Verde Valley School Farm to Table

2018 Farm to Table Feast

With the arrival of Fall and its harvest offerings, Verde Valley School is preparing to celebrate its fourth annual Farm to Table Feast on Saturday, October 20 between 3:00-7:00 pm. The menu features foods sourced from the organic Verde Valley School Farm as well as local Arizona farmers, vintners, and brewers, and each year local chefs are invited to design, prepare and present the meal, including VVS’s very own Chef Michael Briggs. The VVS Farm to Table Feast is truly a locavore event and is especially significant this year as all proceeds will provide Weekend Meal Packs to food insecure children in the Verde Valley.

We are thrilled to share that the 2018 Farm to Table Feast will be prepared by Sedona’s very own celebrity, Chef Lisa Dahl. Here’s what Chef Lisa has to say about the occasion:

By having the opportunity to be a voice in the community, one inherits a social conscience.  Even in our somewhat affluent Verde Valley area, many kids go home to their families on the weekends, hungry. As a Chef, this hits home and is painful to hear. Although the Verde Valley means “green valley,” many of these children don’t have the pleasure of receiving the proper nutrition from meals served at home. This Farm to Table Feast event means so much more than just putting on a Chef coat and cooking. When I found out it supports the “Backpacks for Kids” program, which provides food for kids over the weekend in a backpack, I was all in. 

Being invited as the featured Chef has brought me so much joy because it allows me to do one of the things I love most – crafting a menu featuring local ingredients. The cherry on top is that some ingredients will come straight from the Verde Valley School Farm; it doesn’t get more local than that! 

To all 75 attendees that purchase a ticket for this unforgettable experience, please know that I will cook every meal with love and passion. Your taste buds will be filled with delight, and your hearts will dance with satisfaction. 

Fueled by the inspiration of my recent travels to Provence and through the collaboration with the Verde Valley School and their farm manager, Michael Spielman, we will be bringing you a plant-based dining and drinking extravaganza that you will all remember for years to come.

The Farm to Table Feast is held on the VVS campus with its stunning views of Sedona’s red rocks, at a time of day when the setting sun casts its magical colors on the magnificent high desert landscape. As is the tradition, the evening starts with a tour of the school’s scenic “beyond organic” farm with Farm Manager Mike Spielman and his earth-loving team. Here you can wander around the gardens enjoying tasty small bites prepared by Chef Michael Briggs, refreshing beverages and entertainment by VVS music students. Guests will then proceed up to the Chapel patio for appetizers and then on to dinner at the Head of School’s house for dinner, both prepared by Chef Lisa Dahl.

Tickets, at $150 each, are limited to 75 guests this year and are available for purchase online by clicking HERE or calling Kris Fritz at 928-284-2272 ext 10 or emailing

We hope you can join us for this nutritious and delicious celebration of all that exemplifies the very best in supporting and eating LOCAL!

verde valley school farm

A Story of Environmental Stewardship

John Chorlton
Sustainability Coordinator.

One of the Verde Valley School Guiding Principles is Environmental Stewardship – nebulous words that can mean many things to many different people – person to person, family to family, and culture to culture. When I volunteered to take on the role of Sustainability Coordinator here at VVS it was because I didn’t want to lose the gains made by a group of people tied to the school. We had made progress despite nearly constant disagreement about the path forward.

Continue Reading…

Desert Star visits VVS Garden


Last week VVS Farm Manager welcomed the third grade class of Desert Star Community School in Cornville to plant in the garden.  Teacher Megan Rosker and her class learned about the VVS garden, permaculture techniques and then got their hands dirty planting their own cauliflower plants.  The class will return to the garden over the school year to check on their plants and harvest them.  Food grown in our garden is also used in the Desert Star Backpacks for Kids hunger initiative. We’re looking forward to a great partnership.
You can see more photos of the class’s visit in the gallery section of the VVS website and our Flickr page. 
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VVS Farm Manager Mike Spielman plants cauliflower with Megan Rosker’s third grade class from Desert Star Community School.


Farm to Table Menu Announced


We’re excited to announce the menu for our first annual Farm to Table Feast, featuring produce from the Verde Valley School garden and cooked by local farm to fork pioneer Brian Widmer of Garland’s Lodge. As with any locally sourced menu, our farm manager Mike Spielman worked hand in hand with Widmer to build a menu featuring the freshest food available.

Here’s our menu:

Hors D’Oeuvres
Seasonal delights featuring an assortment of goodies fresh from the VVS Farm
Farm fresh Verde Valley School garden arugula and mixed greens tossed with honey walnut vinaigrette complemented by crisp pear, pecans, Verde Valley School Armenian cucumbers and Black Mesa Ranch fresh goat cheese drizzled with maple vinaigrette
Entrée and Complementing Sides
Roast Chino Valley grass fed New York strip with foraged wild mushroom demi glace
Verde Valley School garden beans sweetened with caramelized onions
Verde Valley School farm grown roast spaghetti squash
VVS student picked local homestead apples in a Garland’s apple tart with vanilla gelato complete the meal
Local Wines
from Chateau Tumbleweed and DA Ranch
There are still seats available around the table. Please register by clicking here.
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VVS Farm Manager Mike Spielman and Chef Brian Widmer discuss the menu for this weekend’s Farm to Table Feast.