Green Mountain College
Lawn-to-Edible Garden Project Unveiled
From the White House south lawn to vacant city lots, more and more acreage in the U.S. is being devoted to vegetable gardening. Whether it’s saving money in the face of a slow economic recovery, growing local produce to encourage healthy eating, or supporting the local agricultural economy, Americans are finding plenty of reasons to raise their own vegetables. Green Mountain College has moved the traditional home vegetable garden—often relegated to the backyard—in front of the Solar Harvest Center (SHC), a farmhouse purchased by the College in 2009. With the support of several grants, students and faculty recently completed the Lawn-to-Edible Garden Project which converted the SHC front lawn into a permaculture landscape of vegetables and perennial fruits. Lettuce, peppers, onions, tomatoes and many other vegetables grown in the 12 new raised beds will find their way to the plates of students studying in the current (2012) Summer Farm Intensive Program on campus, and on the shelves of local food pantries. Blueberries, grapes, elderberries, and other small fruits will diversify the offerings in coming years. The entire installation was completed by students taking a semester-long Edible Landscaping course in a culminating week of construction and planting.
Farm & Food Project Receives $110,000 Grant
Green Mountain College’s Farm and Food Project has received a big boost through a $110,000 grant from The Jensen/Hinman Family Fund, an advised fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
This funding, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by GMC, supports research aimed at running the College’s Cerridwen Farm with as few fossil-derived resources as possible—with the ultimate target of using no fossil fuels at all.
The funding will also support expansion of the College’s draft animal program, including introduction of draft animal technologies and the training of a second oxen team. more...
GMC Represented at Terra Madre Conference
Ten delegates from Green Mountain College traveled to Terra Madre 2008 to present the GMC Farm & Food Project as a model for teaching stewardship of the land to young people. The conference - a biennial meeting for the Terra Madre Network - drew over 7,100 people from 153 countries.
Students Ryan Dixon, Kerrilee Knights, and Bobby Walden were joined by alums Jane Engelman ’08 and Lyra Leigh-Nedbor ‘08, along with faculty members Philip Ackerman-Leist (environmental studies), Kenneth Mulder (Cerridwen Farm manager), and Eleanor Tison (environmental studies). Dave and Cindy Ondria from the College’s Chartwells dining services also attended.
Read Prof. Philip Ackerman-Leist's introduction titled "Stewardship of Land from One Generation to the Next."
GMC Block Course Garners Food Studies Award
GMC’s 2006 block course, “Food, Agriculture and Community Development in the Northeast", has received the 2009 Food Studies Pedagogy Award from the Association for the Study of Food and Society. The award is given annually to the “teacher of food studies in any discipline … who uses innovative and successful pedagogical techniques to reach students.”
Three faculty members taught the interdisciplinary course: Prof. Jacob Park (business strategy and sustainability), Prof. Philip Ackerman-Leist (environmental studies), and Prof. Eleanor Tison. The course also featured John Turenne, a nationally recognized culinary/food industry educator and the former executive chef/director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project, as a visiting faculty member, as well as other notable individuals from private companies, government agencies, and non-profit organizations as guest lecturers.
The Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) is a multidisciplinary international organization dedicated to exploring the complex relationships among food, culture, and society. The group hosts an annual conference and publishes a journal titled Food, Culture and Society.
Block Course Wins
Green Mountain College’s 2006 block course, titled “Food, Agriculture, and Community Development in the Northeast,” received the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention.
The College was recognized at an awards ceremony in the House Chamber of the State House in Montpelier on Monday, April 21, at 3 p.m. The award was presented by George Crombie, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and Governor Jim Douglas. A reception followed the ceremony.
The class, offered by Prof. Philip Ackerman-Leist (environmental studies), Prof. Jacob Park (business & public policy), and Prof. Eleanor Tison (cultural anthropology), explored how food choices affect the community. The class visited roughly one dozen area farms and hosted several national food and agricultural experts as guest speakers. As a final project, the class created sustainable purchasing guidelines for Withey Dining Hall.