Saturday, March 29, 2008

Our Table at the Fiddleheads Market

On Saturday, March 29th we had a table at the Fiddleheads Market, which is a winter/spring farmer's market that just started up at the Fiddleheads Food Co-op every Wednesday and Saturday from 10am-2pm. It is a great place to go every week to find delicious local and organic produce from area farmers...and it's  wonderful environment too with live music and happy people.

At the market we sold some lettuce and lemon verbena tea. Both were very popular and the lettuce sold out in only 20 minutes! We were also advertising for the upcoming food conference. We are hoping to have many people there from CC and the New London Community.

Below are a couple images. One of a view of the market and another of Heidi Cook at our table. Brent Thomas was also there at the market to help out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

what's possible

As the signs of Spring appear around us with blooming flowers and chirping birds, our garden continues to thrive. Having returned from Spring Break, I went today to check out the status of the lettuces planted in the Fall...they live. All of the many varieties of lettuce that we planted survived the winter with no maintenance. It seems remarkable, but what this proves is that anyone, with hardly any labor, can have lettuce to eat all winter long. All that is needed is a little wire and some plastic covering (even a shower curtain would work). This little experiment of ours was a success and next winter I can only expect that we will be able to improve our modest harvest.

Below is some freshly harvested lettuce (my dinner tonight) and another image of lettuce growing under the plastic covering.

Happy Spring!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Earth Tub Composting Update

We are now composting in ALL OF THE DINING HALLS ON CAMPUS. This semester we have added Harris, Knowlton, and Smith dining halls to the list of places that we pick up food waste from. We now get hundreds of pounds every day and we are rapidly filling the tubs. After a slight learning curve from students and staff, the idea of composting is now catching on, and people are very enthusiastic about the amount of waste that is now being diverted from the piggery. The first batch of compost is going to Sprout and the second batch will be going to FRESH.

There was also an article recently published in E (the Environmental Magazine) with a section on the composting project featuring Tyler Dunham and Misha Johnson. Click here.

Below, Alana Harris and Mike Seager transport food waste from the dining halls to the Earth Tubs, and a look inside of one of the tubs with newly added food waste.

Maple Syrup March Madness

In late February, just a couple weeks before Spring Break we started to tap some sugar maple trees for sap. This project came to fruition with the guidance (and some extra materials) from Jim Luce and the initiative of Brent Thomas and Liz Wall. We tapped about a dozen sugar maples and then just before break we tapped a few red maples, which yield a sap with slightly less sugar content, so it takes more sap to make the same amount of syrup. For sugar maples it takes about 40 parts sap to make 1 part syrup. It takes about 12 hours to boil down the sap, which we have been doing in the kitchens of the dormitories Abbey House and Earth House.

This whole project is tremendously exciting and it allows us to continue our goal of showing what is possible in the area that we live in. Maple syrup is a sustainable alternative to imported refined sugars. And of course it is DELICIOUS!

Below, Brent Thomas and Eric Dooley-Feldman gather the sap from some trees and then filter and boil it in Earth House.