Farm and Feast teaches Upperclass Taskforce about sustainable food

Photo+Credit+Sunshine+Cahill

Photo Credit Sunshine Cahill

“From now on, I’ll think twice about complaining about dining hall mashed potatoes,” commented senior Tasha Thong as she pulled potatoes in the Calvin Campus Garden. “There’s something satisfying about eating a meal after digging it up myself.”

Last Wednesday, juniors, seniors and members of Calvin’s Upperclass Taskforce attended Farm and Feast, an event held at the Calvin Campus Garden. The group toured the garden, sampled veggie dishes prepared by executive chef Ian Ramirez and learned how to harvest potatoes.

The Upperclass Taskforce organizes educational events for upperclassmen.

“We focus on addressing four main loves: God, self, others and the world,” explained Bob Crow, director of Student Life. “This event emphasized love of creation, [love of] self by learning how to prepare fresh food, and [love of] others who care for creation.”

Previous Upperclass Taskforce events have included Maintenance and Manners, an educational session where students learned proper dinner etiquette and how to change a tire.

Crow hoped that students would have a chance to learn about the Calvin Campus Garden and maybe even be inspired to create their own gardens post-graduation. “It’s also a good way to learn about how this [garden] supports the dining halls,” Crow added, while helping dig up potatoes.

Chef Ian Ramirez was on the same page. “This is an opportunity to bring awareness to how the dining halls commit to sustainability and buying local.”

“We [Ramirez and his team] came out here earlier today and grabbed some carrots, beans and spaghetti squash and threw it all together. We design meals around what’s available.”

Even in the winter, dining services will still be providing produce grown on campus. “We’ve dehydrated, frozen and pickled veggies from the garden,” explained Ramirez.

Since the beginning of October, there have been stickers posted in the dining halls advertising contributions from the Calvin Campus Garden.

Alumni Audrey Hughey attended Farm and Feast. She had been involved in planning and selecting a location for a community garden at Calvin. “This event is the culmination of many years of work. It’s so wonderful to see it flourish.”

Senior garden manager Janaya Crevier explained, “We’d like to use the other half-acre as community space for concerts, classes or any other type of gathering space that give people a reason to be here. We want to facilitate what Calvin already does in a beautiful environment.”

On October 31, there will be a Harvest Clean-up at the Calvin Campus Garden. Although the vegetable beds will be tucked in for the winter, Upperclass Taskforce programming will continue with an event in November addressing personal finance.