From serving squash and tomatoes grown on the campus farm to collecting food scraps at the dining hall for composting back at the college’s Cerridwen Farm, Green Mountain College’s Farm & Food Project is dedicated to closing the loop of the local food system. View our Sustainable Purchasing Initiative.
The educational result is that students understand that the choices they make, even about a morning omelet, affect the farmers, people, and environment around them.
Along with Chartwells dining services, students and faculty are exploring new ways to offer local and organic food options. The fall 2006 block course, entitled "Food, Agriculture, and Community Development in the Northeast," culminated in a class-written draft of sustainable purchasing guidelines for the dining hall. The class proposed that the dining hall expand local food offerings by 5 percent (about $24,000) per year over the next three years.
The Farm & Food program has also been involved in the creation and development of the Rutland Area Farm & Food Link (RAFFL), an organization that connects agriculture with food suppliers and consumers in the area. In spring of 2006, with Rutland Area Farm & Food Link (RAFFL), a GMC class helped design a local food guide for the farms, co-ops, and farmer's markets of the surrounding county.
Our efforts don't end there. In the fall semester of 2006, Chartwells and the Student Campus Greening Fund hosted a "Five Farms in Five Days" event, featuring goods from five local farms over the span of a week. The event gave students a taste for the difference local agriculture makes, on their palates and in the community. Students conducted surveys and gathered opinion data on the event, gauging the demand for more local food in the future.
Local Food programs at Green Mountain College are quickly expanding. Check back later for more developments.