The Dinner on the Green to celebrate 80 years at Green Fields Country Day School on Nov. 3 was a real grass-roots affair.
The gathering featured all things locally grown and handmade — from one-of-a-kind silent auction items created by students, teachers and parents to grass-fed beef, farm-fresh produce, artisanal cheeses and sausages, complemented by Arizona wines.
The dinner was served on tables set end-to-end on the grassy quad to create a 160-foot uninterrupted banquet under a bower of white lights. This stemmed from a tradition started by former Head of School Phineas Anderson, who would line up tables on the green and serve pizza to the students.
Once an alfalfa farm, Green Fields, at 6000 N. Camino de la Tierra, is Southern Arizona’s oldest independent day school. Today its students maintain several gardens, host a monthly farmers market and raise chickens — whose eggs were used to thicken butternut squash soufflé, one of the five courses served.
Professional chefs volunteered their talents – Eric Savin from PY Steakhouse, sous chef Meredith Savin, a culinary school graduate and director of student services at Green Fields, and pastry chef Elizabeth Mikesell.
Silent auction items created by students from kindergarten through 12th grade included table linens hand stamped with autumn leaves by first-graders, pastel silk ties made by the fifth-graders, a gourmet basket featuring food ninth-graders canned and an Adirondack chair painted by the senior class. The handcrafted items were augmented by gift certificates, museum tours, books, wines, plants and other items.
The top raffle prize – a custom-made silver and turquoise necklace – was created by Green Fields parent and jewelry designer Gloria Todzia.
The 80th anniversary celebration continued the next day on the green with an old-time pizza and birthday cake party for the students.
For more information about the school, call 297-2288 or go to www.greenfields.org online.