in the future):

  • Balsamic Roasted Beets with Feta
  • Bok Choy Salad
  • Creamy Spinach and Leeks
  • Garden Quesadillas
  • Greek Tomato Salad
  • Lemon Basil Summer Squash
  • Lemon Green Beans with Parsley and Almonds
  • Minted Watermelon Salad
  • Spinach and NC Strawberry Salad
  • Sweet Summer Peach Salsa
  • Crispy Vegetable Pancakes
  • Ranch Greek Yogurt Dip and Hummus
  • Savory Pumpkin Hummus

Post reviewed by Zandra Alford & Zach Troutman of the Local Food Program Team’s Local Food Preparation Workgroup.

Photo Credit Top to Bottom: Janice Roberts, Toi Degree, Catherine Hohenstein, Hayley Cowell