Posts filed under ‘Student Contributions’
Read about our two student garden managers’ hard work and how Dining Services is bringing local food to the table here.
Two groups came out this past weekend to lend a hand at the garden. We dug out about half of our sweet potatoes, soon to be enjoyed at Farms & Fields. Service groups Theta Tau (their first visit) and Circle K (a continuing contributor) brought about 20 students to work the ground. It was a great time for all and their service is greatly appreciated! Photos are courtesy Theta Tau and Circle K.
The Student Government Association has launched the Eco-Olympics effort across campus. Residence halls unite in a friendly competition to save energy–with real rewards. The winning residence hall could win big prizes for all to enjoy such as TVs or foosball tables. Last year, the victory went to West Ambler Johnson. This year is up for grabs.
It works like this: the competition is split by residence hall size and adjusted accordingly. Scores will be based on per capita energy consumption and on various events (the larger the percentage of your residence hall attends the events, the better).
Events start this week, kicking off with a showing of FRESH tonight at 7pm in Squires Colonial.
Let’s work together and save energy, educate ourselves, and win prizes!
Check the leader board at any time here for up-to-date competition stats.
Photo courtesy Virginia Tech SGA.
Students in a Virginia Tech Community Involvement class take a breath of fresh air and volunteer at The Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm.
Blacksburg, Va.– Since mid-October, a subgroup of a Community Involvement class has been getting their hands dirty with farm work. The class’s focus is on public feedback and involvement procedures, as well as on-the-ground theory of community development and improvement. The class split into several groups, all of which were required to choose some form of community service to accompany their coursework. Ten students in all chose to work at The Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm. One of these students, Brianna Farr, enjoyed the variety the outdoor work provided to her class schedule.
“As we harvested potatoes and sweet potatoes, the student [farm manager] named Chelsea talked with us about her work and how Virginia Tech was continuing to incorporate even more local foods into the dining halls,” she said. “I found I learned even more about how important a local diet is, while being able to contribute to the health of the community and environment around me.” Farr also commented on the striking beauty of the area surrounding the garden, and recommended others should consider sharing the experience. “Everyone enjoyed taking a break from sitting behind a computer or at a desk and actually working with their hands out in the fresh air. It was easy work, and we really enjoyed each other’s company. If you’re looking for an easy way to get involved and give back, volunteering at Kentland Farm is a great way to start.”
Joshua Brooking, a volunteer, carries sweet potatoes from irrigated beds.
Photos courtesy Brianna Farr.
The Friday before the monumental Virginia Harvest Celebration Meal was a day of preparation. Students from the Sustainable Food Corps, general volunteers, and passersby lent their time potting herbs into glass jars to serve as sustainable centerpieces for the meal the following Tuesday. An array of local, organic herbs from Robbins Farm through the Appalachian Harvest growers’ network with Poplar Manor Enterprises compost and accompanying labels were all assembled by these volunteers, used for the meal, and have now been transferred to the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm to later be incorporated into meals at The Farms & Fields Project.
Photos courtesy Mary Span.
This summer, some of Virginia’s brightest high school youth in the Governor’s School for Agriculture at Virginia Tech tried their hands at gardening. These students not only learned hands-on where food comes from, but they helped to provide some of the food that you will consume if you find yourself eating at The Farms & Fields Project and other dining centers this year. The students provided valuable service at The Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm as well as the Hale-YMCA Community Gardens. Students then toured D2 Dining Center to get a firsthand look at Dining’s sustainability initiatives such as composting and local foods. The three day elective provided a taste of what Virginia Tech students can expect to learn in the new Civic Agriculture & Food Systems minor, beginning this semester.
The Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm is always happy to have volunteers, especially groups and organizations. See the link on the menu above to learn how you can volunteer at the Garden.
Photo courtesy Susan Clark.
BLACKSBURG, Va.— A handful of students traveled to Virginia Tech’s Kentland Farm this past May to lend a hand in getting more local food for VT dining centers. They spent the afternoon volunteering in a small grove atop an overlooking hill on the 3200 acre farm. In a process called “thinning,” young, small peaches are plucked from the branches in order to make room for larger, juicy fruit to grow for the coming months. The students dedicated a few hours of their time in the sunshine so that all of us can enjoy the local peaches come Fall semester.
“Kentland Farm is gorgeous!” said Gretchen Allen, a junior studying Communications and Wildlife Sciences. “Volunteering was a fun way to support a cause that I believe in: local food.”
Charlotte Branton, also a junior, enjoyed her time at Virginia Tech’s farm as well, and she also saw the big picture. “Relatively few of us get to play a role in the maturation of our food these days,” she mused. “I’ll be extra happy to enjoy a peach from our dining hall knowing I may have helped it flourish into the juicy fruit it is.”
Interested in spending some time under the sun at Kentland or another farm that Virginia Tech sources food from? Stay tuned on the blog for these and other service opportunities this summer and over the next semester.
(Above, Gretchen Allen thins peach trees at Kentland Farm. Photo courtesy Charlotte Branton.)
Leah Stiegler and Amanda Gurley, former students in the Earth Sustainability course series at VT, created a fun, educational hip-hop video about food issues for their class action project–featuring Farms & Fields!