Carol Walsh has been a dedicated volunteer with the Corvallis Environmental Center’s tasting table program for several years. She first became involved with the program after hearing Jen Brown talk about the program at a Corvallis School District Wellness Committee meeting. At that time, Jen was seeking to expand the program to other schools, and so Carol jumped at the chance to involve Wilson Elementary. Both of Carol’s children attended Wilson and it is close to her work place, which made it convenient for her to connect with parents and staff.
Carol enjoys volunteering with the Tasting Table program because she loves having the opportunity to highlight local produce each month. She feels as though the program provides a great model for learning to accept new foods and appreciate the agricultural bounty of the Willamette Valley. She hopes that school staff take advantage of the monthly event and the associated content to extend the learning into the classroom and that parents feel comfortable and excited about getting involved at home.
One of Carol’s favorite Tasting Table memories was having her daughter (then a high school senior) help her with the table for two months as part of a class project. She also has fond memories of the month that featured roasted potatoes. The kids eagerly devoured them because they were so delicious, but one boy asked her, “Why do these smell and taste so much like French fries?” She then explained that French fries are actually made from potatoes—a shocking revelation!
Carol’s interest in Tasting Tables is in line with her career. She is a Registered Dietitian and has been working at The Corvallis Clinic for 11 years. She moved to Corvallis from College Station, Texas with her husband, Ian, and children, Patrick and Maggie, in the fall of 1997. In addition to thinking about food, Carol enjoys outdoor activities, visiting with friends, watching sports, cooking, travel, and reading for pleasure.
Carol’s nutrition expertise, creative cooking ideas (spinach pesto!), initiative, and dedication have been integral to the success of the Tasting Table program. The students of Wilson Elementary are lucky to have such an amazing volunteer!
Thank you, Carol, for all that you have done for this program over the years!