News & Awards

Local Students Could Hit "Pay Dirt" With New Recipe
Beau Baker and Andrew Haarsager Talk About Their Organic "Skordalia"

Beau Baker and Andrew Haarsager

KLEW-TV, Lewiston, Idaho
October 25, 2002

By Greg Meyer

At the end of the road is a little bit of paradise. In fact, the sign still says "Paradise Farm Organics." But MaryJane Butters says a metamorphosis of sorts is taking place, and the sign will soon read "MaryJanesFarm."

Most of the crops are in, but there's always plenty to keep everybody busy. On this day, Moscow High School juniors Beau Baker and Andrew Haarsager are busy perfecting an original recipe in MaryJane's new Pay Dirt Farm School Experimental Kitchen. The pair have been working on a traditional Greek dish called "skordalia," a type of garlic mashed potato spread.

"We both worked for MaryJane at Paradise Farm Organics," Haarsager said. "One day we went to lunch at a local Greek restaurant and had this food and told MaryJane about it, and she suggested we invent a recipe for it."

"At the time she was making a garlic cookbook," Baker said. "So we figured this might be a good entry for the cookbook. It was a food that involved a lot of garlic."

Butters said the kitchen, located in a nicely remodeled shed at MaryJanesFarm, is fully equipped with appliances on long-term loan from the Clearwater Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. It includes a fruit press, food dryer, pressure cookers and food processors. It's available for testing and development of processed food and herbal products by local entrepreneurs and can be rented for only $5 per hour.

Butters, CEO of MaryJanesFarm, said putting the kitchen together fit into her way of thinking about food and developing organic food markets. "When you are a cook, you often have someone saying 'this sauce is the best I've ever tasted, you should sell it'," Butters said. "And that's the purpose of the experimental Pay Dirt Farm School kitchen."

With her experience as an organic grower and businessperson, MaryJane Butters is guiding Beau and Andrew through the process of fine-tuning their new product, so it can be formulated and used as a quick and easy, tasty, dried, organic backpacking food.

As far as the organic part of preparing healthy food, it's a way of life Beau and Andrew were introduced to when they started working for Butters.

Only time will tell how successful Beau and Andrew will be with their Organic Skordalia. But with MaryJane Butter's help, there's a good chance the yummy garlic spread will be making it's way into backpacks all over the world in no time.

Editor's Note: Read more about our Pay Dirt Farm School.

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