Posted by Robin Kronsinsky
The Environmental Action Committee hosted its third annual Harvest Dinner from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 in Falstaffs. Student volunteers and EAC members prepared the dinner with produce from the Skidmore Garden and donations from local farms.
The goals of the Harvest Dinner were to promote the value of eating local foods, spread awareness about the Garden and to create a delicious, healthy meal for anyone who wished to attend.
While the meal was free, there was a requested donation of $3 to $5. The EAC raised more than $500 in contributions — more than any EAC event has raised yet.
"It was really successful. Within the first 10 minutes the room was packed," Gabby Stern '13, leader of the Garden Subcommittee, said.
EAC members and student volunteers spent three hours on Friday night prepping food and seven hours Saturday in the test kitchen preparing fresh food for the masses.
The Skidmore gardeners support the local food movement and want to make members of the community aware of the importance of knowing where their food comes from.
"When you buy locally you know what you are eating. So much of our food is reshaped until it's unrecognizable," Stern said.
The migration from processed food to local, organic alternatives is becoming a more popular trend in the world of food and health.
Local foods typically refer to vegetables, fruits and grains that are farmed and harvested within a relatively small vicinity of one's home.
Purchasing local foods implies that the items are fresh, picked in season and grown without the use of chemical enhancers. It also eliminates the need to ship food long distances, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the food industry.
If produce has to travel to reach its recipient, it has most likely been chemically modified in some way in order to ensure that it remains fresh during travel. These chemicals are inevitably consumed by whomever purchases the shipped food.
The Harvest Dinner was both a celebration of the produce grown by students, as well as an effort to inspire people to eat local foods. "When you know exactly where your food is from, it celebrates the art of making it," Stern said.
Stern hopes that the trend of eating locally grown foods from the college's garden will catch on.
"A lot of people are aware of the garden and I can't wait to see how it will grow," Stern said.
Any student who would like to work in the garden is welcome to join. For the next few weeks student gardeners will be re-composting the beds in preparation for winter. Work on the garden will resume in April. Anyone who would like to get involved should email Gabby Stern at email@example.com.