Morven Summer Institute 2012

UVa is once again offering several courses on its 3,000 acre Morven Farm this summer.  Three of the four courses, spanning two sessions of two weeks each, are food focused:

PLAP 3160: Politics of Food with Paul Freedman (May 14 - 25)
EVSC 4559: Food and Nutrition in a Changing World with Manuel Lerdau (May 29 - June 9)
PLAC 5501: Farmer's Markets and Applied Food Systems Research with Tanya Denckla Cobb and Paul Freedman (May 29 - June 9)

The Morven Kitchen Garden: this could be your classroom!
This promises to be an excellent opportunity to learn about food systems on a global and local level, and to apply some of that knowledge back in our own community, and possibly even right on the farm.  (Last year, students enrolled in the Summer Institute food course were required to put in eight hours of volunteer work at either the Morven Kitchen Garden or the UVa Community Garden on Grounds, and they had a great time fulfilling that obligation.)

Learn more about the courses, fees, and applying, all at the Morven Summer Institute website!


Global Sustainability Food Projects

The Global Sustainability course (the foundation of the U.Va. Global Sustainability minor) has long focused on semester-long projects to connect the dots between what the students are learning via powerpoint in the classroom and what is happening in our community.  They have put together a comprehensive website of all projects students have completed since the course was first offered in Fall 2007. 

Screenshot of the "Food Projects" page
 You can search projects by student name or by topic, and clicking on the food topic reveals the wide variety of food-focused projects that students have conducted over the past few years.  Topics range from food waste audits to mapping Charlottesville's community food system.  Spend some time poking around - it's neat to see the research students have done in semesters past!


Meat Free Monday Launch on January 23rd

Just like the last few semesters, each main residential dining rooms will continue to observe Meat Free Mondays with a designated meat-free station every Monday throughout the spring.

Check out our revamped logo!

The stations will officially re-launch this coming Monday, January 23rd, with celebrations at Runk and O'Hill during dinner, and at Newcomb during lunch.  O'Hill will be the main kick-off site at dinner (5-8pm): Green Dining, UVa Sustainability, the UVa Community Garden, and the Morven Kitchen Garden will all be on hand to share info about what they do and how to get involved.  Interactive trivia games will be a part of the fun!

Look out for these dishes at all three dining rooms on Monday (MFM dishes will be consistent everywhere) - and check back here to see what will be served in the coming weeks:

Lunch: Spinach and Chickpea Curry over Roasted Sweet Potato

Dinner: Vegetable and Barley Ragout

I hope you get the chance to try these hearty and flavorful dishes on Monday!


2011 in Review

Another calendar year has rolled around and a new semester is upon us!

The spring promises to be full of more fun and educational programs, but 2011 deserves a round of applause before we completely bid it farewell.

2011 Sustainable Dining highlights:
-Presented (for the 2nd year in a row) at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's annual conference; this year's presentation, in Pittsburgh, was on Dining's relationship with the Local Food Hub (October)
-Hosted a Local Food Hub farm stand on Grounds (September)
-Took a full van of students out to tour the beautiful Morven Kitchen Garden (September)
-Participated in Virginia Farm to School week, with local ingredients highlighted in residential dining's dishes (November)
-Worked with four Global Sustainability student groups to organize food waste audits around Grounds (October)
-Hosted a Meat Free Monday kick-off with a variety of student and community groups represented (August)
-Helped another Global Sustainability student group host a Local Foods Fair at the Fine Arts Cafe, featuring Twin Oaks, Farm at Red Hill, and the Local Food Hub (November)
-Installed a second hydration station on Grounds (June)
-Sponsored the 2nd Virginia Food Security Summit, that drew over 300 attendees and launched the preliminary Virginia Farm to Table Plan (December)
-Took a tour of the Local Food Hub Educational Farm (April)
-Hosted a "Logistics of Local" panel to explore how Dining is expanding its local food procurement efforts (March)
-Entered O'Hill in the EPA Green Building Challenge and competed throughout the summer (June)
-Celebrated Campus Sustainability Day by highlighting the dining hall's "Green Menu Items", and by participation in a sustainability dialogue representing education, energy, planning and transportation, and dining facets of on-Grounds conservation (October)
-Gave tours of O'Hill and its green features, especially the pulper and general composting operation, to student groups (June, November)
-Incorporated local ingredients into a series of "Healthy Bites Bars" to showcase the dining halls' healthy options (October, November)
-Celebrated Fair Trade Month with a fair trade products sampling event (October)
-Took some of our chefs out to the Local Food Hub warehouse for a tour of the facility (September)
-Participated in UVa Earth Week, including hosting a second annual Farm to Fork meal that featured local ingredients and the local producers who grow them (April)
-Celebrated National Nutrition Month and incorporated some local food into the dishes where possible, including in new recipes developed by two Green Dining students for a class project (March)
-Launched Share Your Bowl, a philanthropic partnership with Kellogg that resulted in the equivalent of nearly 11,000 servings of cereal being donated to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to support their after school programs (March)

Keep on visiting this blog to find out what's to come in 2012!