Summertime in the Dining office

There haven't been many events to advertise or reflect upon as of late, but despite the students' summer absence, Dining has been surprisingly busy. There is plenty of behind the scenes work going on, particularly as we are opening several new retail locations in the fall.

I paid a recent visit to the Local Food Hub warehouse and got to see what they currently had in stock -- there was a great variety of produce and other items like locally bottled water, eggs, cider, and more on the shelves. They also have these neat produce boxes that come labeled with the type of vegetable (say, broccoli) in which they can store the appropriate veggies -- speeds up the identification process in the chilly walk-in cooler! I am excited to see our relationship with them grow and develop in time for the beginning of the next academic year and the hungry appetites sure to pass through the dining halls.

The UVa Community Garden is also a lush looking spot right across the street from O-Hill dining hall. I had a short-lived but delightful near-daily strawberry foraging excursion when they were still in season. The most satisfying moment came when I spotted a couple of UVa employees looking curiously at the garden as they walked past; I called out to them and invited them over to taste the strawberries fresh off the vine. There was a look of genuine pleasure as they savored those mouthfuls of bursting-with-ripeness sweetness.

Don't forget to check out the Green Dining calendar for community food-related events happening throughout the summer -- students may be away, but the produce is coming in, and now is the time to enjoy it, be it volunteering at the Local Food Hub farm, having a local food dinner at one of your favorite area wineries, going out to one of a number of local u-pick operations, or just gardening or cooking in your own yard or kitchen.

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