Recipes sought for Coupeville Community Cookbook

— Created June 24, 2020 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

Now may be the perfect time to share that “secret” recipe, for a good cause.

The Coupeville Farm to School program is putting together a community cookbook and recipes must be submitted by Saturday to be included.

“We’re looking for recipes that you like to cook at home,” said Zvi Bar-Chaim, coordinator of the Coupeville Farm to School program. “It’s better if it highlights things you can get on Whidbey Island, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be a traditional recipe – something you like to eat and are willing to share, it can be dessert, you name it. Whatever you feel like contributing, if it’s something you like to cook, let’s share it.”

Bar-Chaim said they have received about 40 recipes so far, but “the more, the merrier.” The cookbooks will be available at the program’s annual Cook for a Cause fundraiser July 23 (to be held online this year) but will also be available through the Farm to School Facebook page and website, Proceeds from the book go to support the farm to school program in Coupeville. Price of the cookbook is yet to be determined, as it will depend upon the number of recipes submitted.

A cookbook seemed like a natural extension of what the Farm to School program is all about, Bar-Chaim said.

“We do cooking as a regular part of the curriculum during the school year,” he said. “People like to cook and we wanted to give them an opportunity to share and bring another sense of community to what we’re doing. We want to expand our community.”

The Coupeville Farm to School program was started in 2015, so for students who were just starting school back then, they have had five years of learning about how food is grown.

“The kids love it,” Bar-Chaim said. “I’ve seen kids become more accepting, not thinking twice about eating vegetables; they love being outside, watching things grow. Cooking in school has been a big success; that’s the thing they look forward to, getting to cook in school and try what they’ve seen growing in the garden.”

 Despite the havoc COVID-19 has wreaked on school this year, Bar-Chaim said some positives have emerged from it.

“A lot of families are starting gardens at home,” he said. “We’re getting emails from students telling us to ‘look at the garden we’re doing, look at the plants we’re growing.’ Or, ‘We made this at home using some of the produce from our garden.’ They can see the connection pretty clearly now because of what families are doing. It’s one of the silver linings.”

Obviously there has not been any hands-on learning at the school garden this spring. Bar-Chaim said they were been able to move most of the learning online when in-school learning became at-home learning.

“We changed our curriculum to online video lessons and tutorials,” he said. “We’ve got our Facebook page, our YouTube channel and we’ve sent videos to teachers to share directly with students through online learning platforms. We’ve done cooking demonstrations and tutorials as well.”

Vegetables in the school garden have kept growing, despite there being no students to try the “Harvest of the Month” or participate in taste-tests, but the produce is being distributed to several families the district so nothing is going to waste.

In its first five years in operation, Bar-Chaim said he feels the Coupeville Farm to School program has done a good job fulfilling its mission.

“We want kids to make the connection between where food comes from and how it ends up on the plate and we want them to have the skills they need to be able to grow food themselves,” he said. “We want to give them the skills to cook that food as well, plus teach them the benefits of eating vegetables and eating a healthy diet as much as you can.

“We understand family situations differ,” Bar-Chaim continued. “Families may or may not have garden space – but we can still teach that connection.”

To submit a recipe by Saturday, email it to Find more information about the project on Facebook or at