2010 Highlights

Farewell, 2010 - it's been great! Here are some quick highlights of the last twelve months:

-Expanded partnership with the Local Food Hub, culminating in the celebration of Virginia Farm to School Week (November)
-Launch of UVa Green Challenge with food featured as the first phase (August)
-Pilot Greek reusable to-go container program launched at KD (February)
-Farm to Fork dinner in celebration of Earth Day (April)
-Crossroads Fair Trade Tasting event (October)
-Creation of Dining's sustainable agriculture resource library (June)
-Newcomb's Make it a Local Lunch and Local Spirit themed meals (September)
-UVa Food Collaborative's public forum with Dining-hosted and sponsored reception (October)
-UVa compost expansion to Newcomb (March)
-UVa Dining and Housing receives E3 - Exemplary Environmental Excellence - award from the VA Department of Environmental Quality (October)
-Green Dining Open House (January)
-Grass Fed burgers for lunch at Newcomb (February)
-UVa Dining awarded 2010 Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for composting program (April)
-Completion of UVa-wide 2010 Sustainability Assessment (July)
-Local Food Hub Educational Farm tour (October)
-Mark Winne's lecture on food security and food justice (April)
-Launch of Meat Free Monday stations at all three residential dining halls (August)
-Successful wrap-up of the reusable to-go program's first year (May)
-Expanded (to include tea and soda) reusable mug punch card (January)
-Happy bEARTHday, Earth Day cupcakes destributed to students on Earth Day (April)
-Sustainability Day Fine Arts Cafe Reception featuring local producers (October)

Wow! Thanks to all involved for their hard work in making these events and accomplishments happen, and get ready for an even bigger and better 2011.


The UVa Food Collaborative's Local Food & Media Forum: Watch the follow up episode

Back in October, the UVa Food Collaborative, a new sustainability group for which I am on the steering committee, hosted its first major public event: a public forum on local food and the media. Food Collaborative founder Ben Cohen moderated a panel featuring accomplished representatives from different food and media perspectives: journalist Marian Burros of the New York Times; author and professor James McWilliams of, most recently, Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly; and farmer and food editor Tom Philpott of Grist.org. With sponsorship from UVa Dining, Meet The Farmer TV recorded the panel discussion as well as interviews with the participants afterwards. Show host Michael Clark brought the video to Grounds last week for a public screening of the episode followed by some dialogue about the issues raised by the panelists.

Watch the episode now!


Compost Collection

On Wednesday morning, Jess Wenger (with the UVa Office of Environmental Health & Safety, and oversee-er of UVa's composting program), Fred Leybag (undergrad student UVa Recycling employee) and I went out to Panorama Farms, the destination for Dining's organic food waste, to meet up with owner Steve Murray, check up on the progress of the composting process and to collect some samples for testing. It was windy but beautiful out there -- and the compost pile was nice and steamy. We should get the sample results back in a couple of weeks and will likely be good to move forward with the remainder of the process so that the compost can be completely turned into a nutrient-rich soil amendment.